The Balancing Act

Being an entrepreneur and running your own business can seem like an endless balancing act. You need to take on various roles within the company, seeing to every detail regularly. One of those details is the ever-present spectre of ROI or return on investment.

You are watching every cent, especially in the early days of a start-up. Why spend money on a Personal Assistant to make your life easier? You started this business; you can handle the office admin.

Office hours are for making sales or calling on clients. You can direct calls to your mobile phone while you’re out, do the invoicing and accounts at night.

Sounds like the path to riches, right? It might be, but it’s also the road to burn-out or an impoverished personal life. Sometimes a ‘solopreneur’ needs to ask for help.

More often than not, the help that’s really needed is with small things. Office admin, fielding phone calls, lunch reservations for an important meeting are little things that can make or break a business. Wouldn’t it be great to outsource the chores to a personal assistant?

The Value of Good Help

It’s often hard to understand that you need or deserve a personal assistant. When you’re putting in the long, hard hours, it feels like you can handle any responsibility.

Personal Assistants are for people who’ve ‘arrived’, the operators who’ve made it. They’re not for the person at the coalface with the rolled-up sleeves.

This was explicitly the case with one of our clients who started a small design agency. They began by handling all aspects of business, believing that personal assistants were reserved to CEOs of organisations such as Unilever.

As a result of this, it is common practice for new CEOs to be putting in 16- or 17-hour days into their work.

They handled client service, copywriting and production. One overworked designer sat in the ‘studio’ at home. Business hours were for calling on clients and prospecting for new business, as well as getting quotes and running print jobs.

Creative direction, copywriting, quoting, invoicing, written briefs happened at night. A typical day outside of work was sustained on fast food, coffee and about five hours sleep. Despite this, they couldn’t break through a billing ceiling of R85k per month.

No matter what work came in, how late he worked at night, it made no difference. New concepts, awesome campaign ideas, killer designs barely registered on the bottom line. Turnover just never climbed above that mark.

In a position where attempting to survive on break-even, it is hard to consider that having a virtual assistant is worth the investment. Especially with the mindset of having everything in control at this crucial point of the business’ development.

However, after hearing the success a friend had with a VA, he managed to be convinced to give the service a try.

Personal Assistant Takes Charge

The first traffic meeting involved a discussion of the status of current jobs. The PA quietly took notes on what was important. Afterwards, she came and asked for numbers of a few suppliers such as printers or repro houses and wanted sample quotes and invoices.

She slowly took over all quoting and billing. She fielded our calls, scheduled appointments, cajoled better prices and on-time delivery out of suppliers. The PA even started researching and identifying potential clients to call on.

As time passed, the client realised there was more time on his hands. He could call on new customers, follow new leads and have all the admin taken care of while he focused on the actual work.

It took three months to breach that R85k. Within a year, they were regularly billing four times that figure. Having a personal assistant increased productivity. It massively impacted their business.

He also started to see improvements in his health. Within a few short months, he had a social life again. He managed to get more sleep and ate better. Outsourcing chores to a personal assistant made an enormous impact on all aspects of his life.

A Virtual Revelation

A personal assistant can significantly change the rhythm and flow of any business. With technology and connectivity exploding, access to a range of services is just a phone call away.

Today, in the digital age, all the advantages of having a personal assistant are available in an off-site or remote solution through AVirtual.

Office administration, diary scheduling, telephone reception, bookkeeping, invoicing is just a few of the tasks you can outsource to a Virtual Personal Assistant.

Back in the analogue world, if you were to employ someone traditionally, they would need a desk. You would also need to provide a computer with its software and a printer, a phone, stationery, medical aid, UIF and so on.

With a Virtual Digital Personal Assistant, there are none of those costs to a fledgling company. It’s an exact iteration of the revolution that is remote digital work.

Services don’t stop at regular office tasks either. You can use an online assistant from AVirtual to do transcription and translation, social media management, even website design and administration. You don’t need to provide an office, a computer, not even a pencil for the service provider. An email from you can open that door and set the digital assistant in motion.

Set yourself free

Outsourcing a personal assistant online can bring massive benefits to your business and working life. Having someone shoulder the drudgery of some of the tasks associated with running a business is liberating. You can get your time back.

It can allow you to fulfill your true role, whether it be client service, the creative aspect, or other meaningful pursuits. There is no need to sit up late reconciling accounts or quotes if that is not where your passion lies.

Outsourcing to a digital assistant can set you free.

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To getting Started with a virtual personal assistant.

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