As you already know, I am a big fan of the Pareto Principle. The idea behind the principle is that 20% of your effort/work will generate 80% of the results (as 20% of your clients will generate 80% of your business). So if you want to become efficient, you better identify the 20% soon ;-). However, having the 80% done to get the last 20% is sometimes important too.
So how can you manage to complete 100% of the work to get 100% of the results without having a nervous breakdown? Through the help of a Virtual Assistant (VA).
I briefly mentioned it on TFB (and I will discuss this matter in my monthly newsletter), we have hired a virtual assistant recently to help us out working on administrative tasks (the 80%). The primary goal behind having a VA was to be able to concentrate on the promotion and creation of content. We are preparing the launch of another website and we are almost done with the purchase of another blog (then again, more details in my newsletter 😉 ). Therefore, we definitely needed someone to take care of the tasks that didn’t necessarily add the most value.
Can You Outsource Everything To Your VA?
Definitely not! At first, there is definitely a bond of confidence that needs to be built. One of the major issues of having someone living at the other end of the world is that you don’t have a direct contact with him. Sure, there is email and Skype to communicate, but in the end, you can’t be 100% sure that you can trust him.
So outsourcing tasks that are repetitive and with a smaller impact on your business can be a great idea. On the other hand, I would not outsource my email or advertising management right now. These are too important for me to let someone else deal with my accounts.
How to work with your VA
For the first month, we had a weekly conference call for about 20-30 minutes. We discussed what had been completed and what were the next tasks to work on. Since you can’t read body language, it is important to send documents to support your conversations and to coach your VA properly. Communication is key with this kind of situation. Tell the person what you like and what needs improvement. Be careful, a few words can sound harsh if someone can’t see your face when you say them. Be nice and patient, you will see the fruit of your labour (or your VA’s labour 😉 ).
Can you have a VA for other types of job?
I actually believe that if I was self employed in this business, I would hire a VA. You can find really good virtual assistants that speak English with no accent. Therefore, they can make calls, book appointments, write business letters for only a fraction of the price you would pay for a fully trained assistant in North America. I must say that I am quite impressed by the level of English of my own VA and she is certainly cheaper than any assistant I could find here 😉 (and I don’t have to supply a computer and an office!)
Virtual Assistant for students
Imagine how cheap it would have been to have all your papers corrected by an English teacher in India or Thailand? If I was a student, I would certainly look for people who have a master’s degree in my field and ask them to correct or review my papers 😉 This would be one of the best investments ever 😉 hehehe!
Final thoughts on Virtual Assistants
I think that it will become an important trend in several offices in the years to follow. The fear of having someone working for you 10,000km away will slowly disappear to instead save huge economies on your business fees….
Oh! And if you want updates of my online adventures (including my experience with a VA), be sure to register for my newsletter (it’s free and you get additional content that is not found on The Financial Blogger!)
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