We all have obstacles and hurdles in our careers. I have found that my greatest obstacle is my prospective clients’ fear of the word “virtual”.
I was recently interviewing with a Realtor I know who approached me who was looking for a “Virtual Assistant”. After we spent time reviewing the tasks he needed to delegate, he pronounced that he really wanted me to work in his office 20-25 hours a week. Why? Reviewing the list he provided, 90% of it could be completed virtually out of my office. Since he was local, the remaining items could be completed in his office once or twice a month. He said he was looking for a Virtual Assistant, but in the long run, he really was not.
What is it about the word “virtual” that strikes fear in prospective clients? My guess is that it is the fear of losing control. They feel that if the assistant is not “in-house”, they will not be able to hover and make sure that everything is being done and being done properly.
But here is a thought… why are you looking for an assistant in the first place? It is probably because your to-do lists are three months behind and the piles on your desk are touching the ceiling. You think of all the things you should be doing that are not being done and you know you need help. You are hoping to find the “perfect” assistant to take care of all the “behind-the-scenes” work so you can focus on your clients, right?
So if you are hiring an assistant to gain back your time, do you really have time to hover over them in your office?
As a self-professed control freak, I understand. It is hard to give up control, especially to someone new. But if you do your research, you will find someone not only to complete the tasks, but an actual partner in your business… someone who wants you to succeed just as much as you do.
Here is the key… hiring a Virtual Assistant is just like hiring an in-house employee. You need to interview them, you need to assess their skills, and you need to check references. If they are out-of-state, you can still interview them over the phone or on a video-conference. Create a list of the tasks you want to delegate and make sure they can perform those tasks. How? Check their references.
A Virtual Assistant can be a large part of your business success. They can save you money because you only pay them for the time on the task and you don’t have to find them a chair, a desk, or a computer. You don’t have to pay them benefits. But you do have to do your homework and find the Virtual Assistant that’s right for you.
It’s time to find the right assistant… virtually.