Ready, Set … Get a Virtual Assistant

across the worldMost entrepreneurs are self-proclaimed “do it yourself-ers!” Although when they started their business they were excited about turning their passion into a business, many didn’t realize just everything that would need to be done. However because their business is their “baby” the thought of bringing someone else in on that dream and admitting you just can’t do it all yourself, isn’t always an easy idea to swallow.

Having worked with many clients now I know the top reasons people say they continue to do it all on their own …

  • No one does it as good as me
  • It’s faster to do it myself
  • I wouldn’t know what to delegate
  • I am just not a good delegator

Do these statements sound familiar?

Well you really need to stop if you truly want a successful, thriving and growing business. There is absolutely no way you can do everything on your own and achieve your dreams as you will quite simply, burnout! Believe me I have seen it happen.

So what is one to do?

The simple answer … get help!

For many the first help they get is a Virtual Assistant, someone who can assist with many of the administrative, technical and/or marketing tasks that are just not second nature to us as entrepreneurs and eat up most of our time … time we would much rather be using attracting new clients and fulfilling our existing clients needs.

So for those of you who are saying right now … “oh, oh that’s me, I need help” here are some very simple things you can start doing today to get ready for the Virtual Assistant (or other team member) you know you will need very soon.

#1 – Figure out what to delegate

First and foremost you need to have a conversation with your existing team (even if it is simply a team of one, yourself) and figure out where the “holes” are. By “holes” I mean the following:

  • What tasks do you no longer want to continue doing
  • Which tasks are eating up your time each day with little to no return
  • What skillsets are lacking in your team dynamic

Once you know this you will start to see the formation of your delegation list.

#2 – Start documenting the tasks to be delegated

Once you have the list from #1 above, now start to really flesh out that list into tasks. I suggest putting a sheet of paper next to your desk for the next two weeks and start to add tasks to the list as you do them and they fall under the different “holes” above.

#3 – Determine what parts of your delegation list can be automated

Now take that list created in #2 above and determine which of those items can be automated. Are there tasks that are easily repeatable?

There are many programs and tools that can assist in automation such as email marketing, social media posting, etc. and will mean simply entering the task once into the program and the program will rinse and repeat, saving you time and money on delegation.

#4 – Take stock of who you are and how you work

Before you can determine the person to delegate to, you need to take a good look of who you are and how you work (as well as your other team members). Take the time to answer the following questions …

  • How do you prefer to communicate (telephone, email, IM, etc.)?
  • What are your personality traits and do you work best with people with complementary or dissimilar traits?
  • What pet peeves do you have with other people?
  • Who do you work best with?
  • What is your working style?
  • What do you stand for in business (values, mission, vision, etc) and how does that relate to how you treat your clients?

#5 – Create your ideal candidate profile

Now that you know who you are, it is much easier to begin to develop an ideal candidate profile. When creating that profile look to the answers of the questions above, but also ask yourself a couple more important questions.

  • What are you willing to train on and what do you expect them to know?
  • Does location matter? (Most importantly location will matter when it comes to things such as country exchange rates, time zones, etc.)
  • What are the must haves in a candidate versus the nice to haves?
  • Do you want to work with someone who is like you or the opposite of you?

#6 – Figure out your budget

The next question you need to answer is what are you willing to pay for assistance? To learn more about how much a Virtual Assistant costs so you can determine a reasonable budget, click here and read my article “How Much Does a Virtual Assistant cost?


Once you have completed these 6 steps and you are ready to build a business that can sustain itself even in your absence, I invite you to talk with me about how we can get the right Virtual Assistant on your team! Contact me at Send Mail to yvonne@yvonneweld.com or schedule a 30 minute complimentary VA Q&A call with me!

How to Get Started with a Virtual Assistant

Most of my clients come to me without a clue as to how to get started with a Virtual Assistant. They simply know one fact; they are overwhelmed and they can’t keep working the way they are.

