When Should You Start Outsourcing To A Virtual Assistant (Scale Your Online Business)

Sophie Kessner

Sophie Kessner

Founder & CEO of The Sacred CEO™ Agency, Co-Founder of Online Business Automator and Creator of ScaleUP

When Should You Start Outsourcing To A Virtual Assistant (Scale Your Online Business)

The Sacred CEO™ Radio
The Sacred CEO™ Radio
When Should You Start Outsourcing To A Virtual Assistant (Scale Your Online Business)
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You’re killing it. You’re doing things. You’re making shit happen. When is it time to outsource to a VA or other support? Short answer, yesterday. Long answer, read the blog.

Hey, hey, thank you so much for reading this blog. This is the Sacred CEO. And in this blog, we are going to be talking about how to know when is the right time to hire a virtual assistant or other support inside of your business as an online female entrepreneur? Before we know who to hire or when to hire or what to hire, we need to know what in the heck is going on in our company and in our business, which means we need to do some tracking and some assessment of ourselves.

Identify Your Needs

The biggest mistake that I have seen time and time again when it comes to hiring is people not knowing what they’re needing. Why? Because oftentimes when you’re a solopreneur and you’re running your own company and you’re doing all the things, you’re wearing all of the hats in the business, which means there’s very likely not any systems about how to do any of the things that you want done. Which means that if you were to bring somebody in to help you, you are going to have to take the time to explain to them how you do things the way that you do them and teach them and show them, which is why before we go into hiring, we want to actually get clear on assessing your time. Where it’s being spent, how it’s being spent, if it needs to be being spent. And what time can we actually start to delegate task-wise for other people to manage for us?

So if you want a super helpful sheet on how to actually go ahead and track and get clear on all of the things that we’re going to be walking you through over the next few minutes here, go ahead and click on the link below to take the Business Bottleneck quiz. Inside of that, we offer a really powerful tool for time tracking, it’s called the Time Analysis spreadsheet, and it is a completely automated spreadsheet that will help you get clear on everything we’re about to go over.

Step 1: Creating A Framework

So step one, what we want to do is create a timeframe over the next five to seven business days when you’re actively working or in your flow. And you’re going to write down everything that you do from the minute you get up in your business, to the minute you get off of your business. And this is specifically business related. So it doesn’t need to be what you ate for breakfast. It doesn’t need to be when you showered. It’s just anything that correlates to the running place of the company.

So what’s happening on social media? Are you showing up? Are you answering DMs? Are you creating stories? What’s happening with sales? Are you creating content? Every little detail, we want. If it’s helpful, you can go ahead and either do this at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day and review and say, “Okay, cool. What did I do today?” It’s helpful if you have it as accurate as possible, but also we understand, you’re human. The goal here, five to seven days of accurate data. Once you have that, then what we want to do is reflect back and see, what of these things can actually be deleted? Meaning we get rid of it, it doesn’t need to be happening in the business. So you can in some way, automate this so that you don’t have to do it anymore.

And if it can’t be automated, can we delegate this? Can somebody else take on this thing that you are spending all of this time doing? Yes or no? Chances are, it’s a yes. If absolutely nobody can do the thing that you are having to do, then it is a do task. It is a task just for you. But our goal here is to figure out what are the things can we mostly get rid of, try to automate, and if we need to, we delegate so that you can start to get your time and your freedom back. This is going to be the first thing that we want to do before we think about who we’re going to hire and what we’re going to hire for, so that we can get actual real data and inside on exactly what it is we need.

Step 2: Identify Your Priorities 

Once you have this data, the next thing you’re going to do is start to get clear on what are your top priorities here? Is this something that can be all in one role, now that you know the specific things that you need support with? Or are two very different types of traits or skills are personalities that are needed for these things? An example of this would be maybe you spend a lot of time writing social media content, and you also spend a lot of time sitting back and editing videos.

You might be able to find a really amazing social media manager or somebody to help you write your content, but they might not be the best video editor. So you may need to find another person who can do video editing for you, which is totally okay. What you need to get clear on is, does this role that I’m creating for whoever this person is going to be need to be split into specific pieces, or does it actually make sense for all of these roles and responsibilities to fit for one person? When you get clear on what the roles and responsibilities are and what you’re needing, the next step is to get clear on what’s most important for you in a team member?

