Category Archives: Productivity

Should You Hire A Virtual Assistant?

This blog post by Gabrielle Pfeiffer on the Huffington Post blog lays out in simple and clear terms why every startup and business owner should consider hiring a virtual assistant.

Should You Hire A Virtual Assistant?

There comes a time in every successful startup company where you have to outsource work. As a business owner, you know that your time is valuable, and it should be spent doing the important things you excel at. Don’t get me wrong, every part of running a business is important, no matter how small- but some things are worth paying someone else to do. One of the first things that people outsource are small administrative duties, which a virtual assistant can do.

What Is A Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant by definition is usually a self-employed professional who carries out many different administrative jobs depending on each different client or project. They usually work for multiple people, but they just split their time up between each client. This is a better alternative to small business owners who are just starting out than hiring a full time administrative assistant.

What Do Virtual Assistants Do?

This is a very broad answer. Some virtual assistants can do many different things for you. The best way to find a good fit for you, is to determine what tasks you need to outsource, and go from there. Hiring a virtual assistant is a huge undertaking, and you can’t take it lightly. Once you know the tasks that you need to outsource, you can start searching for virtual assistants. Many of them specialize in a certain area, so it would be beneficial for you to find one that has specialties that could benefit your company.

Are Virtual Assistants Expensive?

As it is with anything in life, you get what you pay for. If you are looking to hire someone for dirt cheap, be expected to get the same quality of work. The best VA’s out there may charge $30 or more an hour, but they are there to make things easier for you, which is worth every penny if you ask me. It shouldn’t be hard for you to find a VA that fits in your budget, as long as you are not being a tight-wad. Just think about what you are saving from not having to hire on a full-time employee with benefits.

How Do You Pay A Virtual Assistant?

Most (if not all) virtual assistants charge by the hour. They should give you their rate up front, and you both can determine how many hours you expect them to work per week. There is a possibility that you don’t have an exact number of hours the tasks will take, so there are ways you can track their hours instead. Tracking hours is a way that you can tell how long the tasks are taking them, and decide if they are as efficient as you hoped they would be.

If you find yourself in the position where you feel like you need to bring someone else on board, congratulations! I know it feels stressful, and even scary, but this is huge for you. This means that your business is growing to the point where you can’t do it all on your own. That is something that many business owners only dream of. Hiring a virtual assistant is not as scary as it seems, in fact it can be fun! Find someone that you can get along with well, and that will compliment your skills with their own. If you find the right VA you will feel less stressed, confident, and hopeful about your future.

 

 

A virtual assistant making your life easier.

10 Amazing Tips for Freelancers to Boost Productivity

I’ve been where you are, sleeping too much and trying to work from the sofa in my pyjamas, and not getting much done.

Well, these tips might seem simple and basic, but trust me, they work. Of course, you might need to adapt them a bit. But better if you don’t!

  1. If you tend to oversleep, don’t try to get up at 8 in the morning. Try 9 or 10, and get OUT of the bed, and go to the bathroom without hesitation, no thinking.
  2. Get dressed immediately. Don’t linger around the house in your pyjamas. You have to work, so dress comfortably but with the same clothes you would wear out of the house.
  3. Make your bed. Yes, make it. You have done your first productive thing of the day, plus it makes your room look better, so you’ll feel better as well.
  4. Have breakfast. A cup of coffee, a glass of water, yoghurt, some fruit. Whatever you prefer, but eat or drink something.
  5. Now, turn on your computer or check your emails on your phone, or your calendar for appointments, whatever you need to do first to get started.
  6. Make a list of things you must do, and a list of things you could do that day. Of course, you will start with the must, but along the way you might realise not everything you though was necessary is, so be flexible, but don’t cheat. If you move a must to the could list, then check the coulds and see if you can get one or two done today.
  7. If you are distracted at home, go outside. Chose a cafe or a coworking space near your home (it has to be within walking distance, or bike), and go, at least two or three hours a day.
  8. Do some exercise. It doesn’t have to be something too athletic (I’m quite lazy myself). Walk to the cafe, bike there, go up some stairs, something. You spend lots of time in front of the computer, some exercise will do you good. Walk instead of taking the subway or a bus. If you are freelancing, you have the time. It clears your mind. If you are sporty, great, you already know what I am talking about.
  9. If you can do it, do it. Don’t overthink. If you think: “I should call so and so”, do it right then. And if you can’t do it (maybe it’s too early, or too late), I’m sure there’s something else you can do instead. Do your laundry, clean the dishes, send an email, change a light bulb, anything. “Do. Or do not. There is no try”, Yoda would say. I say, ‘Do. Or do’. No excuses: imagine yourself working in an office from 9 to 5 with a nasty boss and boring colleagues every day of your life. Good.
  10. Find other freelancers like you. Ask them what their routines are like, steal the tricks that you think might help you.

And if you are not getting a task done, maybe you should hire me to do it instead. Just Ask Vic!