Struggle Nov 20When I am speaking with my clients on our consultation I take them through five steps every time. For those of you struggling to even know where to start today I am going to share with you the first five steps to take you from overwhelmed to comfortably in charge.

Step 1 – Get into the right mindset

There are many misconceptions when it comes to delegation and getting past these misconceptions (should you have any of them) will be the first step in getting a Virtual Assistant. You need to be in the right mindset to accept that your business can grow and prosper but only when you learn to let go. Here are just a few of the mindsets you need to accept before you can move forward:

  • A Virtual Assistant is an investment not a cost
  • Virtual Assistant do not work for “peanuts” so you should be willing to invest more than $5-$10 per hour (you’d be surprised how many RFPs come through offering this amount of money)
  • How long a Virtual Assistant takes to complete a task and how long you take to complete that same task are two completely different things
  • A Virtual Assistant is more than a “secretary” they are a partner in your business
  • Someone can do things as good as you can (and sometimes even better)
  • Having a Virtual Assistant will free your time to focus on where you should be focusing (ie the money generating activities)
  • The hardest part of delegating is delegating that first task

Step 2 – Determine What to Delegate

Once you have overcome the mindset and start to see the value of what a Virtual Assistant can do for your business it’s time to determine what to delegate. Here’s my best tip in that regard:

For the next two weeks put a piece of paper beside your computer and every time you do a new task write it onto the paper. At the end of the two weeks cross off all the things you know only you should do (ie sales calls, networking, client fulfillment). Now with the rest of the list use the following system to categorize them:

A – Absolutely need to delegate these tasks. These are those tasks that fall into one of these statements: I hate them, they consume too much time, I lack the skills, or they’ve been on my “To Do” list for so long without ever moving anywhere.

B – These are the tasks that once the absolutely tasks were done if my budget allowed for it I would delegate these next. So you understand it might not happen right now, but they are what you are moving towards in the near future.

C – These are the tasks that can wait. They are the ones you don’t mind doing, you are getting a return on investment or you know need your personal attention for the interim.

This is a really good start to your delegation list (and best of all it is not only your immediate delegation list, but a longer term list as well.

Step 3 – Document how you like to do the task

Each and every entrepreneur has a way they like things done so although you may say to a Virtual Assistant “can you take care of my blog posts” this could mean several things. So the next step is to take all those tasks in our A (Absolutely) list from Step 2 and start writing out how you like it done. For example with our blog post example above ask yourself:

  • Where do you find images
  • Where do you like the images put in the blog post
  • Do you have a specific day and/or time you like your posts to go live
  • Do you do any kind of search engine optimization
  • Where do you like to promote your blog posts and are there others on your team that need to know when a blog post goes live?

As much as your Virtual Assistant will understand the main task you need to start documenting how you like things done so your Virtual Assistant can bring consistency to your business and brand.

Step 4 – Who should you delegate to

Finding the right person to delegate to and join your team as a Virtual Assistant takes a lot more than just skills. Don’t get me wrong skills are very important, but I wholeheartedly believe in the statement “hire for personality and train for skills.” What I mean by this statement is you want to look past just the skills and get down to the person because you need to have a good connection with your Virtual Assistant for the greatest success.

So you may have your list of skills you are looking for based on Steps 2 and 3, but now it’s time to create your personality list. To do that, ask yourself these questions:

  • What personality traits do you work best with?
  • What are your expectations of a new team member?
  • What working style have you worked best with in the past (even in your corporate days if this is your first hire)?
  • What pet peeves have you had from people you have worked with in the past?
  • What values should they have that would work well with your own values?

Once you really, truly know the person you are looking for the search will be much easier. Above all else you want to know you can feel comfortable with this person and genuinely like them as a person. I am not saying you need to be friends, but being friendly goes a long way to creating a lasting relationship.

Step 5 – Begin your search

There are a number of ways to find your ideal Virtual Assistant. In this video I share with you the best place to look for a Virtual Assistant.

