It’s ironic that I’d be writing this blog post on the best time to hire a virtual assistant when I’m working with a client who hired me before the business idea fully materialized.
That alone should be the answer to the question: The best time to hire a virtual assistant is whenever you want to.
Don’t worry; I’ll go more in-depth with this post.
There are several ways to gauge whether you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant.
When your business starts overflowing
Your business might have started as a one-person show. You were able to juggle every hat that your company needed, from bookkeeper to customer support specialist. You wrote every blog post, e-mail blast, and social media content.
Then something magical happened. You started to gain a following, some traction, and the cash started rolling in. Your business hit a point where you’re even beginning to owe taxes because you made so much money.
Your inbox begins to overfill with people needing customer support. There are too many people tweeting you questions, and you find yourself bogged down with all the administrative duties of being a business owner.
To make matters worse, MailChimp can no longer support your business’s needs, and you migrated to Ontraport. You don’t have the time or patience to figure out how to use Ontraport on your own, but you don’t know how to teach someone else how to use it.
When your business gets to the point that you can’t handle all the hats anymore, it’s a great time to delegate.
In a situation like this, you might hire one virtual assistant to handle everything (yes, they exist!) or you might hire several virtual assistants to manage the parts of your business. You could use a jack-of-all-trades VA or get a customer support VA, an Ontraport VA, and a social media VA.
That part is entirely up to you.
Resisting the call to outsource may stunt the growth of your business. To make it worse, if you let your customer support e-mails rot in your inbox, you might lose the potential customers. People might think you’re cold because you don’t respond to their tweets or DM’s. When growing your business starts to get painful, you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant.
When you have the budget
Knowing when you’re making enough money to hire a virtual assistant can be difficult for many business owners.
Truthfully, it’s as simple as listing out what the tasks are and then putting a number on how much you’re willing to pay to have those tasks done. What is the hourly rate that you would pay someone to make those tasks happen for you?
Keep in mind that technical skillsets, such as knowing how to use specific software, will run you higher than a virtual assistant who does basic data entry.
First, write down the most painful part of your business.
For example, you might want someone to upload and schedule your blog posts. That’s all. Nothing too difficult.
The task should take no more than one hour per week, and you’re willing to pay someone $15 per hour to make that happen.
Here’s a basic breakdown of what you should be paying your virtual assistant:
- $5-$15/hour: Entry level virtual assistants.
- $20/hour: Experienced virtual assistants with basic tech knowledge.
- $30/hour: Virtual assistant who needs minimal training or management.
- $40/hour: Expert and seasoned virtual assistant
- $50/hour: Top of the line virtual assistant.
To read more about how much you should pay your virtual assistant, click here.
If your business is unpredictable, make sure you are budgeting out for a virtual assistant in advance. Put aside a certain amount of money, every month, that will be used to pay for your virtual assistant.
There’s no big secret
That’s all there is to it. You should hire a virtual assistant when your business feels a little painful, and you have the budget to hire a virtual assistant.
Some business owners never feel emotionally ready to hire a virtual assistant, and that’s all right.
If you’re not sure about being emotionally ready for a virtual assistant, hire a virtual assistant on a trial basis. Give them one to two months on the job and then do a review of how you feel about the virtual assistant.
- Have they added value to your business?
- Do they mostly pay for themselves through the work they do?
- Has it made your headache better or worse?
You can always let go of a virtual assistant if you decide that your business is not in the right stage yet.
If you need help with the hiring process, be sure to download our pre-hiring virtual assistant checklist below.