As a business owner, are you struggling with a to-do list a mile long? Are you constantly searching for lost files, returning calls and trying to figure out how to create a decent looking PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow’s meeting – often all at the same time?
Consider this: what if you could hand off the tasks that you don’t like doing to someone who LOVES to handle the details? How much more time would that give you to create new business ideas, increase your profits or to just have dinner with your family each night?
How’s this for a solution?
You may have heard of a niche market in the work-from-home industry called Virtual Assisting. Basically, a Virtual Assistant is someone (usually a woman) who works out of her home and provides a variety of administrative services to small business professionals. Work is exchanged via e-mail, fax or courier. For more hands-on help, a Mobile Administrative Assistant can come to your home office to help you get organized and help you stay that way. Most Mobile Assistants also offer virtual services as well.
Mobile and Virtual Assistants are business owners themselves, work on a contract-basis, and get paid by the hour. Many work on monthly retainer to guarantee their time. As contract workers, they receive no benefits (i.e. no health insurance, retirement benefits or paid time off) which eliminates the hassle of full- or part-time employment obligations for the small business owner.
These assistants love to-do lists. They love the details. And most are experts at creating presentations of any sort.
The numbers really work, too. Suppose your hourly rate is $125 and it takes you, on average, five hours a week to enter business cards into your contract management software, send out correspondence, manage your calendar, and make time for filing and other office work. And just for fun, throw in another hour a week “searching” for lost papers, notes and numbers. That’s six hours of non-income generating work per week (or a whopping 24 hours per month!).
In all, those tasks could be costing you $750 a week.
Now, review that to-do list I mentioned earlier. In red, circle the things you love doing. Put an big X next to things you do, but would gladly hand off. Cross through those things you hate and wish never to do again.
If you delegated those things you put an X next to or completely crossed through, how would that change your to-do list?
Suppose you decide to hire a Mobile or Virtual Assistant on retainer for four hours a week at $45/hour. She spends two hours in your office helping with filing and managing the mountain of paper and mail. The other two hours she works virtually on a variety of projects for you. And because she loves the details, she works faster and more efficiently than you on those “other” tasks. What took you six hours only takes her four. Guess what? Those four hours only cost you $180 a week.
You save 100% of your time and $570.
PLUS, you’ve now freed up six hours of YOUR time per week to strategize and go after new business. AND you’ve stopped doing tasks that you don’t love. See how this works?
In order to grow your business – and retain your sanity – hiring a Mobile or Virtual Assistant as part of your team can be a lifesaver. And it’s worth noting that although they tend to work with six or eight clients, a long-term working relationship is still the goal for Mobile and Virtual Assistants, because your success is their success. (And the numbers still work if you think about hiring someone part-time or even full-time, albeit more of a commitment to go this route.)
If you need help hiring a Mobile or Virtual Assistant, don’t hesitate to call Mattson Business Services, Inc. at (704) 553-8082.
[This article was originally published in the Women With Know How Guide, 2009]