The funniest thing I find in working with my clients is they all seem to come to me with the same response months after starting with their Virtual Assistant; “I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner.”

So what are you waiting for?

Virtually a Matchmaker

Have you been considering a Virtual Assistant but don’t know where to start? Are you confused as to which tasks to outsource? As a Virtual Assistant Matchmaker I help you move your tasks from “To Do” to “Done!”

Recently I was featured in my local newspaper! To learn more about my business, keep reading and then let’s chat!

Londoner article

3 Ways to Reach (and Exceed) Your Goals in 2015 with a VA

As a New Year starts many of us take the opportunity to set goals for our business, Including financial goals and targets.The only problem with goal setting is it usually will mean more work is needed in order to achieve those goals because let’s face it the only way to achieve a goal is through implementation.

As a result many of us turn to the excuses “some day,” “if only I had the time,” “I know there is a need for this, but I don’t have the knowledge/energy/resources to make it happen” …

I challenge you to make 2015 different, this year it’s time to meet and exceed those goals and here are 3 ways how …

1.  Hire a Virtual Assistant
The problem with goals is they create a lot more work and for many of us we don’t have the time to implement all the steps that go with achieving a goal. This lack of time means our goals take longer to achieve. A Virtual Assistant can be working concurrently with you allowing you to achieve your goals faster and often more efficiently. Be sure to work to both of your strengths when determining who will do which tasks. If your goal means only you can do those tasks then look at your to do list and find something to outsource so that instead of spending more time you are using your time more efficiently and effectively!

2. Hire a Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants can keep you on track and focused on your goals. Sharing your goals with your Virtual Assistant is important so they can see your “big picture” and ensure that everything you are doing in your business is with the end result in mind. I always suggest a strategy call at least quarterly (although I myself believe weekly is best) to share those goals and brainstorm how to achieve them. Start looking at your Virtual Assistant as a partner in your business – someone who can help you achieve your goals and make 2015 your year to shine!

3. Hire a Virtual Assistant (okay you knew I had to go there LOL)
Having a Virtual Assistant taking care of the implementation means you can focus on generating money for your business. A large part of your 2015 goal planning should be to increase your income. Take the time to get on the phone and call some of your contacts and generate the money to not only pay your Virtual Assistants fees, but put a little more in your pocket as well. Too many people make the mistake of not re-allocating the time they save by hiring a VA properly and as a result the VA becomes an expense and not an investment. Until your income level reaches where you want it to be in 2015 your primary focus MUST be money-generating activities!

So I guess you get the idea. A Virtual Assistant is a must-have if you want 2015 to be different. Not having a VA is keeping you from achieving those goals and allows you to continue leaning on the excuses of “some day,” “if only I had the time,” “I know there is a need for this, but I don’t have the knowledge/energy/resources to make it happen” …

If you already have a VA it could be that you need to utilize their services in a different way in 2015! Be creative and keep the 3 ways I talked about above in mind.

Your dreams and goals can be achieved this year and if you are ready to make them happen I am offering a free 30 minute VA Q&A where I will answer all your questions about how adding a VA on your team or how better utilizing the one you already have can help you do just that. Sign up today!

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About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties getting started with your Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1

 

How Get Started with a Virtual Assistant and Make More Money

One of the first things I always hear from my clients is “I know a Virtual Assistant can help my business, but I wouldn’t know where to start.” So let’s get you started …

Step #1 – Know Where a VA Can Help Best

Too many of us make the mistake of getting our Virtual Assistant to assist with the wrong tasks. This is because you haven’t taken the time to look at everything as a whole and really figure out the best places to use your Virtual Assistant. What are your biggest time wasters? This is the best place to start.

Stop giving away the stuff best done by you … you absolutely must be the voice of your business yet too many of us delegate calling leads to a Virtual Assistant.

