Is hiring a VA the answer to your prayers? Maybe not.

You may have heard many times (from HUGE names like Amy Porterfield and Stu McLaren) that you NEED to get a Virtual Assistant. They’re amazing – everyone should get one. They’ll help you with everything and kick your business into high gear!”

Are VAs amazing? Hell yes! 

Does everyone need one? Nope. Or rather, not always right now.

To clarify, when I say VA or Virtual Assistant, I’m talking about a General Admin VA. Someone who’ll handle all the little administrative tasks that eat up your time like:

  • Invoicing clients
  • Sending contracts
  • Research
  • Customer support
  • Loading your email newsletter or blog
  • Scheduling your client calls and managing your calendar

That sort of thing.

I often have people coming to me who are desperate to hire a VA. But when we dig deep and look at what is actually holding them back from reaching their goals, a VA often isn’t the answer at all. At least, not a General Admin VA.

There are many types of VAs, each with their own skill set. The key lies in defining the role you need to fill first and allowing that to dictate the type of VA (or other subcontractor) to look for.

Having the wrong person in the right role (or the right person in the wrong role) is like hiring a plumber who changed his own oil once to completely rebuild the engine of your 1973 Corvette — you might be pleasantly surprised, but more likely your classic car will wind up in the scrapyard.

So how do you know if an Admin VA is for you?

First, you need to think about what your major goals are and what you need to do in your business to reach those goals. Then figure out what’s holding you back from doing what you know you need to do. What hurdles are slowing you down and what is already in place and working for you?

For instance, your goal might be to double your annual revenue by increasing sales to your membership site or course. 

You already have this asset – it sells, and your members or students love what you’re doing. But your sales are not increasing because you’ve exhausted your list and haven’t been working on getting new people into your sphere. 

To reach your goal, you determine you need to quadruple your email list and get yourself seen more.

As a social media guru, you have no problem creating content. You love creating copy and graphic design and all things Insta — including coming up with a great content schedule. You also have a list of podcasts you want to be on and blogs you want to submit guest posts to — pitching is the easy part. 

What’s holding you back is the admin around it all. You just never seem to have time to:

  • Load your content and utilize your brilliant content plan
  • Post your blogs
  • Respond to client emails
  • Follow up on pitches
  • Organize your content so you can reuse pieces easily
  • Invoice your clients (and that ol’ bank balance is starting to dip – I better pop into Quickbooks and shoot Lucy that invoice for 10k!)

In a case like this, yes. A General Admin VA might just be the perfect solution for you.

But, what if we changed things up just a bit? What if you’re not a social media guru, and instead, you’re a business coach?

Content development doesn’t come naturally to you, but you are great at supporting your clients. You only ever have a handful at any one time, and they stay with you for one to two years minimum. Invoicing and collecting payments is all automatic and you feel completely comfortable and in control of this part of your business. 

What’s holding you back is the act of generating reach. You have no idea how to:

  • Create graphics
  • Write copy, including blogs (though you eek one out every month or so)
  • Create, or even follow, a social media plan
  • Engage strategically with people on social media
  • Craft a pitch that will have people begging you to be on their podcast

In this case, no. A General Admin VA is likely not the right solution for you right now. Instead, try looking for a Social Media Manager & Content Developer, or at the very least, a VA who specializes in Social Media and PR.

So you’ve done the work and are positive that an Admin Virtual Assistant is who you need. Now what?

If you’re confident that a General Admin VA is what you need, the next step is to determine if now is the best time to get one. 

To be clear, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever “be ready” to bring someone new onto the team. The question is, are you willing?

Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you willing to step forward despite your fear? Being able to push past the fear is powerful. There’s always fear around bring someone onto your team. Will you move forward anyway?
  • Are you willing to give up control over how things get done? Are you comfortable with telling someone what you need and letting them figure out the ins and outs of how to do it? Of course you should provide walkthroughs and training as needed. But are you willing to let another business owner step in and work beside you in their zone of genius doing things their way?
  • Are you willing to pay for the work? A general admin VA costs anywhere between $30 – $65/hr (though $45 to $65 is typically where OBMs price themselves). Expect to pay at least $500 per month. Sure, you may find someone for less than that, but if you’re comfortable with that amount, you’re less likely to be surprised later on. A great VA helps you reach your goals quickly, which typically leads to more revenue and more work being given to them. Go into it expecting to expand your relationship, not pinching every penny.
  • Are you willing to interview a few people and give the hiring and training process the diligence it’s due? If you’re hoping to have a friend shoot you the contact info for their niece (who is “really good with Excel”) so you can hire her right away because you really need a  General Admin VA, like, yesterday – you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Take your time, interview a bunch of people, ask for solid referrals, and dig around a bit. Identify red flags and trust your gut. 

If you’re willing to do the above, and you’ve determined a General Admin VA is the right person for you, fantastic! 

It’s time to get out there and find one!

Still not sure if a General Admin VA is right for you? Book a chat with me, and we’ll figure it out together.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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