What is your budget for hiring a team member? Have these numbers in mind before you go into actually hiring so you can know, and you can stay on the front end, “This is my budget. This is what I have that I can pay right now for this type of support.” My encouragement is not to be sticky with your money. You want to make sure that you are hiring quality, that you’re paying people equitably and that you are sourcing people in a way that is ethical. Yes, you can absolutely find VAs and support overseas. Please be responsible in your practices and how you pay out different team members and how you hire. Cheaper labor is not always the best. You really want to focus on quality, especially if you want to feel really good with the work that’s being delivered.

When we’re going into hiring, now that you know what the role is, you know what your requirements are for the type of person you want to bring on, you know what the responsibilities are, where do we look? Two places that I love, one all of your existing social networks. If you have an email list, send out an email to your list with the details about the role, what it looks like and how to apply.

Alternatively, you can use platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to also post a role online and you can have people apply through the platform and vet in that way. Then what you want to do is you want to start to actually go through and filter through all of the potential applicants and make sure that you really love and you really like at least two to three. Then when you found your top two to three choices, go ahead and set up calls and our times to connect whether it’s via Zoom or via VoiceTone, over the phone, or if you’re just wanting to ask additional questions in the DMs, if there’s portfolios, because you want to see actual quality work. These are the things that you’re looking for to make sure that this person is actually a really good fit for you.

Step 3: Identify Pay

The final step inside of this process, depending on what the role is deciding on whether it’s going to be an hourly salary or per project type of role. And you’ll get to negotiate this with each person that you bring on and that you hire. My encouragement when you’re first starting out is to start with a project based role and/or to start hourly so that you can get a feel for this person’s skill sets, how you work together and what’s actually needed inside of this role, because you may not know. You may know how quick it is for you to do certain things, but it may take somebody else a little longer.

You may know how hard some things are, but other people might have them be much easier depending on their skill set and their preferences. So when you find your unicorn, your person, my encouragement is to offer a paid testing project where you can get a feel and you can pay them for their time, especially if this is something that’s high stakes, whether it’s bringing them on for a really important role when it comes to client management or for graphic design, and you can pay them for a small project that will only take a few hours. So you can get a feel for their work.

If you found your person and you know that they’re a rockstar and you trust them and you’re excited about it, final steps are to actually negotiate with the process for coming onto your team and creating a really seamless way to onboard. So you want to make sure you have everything ready to go and plan to spend the next one to two months really getting this person familiar with you and your world and how you work. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that a new team member is going to come in and know everything about you and how you run and how you operate and make no mistakes.

Training Your New Hire

We want to take the time to train, to bring somebody into a culture, to have them understand our processes, our ways of working, what our preferences are and vice versa. We want to ask the questions and make sure that if they have questions, they get them answered. If they need support, they’re able to ask for that. If they’re not sure about something, they can tell us that.

It’s your job and your role as the founder and as the CEO of your company to create a safe and equitable space for each of your employees. Once you’ve found this person and you are ready to go and they have said yes and they are excited, the final steps is to present and offer letter to them with the details about exactly what the role is, what your agreement is on compensation, what the time frames are for payment, and any type of agreements, about renegotiation for potential payment moving forward in the future. And that is it. You get to sign contracts, pay, onboard and you are ready to go.

So what are the best qualities for when you go to hire? What I personally look for is, is this somebody that has the same values that I have? And I have to be upfront about what my values are, especially in my filtering and my posting for the job that I’m hiring for. Second is, are they an amazing communicator? Do I feel like it’s easy to connect and they answer questions well, and we’re able to understand each other really easily, and they’re able to even ask hard questions that maybe I wouldn’t think of? The final thing for me is obviously making sure that they are the right fit for the right role. That they actually have the skills that are needed, and I’m not just hiring somebody solely based on personality, but I’m also making sure that the personality and the personal responsibility matches. All of that being said, if you want additional support with figuring out who to hire, when to hire, or if now is even the time to hire, please go ahead and take the Business Bottleneck quiz. It takes literally two minutes.

You can click on the link right here and it will link you to it. Once you finish that quiz, you’ll get a custom scaling strategy specific to your answers that will help you figure out what exactly it is that you need to do. And as a bonus, let us know if you’d like our special sheet, here is a picture of it right here. And as a special bonus, if you would also like a copy of our time analysis tracking sheet to support you in this process, go ahead and email us at Hey@thesacred.ceo , say, “Time analysis spreadsheet.” And we will get that sent over to you.

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