I've Launched My Business. Now What? by BELAY
From time to time Silicon Couloir will feature guest writers and contributors on our blog. This feature is brought to you by our platinum sponsor BELAY. Find out more about what business owners are doing after they launch at our upcoming Chance Meeting: After the Launch, April 2nd, 2018.
Listen, we’ve been there. Literally. We’ve been small-business-owners-slash-solopreneurs-chief-bottle-washers. And the mindset, at least initially, is typically the same: “Why pay an admin when I know how to use a computer and can do it myself – for free?”
Consider what venture capitalist Mark Suster says about it on his blog, Both Sides of the Table: “Your first hire after that first round of capital [should be] an office manager / company-wide assistant.” He then goes on to explain, “Your single most valuable asset in the early days is your … founding team. You can't grow your founding team if you're bogged down in expense claims, booking hotel rooms, scheduling meetings, dealing with a leaky toilet, processing payroll, ordering computers, etc.”
Bottom line: If you don’t have an admin, you are the admin.
Those hours you spend running to the post office, managing receivables and accounts payable, and making business travel arrangements add up. While those efforts help to keep the business running, time invested in learning, calling prospects or planning strategically keep the doors open.
There comes a time in a solopreneurs life when you must make a choice: Keep everything as is or scale to grow the business. And, of course, ‘keeping everything as is,’ while safe and comfortable, is rarely a small business owner’s goal; growth is most often the goal.
And scaling your business can be an exciting – albeit stressful and overwhelming – time.
So your first hire should be an assistant. And if you’re not ready to hire an in-person employee, you can hire a virtual assistant to free up your time so you can focus on your passion – and take advantage of your abilities and strengths.
From data entry to event planning to handling email and voicemail to calendar management, a virtual assistant can be your one-stop shop solution for essentially replicating yourself.
Consider these three compelling arguments for making a virtual assistant your first hire.
1. Save Money.
This argument is always initially met with serious doubt. But hear us out. Hiring a VA is critical
for your long game, helping you actually save money in the long run because time is money – specifically your time. So while you pay for the virtual assistant, you don’t pay for office space and everything that comes along with it, such as tools and technology; you don’t pay for benefits, including insurance and overtime pay; and you don’t pay for time and services that are often bundled in with the cost of an employee. There is virtually – pun possibly intended – no waste.
2. Reclaim Your Time.
For small business owners, free time is non-existent because the grind is never ending.
There is always something that requires attention, but many – probably most – of those tasks can easily be delegated to a VA. Sure, it can initially prove challenging to delegate but in doing so, you can reduce your workload by reducing the time and attention you pay to small tasks – and return focus to your core business objectives.
3. Broadened Expertise Offerings.
You likely have some pretty extraordinary skills and talents, and they’re probably why you’ve managed to successfully launch a business. But without someone to help shoulder the burden of the day-to-day tasks, you’ve relegated yourself to being nothing more than a jack of all trades and a master of none – or few.
Because let’s be really real here: How much do you really enjoy bookkeeping? Yeah, we thought so.
A virtual assistant can serve to expand the expertise of your business as many VAs often come with their own strengths and skill sets, and – BONUS! – it’s not uncommon for VAs to work for other businesses while working for yours, all the while learning from other organizations which, in turn, can help your business grow, too.
Ultimately, you need – deserve, even – reliable support, and virtual assistants are just such the solution to all your not-enough-hours- in-the- day woes. Having an assistant is not a luxury - it’s a necessity when you really understand the value of your time. So if you’re looking to get more done without having to figure out how to add more hours to the day, consider hiring a virtual assistant … and start scaling up!