Ever notice that successful people are surrounded by a dedicated team? Entrepreneurs may start out as a solo act, but growing your business will likely require growing your team. Often the first person hired is an assistant to help with day to day tasks. Here are a few considerations when looking for the right candidate:
Cost savings: Work is coming in (a great “problem” to have) but is this the right time to bring on someone else as support staff? Here’s how you figure this out- list all of the activities you’re doing outside of your core role that you don’t like or feel energized by and the time it takes you do complete a task. Then multiply the hours you spend on these tasks by your hourly rate. This is how much it “costs” you to complete tasks that could be delegated to someone else. Compare how much the task “costs” you to how much an assistant would charge for the completing the same task. For example:
Let’s say you own a hair salon but don’t particularly like writing or updating your salon’s blog. You spend 4 hours per week blogging, and usually make $100 per hour as a stylist. $100 x 4 hours = $400 . Blogging is costing you $400 per week because you could better use that time to serve paying customers. If you find a copy writer/freelance blogger who charges $25/hour to do this work for you and she or he can complete it in 2 hours per week, then you’re saving money and time! $25 x 2 hours = $50 ; $400 – $50 = $350 net
Scope and length of assignment: Do you need a virtual assistant who can do all work online, or do you need a personal assistant that can be physically present in your office or business? If what you need can be done soley online (e.g. blogging, customer service emails, ordering supplies, etc.) then a virtual assistant is fine. If you need someone to physically transport items for you and there’s no delivery service, e.g. do filing, pick up drycleaning or your children, then a personal assistant may be the way to go. Keep the length of the assignment in mind as well, since this may affect how long your assistant can work with you. College students are generally available in the Summer, but their time is severely limited once school starts in the Fall.
Candidate source: Referrals from friends and family are always great, as this shortens the vetting process, but if no one close to you has yet hired an assistant, there are some great sources online. Two websites I’ve used are Care.com and Thumbtack.com; both have various types of freelancers and make it super easy for your to input your requirements and search for a qualified candidate.