Sunday, December 5, 2010

How To Add More Hours To Your Day

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably always looking for how to add more hours to your day or keep hoping for at least one clone. Well, I’ve found that by working with a virtual assistant (VA) that I can achieve just that!

Virtual assistants provide professional administrative services with the projects that you know you need to do but can’t seem to find the time for. Need help getting your marketing materials together? Or what about mailings? Maybe you realize you really need your website updated but don’t ever seem to get around to it. Or your newsletter, hard copy or electronic has fallen by the wayside. How about keeping track of your clients and prospects in a database? I know, these are all those “back of the house” business chores that are important but just don’t make you feel as good as going out into the barn with the horses and your clients. A virtual assistant provides a great solution for this. You can continue doing what you do best and focusing on bringing business in while your virtual assistant accomplishes the behind-the-scenes office work.

I love the consulting, workshops and writing work that I do, but need some assistance in converting my hand-scratched and/or word processed documents into professional quality materials. I know how to do this work and have done it for years myself. I’ve grown to the point that I need more help. And so I am thrilled to have found a great virtual assistant to help me with this! I love that I can really focus on the core work that I really enjoy doing and still have all the other necessary work accomplished as well.

You might wonder why I don’t hire part-time office help. Well, I’m not there yet. I don’t need someone enough hours to warrant an employee. A virtual assistant is an independent contractor so there are many benefits to working this way. I don’t pay for computer, software, office space, benefits and training as I would anticipate doing with an employee. I also don’t pay for an employee’s down-time, coffee breaks, and personal phone calls as one might with an employee. I am basically paying for project-based work to someone that comes completely trained and that has all her own office equipment, software and online tools. And I can tell you, she is wonderful! Her office skills run circles around mine! Plus, she has a degree in Equine Business Management and has worked for years in the industry. So she gets what I do on top of all the rest of the benefits.

I know what I like about my virtual assistant and was curious what she liked most about her job. Carol Aldridge, Progressive Business Solutions, shared this, “When you hire a virtual assistant you are hiring someone who has a significant interest in you and your business success. I really like seeing my clients succeed and to be part of that success. I really like challenging projects too. When I see that I’ve helped someone this way, it brings me great satisfaction. I also really like working with and getting to know people from all over the country and in all walks of life. There’s lots of variety to this work, and I love it!”

When you’re looking for a virtual assistant ask your colleagues who they’re using – that provides you with a good starting point. Skills vary from VA to VA, so you’ll want to hire one that has the skills you’re looking for. Interview your prospects and ask for references too. If you don’t know anyone using a VA, check out International Virtual Assistants Association. You can submit an RFP to help you find a good fit.


  1. Isn't it wonderful when you find great help! I was fortunate this winter to find an unexpected gem for horse care (and hopefully some training help down the line - we'll have to work on this one). I've gone to outsourcing with the office business too, after staffing up and finding it's actually less expensive and far less stressful to hire company owners vs. employees.

  2. I agree Nanette! It allows us to focus in more specifically and our core services and expertise. I also like that it helps support other small businesses too.