It’s ten o’clock in the evening. You are still making your way through your to-do list, and you’re exhausted. The good news is that business is going great. In fact, it’s going so well that you can no longer stay on top of things, and it’s getting to be overwhelming. Productivity is suffering.
Maybe it’s time to hire an assistant. That’s a big decision though, and it’s also a hefty financial investment. Are you ready for that? Here are some things to consider before making the choice to hire an assistant.
1. It’s a Significant Financial Investment
Bringing on a new employee is expensive. Obviously, there are wages to consider, but that isn’t all. You have to take into consideration benefits, payroll costs, workmen’s compensation and other coverage. Then there are the costs of recruiting and training.
Keep in mind that your new assistant may not be productive enough, at least initially for you to see a return on your investment right away. In the meantime, you will still be expected to pay them and cover their benefits.
Can you afford to pay an assistant for up to three months from your cash reserves? If the answer is no, you may not be ready to take on an assistant. You should consider waiting to make this move or look into a less expensive option such as bringing on a part-time helper.
2. Know What You Want to Delegate
You’ll want to identify what is hindering your productivity. If it’s administrative and office tasks, you will want to find someone who has those skills. If you have more work than you can handle, you will need to find an assistant who can either do what you do, or who you can train.
A word of warning. If you are hiring someone to do mission critical tasks, choose carefully. There is always a risk in passing on tricks of the trade and other information required to do your job. Quality control will need to be a top priority.
Once you know where you are getting held up, you can begin creating a list of tasks that you want your assistant to be able to perform. From there, you can create a list of skills you are looking for. You might divide these into two categories. The first being skills that are an absolute must, and the second being skills that are desirable, not mandatory.
3. Write a Job Listing That Attracts The Right People
HR folks and recruiters might know how to whip up a great job listing. It’s a bit more challenging for the rest of us. Here are a few things to consider.
4. Remember That Training is an Investment
Be warned. When you bring your new assistant on board, you may find that you are even busier than you were before. Not only do you have your own workload to cover; you also have to train your new assistant. This means working side by side, demonstrating tasks to them, and double checking their work.
This can be frustrating, and expensive at first. Just keep in mind that training isn’t a cost. It’s an investment. The more you are willing to invest up front, the more likely you are to have an assistant who is productive, and who can work independently.
5. Consider a Virtual Assistant
If you need help with administrative tasks and cannot afford to hire a full or part-time staff member, you might consider using a virtual assistant. These are freelance workers who are able to perform many standard office tasks for you virtually. You can use a virtual assistant for any of the following tasks:
Many virtual assistants are willing to work on an on-demand basis. Websites pages such as Odesk.com make finding virtual assistants quite easy. This option is also easier as you don’t have to handle payroll. You simply pay for the tasks that you have got done.
Conclusion: There Are Many Benefits to Hiring an Assistant
If you are able to hire an assistant, you can potentially reap many benefits. The first is simply reducing your workload. This will free you up to relax a bit and spend more time with loved ones. Offloading some tasks also gives you the opportunity to focus on growth. It’s also a great sign of success when you get to the point where hiring an assistant is necessary.
Before you take the steps to hire an assistant, just be sure that you know exactly what you want. Attract the right candidates with a well-written job listing. Be prepared to dig into your pockets for training, and covering payroll until your new hire is up to speed.
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