A friend of mine runs his business at $150,000 to $300,000 a month, depending on time of year, and net profit is 70%-80%… with 3 VAs that he pays less than $5,000 a month to, total!
Let’s put this in to perspective. Most small to medium sized businesses run at a 10%-35% profit margin. I’m talking net profit, after owner’s pay… and I’m talking a true business with staff and the owner is not the main sales driver.
A few years ago he was telling myself and a group I was with all about how he was building this company… and the main thing that stuck with me was LEVERAGE… through software, tech, social media, and virtual assistants (VA). He works on an island, at home, with 3 employees… that aren’t even in the same hemisphere.
At the time I had just recently hired a VA and was splitting her time with a buddy of mine. I had just began considering having one full time for personal admin tasks, etc. I had never considered building my entire business this way… but this one conversation opened the door for me and I never looked back.
Read to the very bottom for my #1 tip on hiring a super star Virtual Assistant.
Now, with Covid and the coming BOOM of remote work, I am constantly asked for tips and help in hiring and managing VAs.
So let’s get some false information out of the way first with what VAs are NOT:
- They are NOT all from the Philippines
- They are NOT all $3.00 an hour
- They are NOT just for admin or cold calling
- They are NOT robots that you should just boss around, expect to know how to do work without training, or fire on the spot… if you have a soul
- They are NOT your company’s saving grace
Now that we got the NOT’s out of the way, let’s go over some of my best tips:
Why should you hire a VA
- VAs are a great and cost effective way to delegate tasks so that you can keep climbing to focus solely on the most valuable tasks within your business. They don’t require you to get more office space and depending on where they’re located you can avoid Payroll taxes and even pay a fraction of a standard local salary
When should you hire a VA
- As soon as possible… consider all the tasks you do daily/weekly and the income you’re making. Can you delegate certain tasks that are lower value and you don’t enjoy doing? Start there.
How should you hire a VA
- There are many great services to hire VAs. If you have a very simple and repeatable process and do not want to train them, I recommend a staffing agency. If you have a more custom process and want to train them to be a part of your team, I recommend a site like Upwork and/or Fiverr
How to manage VAs
- If you have local employees, manage them the exact same, assuming you’re a good manager. During meetings, have them on Zoom/Skype. Include them in the group chats, etc. If you don’t have any local employees, use these same practices. There’s a lot less difference than you might think.
Tools I use to communicate and coordinate
- Slack, G Drive, Zoom, Asana/Trello
Tasks I have delegated to VAs
- Property Management, Transaction Coordinator, Software Developer, Operations Assistant, Lead Managers, Admin, Personal Assistant, Graphic Design, Podcast Editor
My #1 tip for hiring a super star VA
- When you make your job posting on the hiring website, include a tripwire. Something in the job posting that is easily found but has a specific instruction. Ones I have used is a question like “what is your favorite color” or “what is your favorite food”… this will weed out every applicant that is just copy and pasting and posting to 100’s of job posts. Get 5 strong applicants and have them all do the exact same “demo task” and then pick whoever did it best.
I have a couple great episodes on the Life Worth Chasing podcast all about Virtual Assistants. Use the links below to subscribe and download:
PS: If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a 5-star review in the iTunes store. It helps more than you know.