Step #2 – Create an Ideal Virtual Assistant Profile

Your ideal Virtual Assistant profile should extend further than simply the skills a Virtual Assistant has, yet many hire a Virtual Assistant based solely on skills. In my opinion it is so much more important to find someone you feel comfortable with and has the personality to suit you best. Although skill is important, personality will take you so much further … let’s face it the skills you need today may not be the skills that will serve you in the future, but a great VA is someone that is trainable and can grow with your business.

Step #3 – Use the Time Gained When Your VA Starts in the Right Way

The fastest and easiest way to make money once you hire a Virtual Assistant is to use the time you gain on the right things … the money generating activities. This is how you will make the money. Don’t make the mistake of using the time gained to catch up on learning a new skill or reading a business book.

Remember getting the right VA on your team is an investment in your business and not a cost … the time you will save will free you to generate more money in your business. Finally you will be working smarter and not longer!


About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties getting started with your Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1

 

Learn to Love Your Business Again

Do you remember the feeling you had when you first started your business? The “I can’t wait to get to work” feeling that overcame you every single day. The passion, the excitement, the drive to succeed …

If you are one of the lucky ones that still feels that drive and passion each and every day congratulations, but if you are like most (and will honestly admit it) there are some days that you “just don’t feel like working!”

I believe one of those reasons is because the reality of running a business is really hard. There are so many hats that you need to wear to succeed that trying to find a hat rack big enough to hold them all can be a challenge. One minute you are the sales manager, then you are the account collector, then in the next instant the receptionist. In any given day you can wear 10-20 different hats in your business. If you are like most you just wish you could wear that one hat, the one that makes you happiest, the one that speaks to exactly why you started this business in the first place; your fulfillment hat! You know the one, that one that means you can just get lost in your passion and get back to producing/fulfilling those products and services for your clients!

So why, if we are happiest with just that one hat do we tell ourselves that we need to wear every single hat in our business? This can only result in one eventuality … you will burnout and you will “lose that loving feeling.” So if you are ready to love your business again the answer lies in just three simple steps.

  • Allow yourself to take a break
  • Admit you can’t do it alone
  • Open yourself up to finding your mojo again

Allowing yourself to take a break is something entrepreneurs often forget. It is like we are waiting for someone else to give us permission to take time away. My husband reminded me this week I was an entrepreneur and I make my own schedule so I didn’t have to answer to anyone if I wanted a day off. So why is it some of us feel guilty when we take a day off and unplug? I believe that entrepreneurs are some of the most hard-working people out there, yet we are the ones that are going at it full tilt and not taking time to relax and recharge. This is an important first step to getting your loving feeling back. So go ahead (not that you need my permission) take a break and recharge. If you are like me, your production level will sky rocket as a result.

Take a moment and think about your personal life. Think about your family, your friends, your community and all the other support networks you have. We wouldn’t dare think about going through life alone, yet many of us are going through business alone. Why is that? You need support. You need peers, you need a community, you need a team. One of the best investments you can make in your business is to share one of your hats with someone else. Taking the first hat off is always the hardest, but when you do you will wonder what took you so long. So I encourage you take that first step and invest in a bookkeeper, a sales manager or in my opinion the best investment; a Virtual Assistant!

Finally on those dark days I always look for some words of encouragement or motivation to inspire me once again. A call with my business coach always brightens my day and recharges me, but on the days I don’t have a call scheduled I like to read inspirational quotes, watch motivational videos or listen to an inspiring teleclass.

The biggest thing to remember is you are not alone. Every one goes through this at one point or another. Just know that even though you are in business for yourself you are never by yourself!

When is the Right Time for a Virtual Assistant?

alarm clock placed on top of American bank notesI believe this question can be answered in one quick sentence, “it is always the right time for a Virtual Assistant!”

In all seriousness, as much as I believe every business owner needs a Virtual Assistant and needs one from the very beginning, there are a few telltale signs that it is definitely time for a Virtual Assistant.

