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How This Coach Grew His Niche Practice With A Remote Executive Assistant (Without a Painful Hiring Process)

Matt Solomon was drowning in work.

As a founder of the Center for Enlightened Business, he recognized what was happening. His clients are accountants who tended to be overworked and underpaid. “Accountants are so busy crunching numbers, they’re not actually helping businesses grow,” he explained. 

His company flipped the script, solving two problems at once: accountants could increase revenue while reducing their own workload, and their clients could grow their businesses by tapping into that knowledge.

Client after client discovered financial stability and a more humane work week, but unfortunately for Matt, as his business grew, he found himself in the same place he was leading others out of. There seemed to be one solution, and that was to hire someone. Yet it was a solution that Matt dreaded.

The Incredible Cost Of Hiring

Every business owner has had to deal with the cost of hiring at some point. 

It’s not even about the $4K price tag per hire, along with all the other peripheral costs that hit you in the bank account. It’s that the whole process carries a significant energy drain, too.

Job descriptions. Recruitment. Headhunters. Interviews. Onboarding. Training. Even in a best-case scenario, where your new team member doesn’t quit in six months (like 20% of new hires), it still takes months to get someone new settled in.

“I knew that the process of hiring would take, in some cases, months,” Matt said. “This wasn’t a time when we could do that. We needed to keep things moving smoothly.”

Where do you go when hiring is the only option, but isn’t really an option?

Being in a kind of state of emergency, needing help right now, led him to look into finding a remote executive assistant through Boldly.

Finding Room To Grow With The Subscription Model

While there are many places to turn to in finding a remote executive assistant, the subscription staffing model used at Boldly is unusual. Clients make a monthly payment without worrying about payroll, contracts, or other employment legal issues. They can adjust this payment up or down based on what they need.

Matt admits he wasn’t sold on the subscription approach at first, and was a bit skeptical. “I wasn’t sure if I liked the model,” he said. “It was this crazy moment where I needed help and didn’t have time to wait, but I also needed to make sure that it was the right move.”

Two things helped him decide to take the leap. 

First, a business partner recommended he give Boldly a try. Second, he knew we were careful about who we brought on as team members. Out of tens of thousands of applications, we only select a handful who meet our top tier criteria of skill, experience, and remote working ability.

“It was definitely the shortest interview process I’ve ever gone through,” Matt said, “but I trusted what Boldly put together, the vetting that they’ve done.”

During that interview, he got a chance to talk to us and find out about our approach to matching clients with executive assistants, a process that’s unique in the industry. We take as much as we can into account when we match clients with our team members, whether it’s matching interests, industry-specific experience, personality, or work styles.

After talking to Matt, we decided Natasha would be a great fit. She had incredible experience and skills, and a work style that matched what Matt needed.

“She was awesome,” he said, describing how, right away, they clicked. The time period between when he interviewed with Natasha to when she came onboard and began working was very short.

Not only did Natasha quickly become invaluable and far exceeded what Matt had expected, but the subscription model helped him out, too. The reality is that some months there was less work to do, while others were very busy.

“Financially, I’m not paying for a lot of additional things I’d be paying for,” he said, describing how he appreciated that it was OK to slide up and down on the scale as each month’s work requirements changed. “That’s huge for entrepreneurs. It’s the gift of flexibility.”

How A Remote Executive Assistant Works For You

While many people got a crash course in working remotely in 2020, it doesn’t erase the concerns some might have when it comes to an executive assistant.

That’s because an executive assistant is an extremely high-trust position. If they’re truly going to help reduce your workload, they need to be in your email, working with your customers, and even in your bank accounts. Having that kind of trust is tough in a typical business setting, much less a remote one.

For Matt, the way Boldly vetted their team member once again played a role. “Honestly, it started with understanding what Boldly did to bring their employees on.” 

He could see we vetted employees well. The interview he had with Natasha was also part of it. And then, he watched how she handled the introductory tasks he gave her. Those small interactions over time were key.

Matt and Natasha ended up with such a great working relationship, built on communication and trust, that it’s no surprise they understand how each other needs to work

She communicated with him in the way he needed. At the start of their working relationship, he gave her a document with information on his working style and preferences. “I wanted to make sure she heard me and understood what I needed,” he said. She immediately adjusted to working as he’d described.

Natasha quickly took on more work, moving far beyond the initial admin tasks into HR and marketing, often knowing what needed to be done before Matt verbalized it.

“You have to be mindful of what their needs are to make sure they’re successful,” she said. She’d asked him what he needed from her, and what he wanted for his business. “As an executive assistant, you want to make sure you’re doing that.”

Having a remote executive assistant doesn’t need to be any different than having one down the hallway, though some might suggest it’s worlds apart.

“That can be an excuse,” Matt said, acknowledging that while remote is different from in-person, that didn’t mean it was worse. There were even some similarities. “It’s important to ask yourself how to create a better connection. You have to be purposeful about communication.”

Working remotely, with a skilled executive assistant, has its pluses. Free from the interruptions that come in an office, both Matt and Natasha can dive deep into work and really focus on what needs to be done.

“We put a screen in between us and think the whole game is different,” Matt said. “It’s not. The goal is still results and being able to produce.”

Results matter. Relationships matter. Culture matters. You can accomplish all of that remotely, and we can help. Connect with us today, and let us help you find the remote executive assistant you need.


Topic: Remote Executive Assistant

About the author Sandra Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Boldly. She's passionate about helping Businesses, Organizations and Executives increase productivity and move their work forward with the right skills and resources. Setting an example of the efficiencies gained working remotely, she’s been leading her entire team on a virtual basis for the past decade.

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