There was a time when Miranda and I did everything in our business- websites, social media, billing, invoicing, phone calls, ordering, relationship building and the list goes on and on. Really, on and on. But there comes a time in your business, where you need more time, time to do the stuff that only YOU can do - your craft! And in that moment you realize, you need help.
It's scary to ask for help sometimes too! Miranda and I actually had to force ourselves to do it. We decided to hire our assistant and pay her for a set number of hours whether or not we used her. We knew that would make us start to hand things over to her. But in the asking for help, you get back time, money (yes, it pays to have an assistant) and sanity.
Truth is, in the past, other therapists have done their practices with an assistant sitting at their front desk, answering phones and doing billing. That cost began to be too high for a lot of practitioners and with the online world approaching, many practitioners handled all those tasks on their own. As you expand your business, and move beyond the butt in the chair - time for money trade - an assistant can be worth so much to your vision.
A virtual assistant (VA) is a real person that you work with remotely via email, phone or skype. Virtual assistants vary in their skill set. Some are more technology focused and others handle billing, copy writing, or customer care. Here is a list of some of the tasks you can have a VA help with:
- Responding to emails
- Handling customer concerns or questions
- Tracking leads or referrals
- Social media management
- Blog writing
- Some design work
- Website management
- Data entry - business cards, forms, contacts
- Project managment
- Appointment/calendar managment
- Document creation
- Travel booking
That is just a short quick list! "But I don't need all of that!" you might say. That is why it is good to do a business evaluation. Some might even need a time study where they look at where their time is spent and on what tasks. Then from there they can look at tasks that they can out source or hand off to a VA. When you know the tasks that you need help with, then you can find a VA that matches those needs. You want this to create more time and income in your business, right? Not every VA is the same.
Lu, our VA (who is amazing) not only helps our business, but she also provides a lot of support for the clients in our programs. She in essence becomes their VA while they are coaching with us. It helps them get unstuck from the set up and logistics and focus on the bigger picture. I searched high and low for other VA's (no, you cannot have Lu, she is ours :) unless you are our client lol) and quite honestly, it is hard to know who to trust. So I found someone and interviewed her about her VA business. Part 2 will be that awesome interview where you can learn more about how a VA can help you in your practice.
Have you ever used a VA? Share your experience in the comments below!