  • You don’t have time in your day (each and every day) for the money-generating activities (eg. sales calls, client fulfillment, networking events, etc.) because your day is being filled with the day-to-day administrative duties that come with being an entrepreneur

  • You realize you are spending time learning applications and programs that you know will grow your business but you are still so confused you aren’t implementing what you have learned (or you absolutely hate the implementation part)

  • You are feeling overwhelmed by all the hats you need to wear and just want to get back to what you love and why you started your business in the first place

In working with my clients many are aware of the value of a Virtual Assistant but it is still very, very hard to give up the control. It isn’t until you take that leap of faith that you realize what you have been missing for all this time. This is the very reason I love what I do; seeing the results entrepreneurs are able to enjoy in their business when they take the “administrivia” off their plates and just concentrate on what they do best.

So back to the topic of when is the right time to get a Virtual Assistant? Bottom line is sooner rather than later. The problem most entrepreneurs make is they way too long and then they are so busy they can’t onboard a Virtual Assistant properly.

If you have big plans for your business in 2015, waiting until January to partner with a Virtual Assistant will put you behind the eight ball. It’s going to take time to conduct your search and get your Virtual Assistant “set up” to run with your ideas. This can take several weeks. Don’t allow your competition to beat you to the race because you aren’t ready to run with your ideas until weeks into the New Year.

So for all of you that are in holiday mode I encourage you to get out and start your search now. That way when you are ready to “hit the ball running” so to speak in January your Virtual Assistant will be there right beside you ready to run!

If you are ready to start the New Year right and have a VA on your team right from the start of the year, contact me today to help you with your search!

 


About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties getting started with your Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1

 

How to Find a Virtual Assistant Successfully

Virtual AssistantTime and again I speak with my clients and they have tried to find a Virtual Assistant, but had very little success from the results. As suggested in my previous blog post “Best 3 Places to Find a Virtual Assistant,” they start with their colleagues, but often times the referrals (because they are so great) have a full business and can’t take them on as a client.

I decided to help you answer all your questions about how to find a Virtual Assistant successfully like:

  • Why you absolutely need a VA on your team
  • What stops us from taking that step to find a Virtual Assistant; and
  • What a successful search looks like

By recording a class entitled “How to Find a Virtual Assistant Successfully (with a VA Matchmaker).”

So if you are ready to take your business to the next level, start making more money and successfully find your own Virtual Assistant, take 15 minutes and listen to this recording today!

Click Here to Listen Now

3 Steps to Getting Started with Your Virtual Assistant

First and foremost congratulations! One of the best things you have done for your business is hire a Virtual Assistant (and if you haven’t yet then these steps should be filed in an important place for when you do take the leap in your business). If you are like most, hiring your VA was just the first step and you are left thinking “now what?” So let’s get you started!
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Step #1 – Get it in Writing
Without a doubt protecting yourself is as important with your Virtual Assistant as with any other business relationship you enter. If your Virtual Assistant hasn’t already provided you with a document outlining his/her expectations for your relationship, be sure to ask. This will ensure there are no surprises in the future. For most this document is a simple agreement, but for some it can be a formal contract. Ensure that both parties have signed the document and agree to all of the conditions. You will want this agreement to outline the following critical success factors:
  • Pricing – this should not only include the actual price, but also pricing policies such as how time will be calculated, when billing will be done and how, and what guidelines are in place for price changes.
  • Responsibilities of Each Party – this should outline exactly what each party needs to “bring to the table.” For example who is responsible for final proofs? Does the Virtual Assistant need anything from the client to get started or proceed with a task? Outlining this in advance is important so nothing is overlooked.
  • Working hours – What hours will the Virtual Assistant be available? This is especially important for those working across time zones and you need to be aware of what time zone the working hours are being “quoted” in. Working hours should also outline what holidays the VA will be taking, including both statutory and personal holidays.
  • Communication – How will you communicate (telephone, email, skype, etc.), How often and how quickly will communications be returned? It is important that all of these factors be clearly outlined.
  • Standards – What will the average turnaround time be? What constitutes a rush job and are there extra fees for this? Some VAs charge a premium if a project is expected returned quicker than their usual turnaround time and it will be important for you to know this in advance.
  • Termination – how can either party terminate the contract? Just in case things don’t work out it will be important to know your “escape” clause!
Some like to also add in Non-Compete and Confidentiality clauses and if you are working on a project that this is important for you be sure to get it in writing. If you truly want to ensure your rights are protected consider having the agreement/contract written or reviewed by a lawyer.

