Are you a small business owner, budding entrepreneur and you’ve become swamped with repetitive tasks? Then you may be considering hiring an assistant. Since most of your work is online anyway, hiring a virtual assistant (VA) – may be the best choice. Qualified VAs can be found through general freelancing sites like and , and also through specialized VA sites like and . Before hiring a VA, though, you should consider the following:
Even though you are overloaded with work, the type of work you have may not be possible to delegate to your VA easily. Make a list of repetitive tasks that can reasonably be completed by your VA. Estimate the time it would take you to complete those tasks yourself before deciding if it’s worth delegating them to someone else.
It’s essential to have an easy-to-understand system in place before you hire a VA, otherwise you’ll end up wasting time explaining and correcting rather than saving time by delegating. You could write out the details in a document, but it might be easier to record a screencast using a free tool like . Simply complete your task as you normally would, then send the screencast recording to your VA. Be ready to walk your VA through the task first time around.
You may think your work can't be cheaply outsourced to a VA in a developing country. Then you must remember that a good VA can be essential for the growth of your business. You wouldn’t hire a lead-engineer after a 5-minute Skype interview, so don’t expect your VA – who will, ideally, be doing tasks in your name and so is, in many ways, more essential to your business – to work for peanuts.