As a small business owner, you’ve probably heard that it’s important to delegate. Delegating often means hiring a virtual assistant. Not all businesses are alike, though. And they often have different needs. Maybe your small business shouldn’t hire a virtual assistant…
Tim Ferris made this a big hit when he wrote about how he outsources a lot of his work to other people and, by doing so, manages to work only a few hours every week. It’s a nice way to live, and I’m sure you’re already pondering the pros and cons of hiring a virtual assistant.
The pros of hiring a virtual assistant are quite obvious: you become a much more efficient person by deducting a part of your workload and your stress. You are also able to focus on things that are truly important to you and your business.
A lot of solopreneurs have concluded that they become much more productive by giving some of their mundane tasks to a VA. Studies have also found that we are much less stressed when we know we can delegate tasks to an efficient assistant.
The cost advantages of hiring a part-time virtual assistant as opposed to a full-time employee are clear.
But things are not always so simple, and when you hire an assistant you can find yourself facing a few challenges. If you aren’t ready to face these challenges or find alternative solutions, then your small business should’t hire a virtual assistant.
The goal of this article is to show you the main obstacles to hiring a virtual assistant and how to overcome them easily.
Reasons Why Your Small Business Shouldn’t Hire a Virtual Assistant
They go on vacation and you are left without help.
It’s impossible to control when your virtual assistant will decide to go on a vacation, and they can sometimes make a snap decision, leaving you without any help at a busy time. In addition, they might face family or personal emergencies that take them away from your work.
You may think that hiring another virtual assistant quickly will solve the problem. However, think about how long it took last time to train your VA to follow instructions carefully and how long it took for them to get to know your business.
The problem also lies in finding a good match; finding a virtual assistant whom you can trust is not as easy as it sounds. If your small business can’t manage without consistency, it may be that your small business shouldn’t hire a virtual assistant.
They get overwhelmed by the amount of work and don’t have the capacity to take on more.
The truth is that freelance virtual assistants often have trouble with either having too much work or none at all. When they receive more work than they can handle, you are going to end up with an assistant who did a poor job just to get it done. Or they will be honest and say they can’t handle the amount you assigned them, again leaving you with unfinished work and even more stress.
They get a “real job” to make ends meet.
Being a freelance VA is not always a highly paid job, and virtual assistants are probably going to make more money and get benefits if they get a real job instead of working as an independent contractor. If the needs of your virtual assistant changes, they may have to go back to work full time with little notice to you.
So, again, if your small business can’t manage without consistency, it may be that your small business shouldn’t hire a virtual assistant.
They have a small set of expert skills and can’t do a variety of work.
It’s not uncommon to hire a virtual assistant based on a specific project or task. You find someone that meets the skills required for that task. Then you find more work for them to do and they are only too willing to get more hours. Unfortunately, they aren’t specifically skilled in the other areas. They may not let you know this but do their best anyway. You end up with subpar work because it was easier to stick to one person.
We recently worked with a client who hired a VA to work on her website. She then needed to have a landing page created and asked the same VA to perform the new task. Unfortunately for our client, the VA was good at designing websites but not good at sales copyright. Her landing page suffered from not working with individuals skilled in each area.
When someone is expert in only one skill or few related skills, it can limit your ability to assign them something new, or direct them to help you with a different kind of work.
Or they have a large set of general skills but aren’t experts at anything.
People often say that a virtual assistant must be a jack of all trades. This can also mean that specific individual is not an expert in any area. Do you need an assistant who will just be average or below-average in most areas of your business?
If you aren’t ready to manage multiple people for multiple tasks, your small business shouldn’t hire a virtual assistant.
They often need specific step-by-step instructions to perform tasks.
Truth be told, you will need to train every virtual assistant you work with, but if they have some prior experience or they are experts in what they do, the amount of training will be minimal.
In addition, some virtual assistants need more guidance and supervision than others. If you don’t have time to manage a virtual assistant and provide step-by-step instructions, your small business shouldn’t hire a virtual assistant.
The Alternative Solution
Let’s say you read the following list and realized your small business really isn’t ready to hire a virtual assistant unless you can find an alternative solution. There’s good news!
The solution for all of the above challenges lies in having more than one virtual assistant to lean on. However, a lot of people have tried having two or three separate assistants at the same time and it did not work out because no one likes being a third or fourth option, and no one likes getting little to no work while having a contract. Not to mention the work it takes to manage each of the different assistants.
At Virtual A Team, we’ve overcome all of these challenges with a unique business model. It’s time to have your own team accessible at your fingertips whenever you need them. From SEO experts to writers to website designers and everything else. Virtual A Team provides you the team to get all of your virtual needs done with one go-to source. Our project managers work directly with you to determine your business needs and assign them to our team of freelance workers. You never have to miss something because of a team member on vacation or someone taking a full time job.
Find out more about how Virtual A Team can be your alternative solution.
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