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5 signs it might be time to consider a virtual assistant

Solopreneurs and business owners typically share a set of attributes that set them aside: they are proud of what they do, persistent, decisive, willing to take risks, visionaries, and much more… although during the start-up phase these attributes are incredibly valuable they get used to managing everything, but, as the business grows this can also work against them.

The following are 5 typical signs experienced by entrepreneurs when they are trying to do more than they can effectively manage, and hence could benefit from some extra virtual help.

1. Feeling overwhelmed with workload

This is one of the most typical signs that you might need an additional set of hands for your business. The sense of having too much to do and not enough hours during the day is a pretty good sign you could use a pair of extra hands in your business.

Felling overwhelmed typically brings together higher levels of stress, frustration, feeling that you might be missing something important and eventually, health issues. At this point, entrepreneurs are most probably sacrificing hours that should be spent with their family to do “stuff” for their business.

2. Customer care is falling through the cracks

Being unable to do all the necessary follow ups with clients, taking too long to answer back client’s e-mails or phone calls, having to prioritize some clients over others since due to lack of time to follow up with all of them are also signs that some extra help might be worth it.

The majority of the follow ups with clients like coordinating appointments, making post sales calls, answering back on simple e-mails can be easily performed by a virtual assistant since these activities do not require physical presence.

3. Administrative work keeps piling up

Administrative work is important, but never more important than focusing on growing a business. If activities such as: bookkeeping, getting an additional phone number, paying bills on time and such are getting delayed or becoming a challenge to accomplish with the right timing, it’s also a good sign that some administrative help is needed.

Administrative tasks are one of the first things entrepreneurs can benefit from delegating. Why? They consume time, don’t add much value to a small business, and can be easily delegated. If you are an entrepreneur you might be having trouble organizing, doing administrative work is a hassle, and it would be a relief to not have to do these tasks. Finding someone that can help you get organized and do all this tasks might be worth considering.

4. Missing Appointments

Missing appointments frequently, realizing you had a meeting 1 hour after it was scheduled to start and recurrently asking to re-schedule appointments due to lack of enough hours during the day are also common signs that you have more on your plate than you can actually handle.

5. Overflowing e-mail inbox

Who hasn’t experienced, at least once, having an e-mail box with hundreds of e-mails or feeling frustrated of not being able to go through the pile quickly enough before more e-mails are staking up?

If this happens from time to time it might be ok, but if this has been the rule over the past couple of months or more, then it’s time to consider some additional help.

A virtual assistant can answer simple e-mails, schedule appointments with clients when needed, answer simple questions about products, write follow up e-mails, and more so you can answer only those e-mails that can’t be answered by anyone else and finally experiencing the joy of an e-mail inbox that has only a few key e-mails pending to answer.

Virtual assistants can performed a variety of work ranging from simple administrative task to specialized work such as web programming, and marketing but in essence they work remotely and can cost you a fraction of what a full time employee would cost you.

If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner experiencing at least 2 of the signs described above, maybe it’s a good time to consider a virtual assistant as a cost effective way to delegate some work.

An entrepreneur’s time is most valuably spent on those tasks that “move the needle”, all the rest might be good candidates for delegating, especially when they are administrative in nature and can be performed virtually.

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