How many times have you arrived to the end of your week and realized that you didn’t write your newsletter? Or that you are doing it last minute?
Or do you ever get to the end of a week and suddenly remember that you didn’t enter all of those business cards? Or do your follow-up?
It’s just hard to get everything done. And if you have a family or a full-time job, it’s even harder! So how do you find a second pair of hands to help out? And how do that when you are on a tight budget? It’s a catch 22 for everyone at some point in their businesses – I need help, but I can’t really afford to hire someone or even work with a virtual assistant. What do I do?
Well the answer is that you’ve gotta have faith, create a plan, do some research and be creative. Here are four steps to helping you hire your first or next assistant no matter what budget you are on.
1. Have Faith and Know You Can’t Make the Leap Without Help. First realize that most of the time, you are going to need to sub-contract someone before all the money comes in to pay for that person. So you have to have a little faith and a lot of planning. It’s ok to get a loan or put the first month or two of that assistant’s dues on your credit card. How do you know when you need an assistant? The rule of thumb is this – you as the business owner should be spending 80% of your time on marketing and sales activities. You should be networking, speaking, talking to referral partners, following up on leads, doing initial sessions or meetings with clients most of the time. This is the only way to grow your business.
If you are spending countless hours doing admin, fixing your website, writing copy or working on client documents – your business will not grow from month to month. You must delegate these tasks as soon as possible to someone who can usually work more efficiently than you at getting them done.
2. Plan for Revenue Leaps. Second you must create a concrete plan on how you are going to use the hours that your assistant is working to increase your revenue. For example, if you hire someone for five hours a month at $40 an hour, then you will pay her $200 a month. You just need to make sure you use those extra 5 hours to work on revenue generating tasks that will lead to an extra $200 a month. If you are confused even in the slightest on how to generate revenue, then please read some of the other blog posts on this site. I’m all about teaching you how to make money 🙂 . Or get thee to one of my programs pronto.
3. Research. Now that you have the faith and a plan, you actually need to find someone who can help. For most solopreneurs and entrepreneurs a good place to start is with a virtual assistant. These are people that work virtually on your projects from their homes. They charge you by the hour and serve as sub-contractors for your business. You can start with hour packages that are as low as 5 hours a month and grow into larger packages as your business grows. There are many ways to find good virtual assistants.
* Start with asking around at business events. The best way to find someone is through a referral.
* You can also post on some great sites to find people. I found my first assistant by posting on guru.com (see below). The only thing you have to remember here, is to be clear and thorough. Be clear with your posting and what you want from people and be thorough with your interviewing. You should interview 5-6 people at least before you pick the person that is right for you. And know that it is normal to work with 3-4 people before you find the right person for the job. Here are some sites that are great for posting:
4. Be Creative. You don’t always have to start with a VA if you budget is tight. You can work with interns. Just post on your local university’s employer website. You can find a high-school student. You can even use your babysitter to enter cards. Also, you can outsource more than just admin tasks. One of my clients outsourced research on where to find corporate professional women. She hired someone from O-desk to help. Another client hired someone to help her find speaking engagements from elance.com. Realize that sometimes just freeing up something mentally is enough to generate more revenue from your business. So be creative and find yourself an extra pair of hands!