Step #2 – Establish Tasks
As with any new relationship the biggest mistake we make is jumping in with both feet. I always suggest starting out small and as your relationship strengthens and you are ready to go longer term then add more tasks.
A great analogy my business coach once used was, it’s like dating. Way too many of us go for the gusto right away and get “married” immediately. Then when it doesn’t work out it is messy! Instead try a “blind date” this is the equivalent of a small project. If that works then go on a second date until you are ready to take the relationship to a more permanent commitment.

Step #3 – Sharing Files and Documents
Inevitably you will need to share documents and passwords with your Virtual Assistant so that he/she can do their job properly. This is a scary thought for a lot of people, especially before trust is really built. Here are my best tips for sharing with your Virtual Assistant.
  • Document sharing – use an online tool such as Dropbox or Google Docs. Make sure you maintain control of the Dropbox folder or the Google Doc ownership. This way if you sever the relationship you can simply stop sharing the files with your Virtual Assistant. Of course this will not stop your Virtual Assistant from keeping copies of your files, however what it will do is give you access to any files he/she creates on your behalf without worrying the VA will disappear taking your documents with them.
  • Passwords – without a doubt I would suggest using a password management tool such as passpack, lastpass or roboform, to name a few. These programs can allow you to share the usernames and passwords, but it can keep them hidden for your safety. Another good tool to use if you are having your VA do your social media is hootsuite. This way you only have to share a hootsuite login and not your personal passwords for your social media platforms.

Following these steps will definitely give you and your Virtual Assistant the best chance for success, but one last word of advice … open the lines of communication with your Virtual Assistant sooner rather than later. Ask them which of the three steps listed here they already have in place. After all there is no sense in recreating the wheel!


About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties getting started with your Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1

 

Good luck!

Best 3 Places to Find a Virtual Assistant

Teamwork Makes The Dream WorkOne of the most common questions I am asked by potential clients is “how do I find a Virtual Assistant?” Many people make the mistake of hiring a Virtual Assistant just because they met them at a networking function they attended and don’t take the time to make sure a) they are a good personality fit; and b) they actually have the skillset you need in your business. Finding a quality Virtual Assistant means doing a little research and today I am going to share with you the best 3 places to look for your ideal Virtual Assistant.

  1. Your Colleagues

First and foremost you should try asking your friends and colleagues who they are using as their Virtual Assistant. Referrals are a great first place to look because when someone else is recommending a Virtual Assistant it is usually because they are doing a “bang up job!” People love to share their “great finds” and it is the same with a Virtual Assistant.

  1. Online Directories

Another great place to look is Virtual Assistant online directories. Many of these websites will have a large database of Virtual Assistants who have joined their membership. This is a great resource for finding a number of Virtual Assistants all in one place! To find one of these directories simply go to google and type in “virtual assistant online directory.”

  1. A Virtual Assistant Matchmaker

A Virtual Assistant matchmaker is another great place to look for a Virtual Assistant. They will take the time to vet your Virtual Assistant for you so you know they have the skills you need in your business.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant for your business is a great investment! Having a Virtual Assistant in your corner means that you will have more time to spend on the money-generating activities and once you take this next step your business will soar to greater heights!

About the Author:

Yvonne WeldYvonne Weld is a Virtual Assistant matchmaker and she helps entrepreneurs find their ideal Virtual Assistant so they can have more time to focus on making more money in their business.

If you are having difficulties finding your ideal Virtual Assistant or have questions simply about Virtual Assistants in general, schedule a free VA Q&A where I can help you navigate the Virtual Assistant world!  https://www.timetrade.com/book/66TR1