Grow With Jen
Before You Hire A Virtual Assistant
You need to have your business structured before hiring help!

I am a huge fan of hiring help. I currently have two members on my team. One is focused on my marketing, and the other is in production. I am planning on hiring more team members in the next 12 months, but right now we have a pretty efficient little team.

This setup has let me focus on keeping my schedule flexible, which is of utmost important to me as I finish out my MBA and wait patiently for my kiddos to go back to full time in person schooling in the fall. But getting to this place has taken a LONG time.

Mostly because what I do is very specialized, and while low-code software isn't the most complex thing, translating user needs to software is a delicate balance and takes a lot of "working backwards" into a solution. So having someone with the technical know-how to do the time intensive things while also flagging concerns and issues I need to review is crucial.

But even more than that, having team members who can work independently, know my standards, and can execute based on prior solutions doesn't happen by just hiring the right people. It also involves a lot of training and being available when they need answers.

This is why having a library of all the details they need to be successful is crucial. If you can't explain what is in your head, you can't expect others to be able to execute to your level. You will also have to spend time training and motivating your team. You also have to set different expectations of when things will get done if you are not in ultimate control of production. A healthy dose of slowing down and explaining in more detail and a mountain of patience will be needed to properly onboard new team members.

Usually, the first hire a business owner will make is a virtual assistant. This will be someone who takes on not necessarily important but often urgent tasks in your business. This can be responding to emails and inquiries (yes, inquiries are important but not something a person with a script can't handle), managing your calendar, or syndicating your content so you aren't messing with schedulers and so forth.

This virtual assistant can be helpful and may be able to do things that are in the grey area of your business (meaning scheduling start dates, since appointment schedulers can handle appointment scheduling), or ones that need a human touch, but not your touch.

In order for a virtual assistant to be helpful, you really can't just hand them your inbox and run. You honestly can't do the drop and run with anyone you bring in to help your business, let's be real). You will need to give them template emails + scripts to follow, a flow chart of when you actually need to get involved, and response time expectations. If they are also handling the front end of your sales process, having your basic booking information will be crucial.

Having detailed expectations and steps actually has a formal name in business - they are called Standard Operating Procedures. You can prepare these for all aspects of your business, but a great entry point is to create Standard Operating Procedures (or SOP's) for your Virtual Assistant. They will help you standardize your first line of defense for your business, and take some of the "low value" but high need items off your plate. This will keep you fresh for your sales calls or production in your business.

If you are thinking of hiring a VA in the next 3-6 months (or on fire to hire one now) then it's the perfect time to get started on your SOP's. If you need help getting these together, I created a course on how to get all of them set up and working for your business! Check it out in my store.

I hope this helps you get some ideas of what you need to do BEFORE you start the hiring process of bringing on a Virtual Assistant!

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