Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Do you keep hearing fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners singing the praises of their VA and wondering what you're missing out on? Chances are you're not quite sure if you're ready to take the leap and - you might not be. Of course I want to promote the benefits that working with a VA can bring. I started My Office Fairy as a VA myself, and quickly expanded to (what I like to think of as a matchmaking service) a VA agency. However, from experience, I do appreciate that working with a VA might not suit everyone, so here are some signs that it’s not right for you.
1) You want to stay in control
Working with a VA means that you need to let go a little. Most VAs do what they do because they like to, and are perfectly capable of managing their own time and workload. Most freelancers won’t want to be micro-managed. You’ll need to trust that they can do what’s expected, in the manner you’ve asked, and let them do it. If the idea of giving up control makes you break out into a sweat it's a sure sign you're not ready to relinquish the reigns to your baby just yet. You'll know when you're ready to let go.
2) You lack clarity
Clear and effective communication is absolutely necessary, so if you're not great at giving instructions you'll hit a wall. Your VA will need you to be clear about expectations, deadlines, turnaround times – especially at the start of your relationship. Establishing how you are gong to work together is essential. A lot of VAs don’t always work 9-5 as they have chosen the career so they can choose when they work, so you’ll need to make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to working hours, communication times, and due dates. If your working style is chaotic and vague, it will make working with a VA difficult from the start.
3) You're not prepared to change how you do things
Are you convinced that your way is the right way, the only way? A VA will have their own tried and tested ideas on how you could optimise processes. Being prepared to take on new ideas is a key piece of the jigsaw. As you do things more effectively and efficiently your customers will appreciate a smoother ride, and so will you.
4) All your systems are manual, you need someone in your office
If you do everything on an ad hoc basis and don't have any processes or templates (digitised or otherwise) in place the thought of brining someone else in to support you can seem impossible. You can get VAs who specialise in creating automations and standard operating procedures, who can get you set up and on your way. Then you can find a VA who can support you on a regular basis with your new systems and processes.
5) You're too busy to train a VA
Whilst a VA will free up your time in the long term, training them will require an initial outlay of time at the beginning, while they are learning your business. The key here is to make the decision to hire a VA before you get to the point of overwhelm. If you are too overwhelmed to train someone, it won't be a success. If you're thinking of taking on a VA you'll need to be prepared to spend time at the outset preparing and training for them, so you can reap the longer term benefits of their time once they're in full swing. That said, a discovery call with an experienced VA will highlight areas where they could lighten your load temporarily, so you can invest in training someone.
Still have questions? Our Essential Guide to Working with a VA gives you practical tips and guidance on how to work with a VA, and will help you identify where you can delegate tasks, or part of tasks, and start you on your journey to a successful partnership.
Working with a VA is a way to get the support you need to grow and scale your business. There are lots of different types of VA and you can work with one or several, depending on your requirements. If you can overcome the points above then you're ready. Hire a VA and let them take care of the day to day stuff, so you can focus on the business of growing your business.
If you need support with any aspect of your business, My Office Fairy are here to help so just get in touch.