Have you ever audited your time?
How much time per week do you spend on administrative tasks like these?
- Managing and responding to email
- Coordinating schedules
- File management to stay organized
- Project management details
- Editing documents
- Customer service tasks
- Meeting notes and agendas
- Making travel arrangements
- Creating agendas for meetings
- Building internal processes
- Writing project proposals
- Designing presentation decks
If you’re anything like most people, you spend 23% of your time managing email alone.
Add that to the pile of the tasks above and you’ll quickly find a big problem for most execs: a huge portion of time is spent on everything but growth-generating activities.
Productivity means driving growth rather than performing a bunch of tasks. So naturally, the path to productivity is doing more high-value actions and fewer low-value ones.
One of the quickest ways to increase productivity is by using virtual assistant services. In this article, we’ll help you:
- Calculate the ROI to expect by hiring a virtual assistant service.
- How to increase your time spent on high-value activities.
- Understand how to evaluate virtual assistant services to find the best fit for you.
Let’s start by calculating that all-important metric, return on investment.
What Work Should You Delegate To A Virtual Assistant?
To begin, let’s break your workload into two categories: done by you and done by others.
Work Done By You
High-value activities generate business growth, promote positive culture, create innovation, and make similar contributions.
Often, these are the things that either got you promoted into your executive role—or allowed you to start and build a thriving business in the first place.
These are the tasks only you can do.
Work Done By Others
Next are activities that need to get done, but not by you. They are still things that need to be accomplished at expert levels. Think tasks like email management, bookkeeping, making travel arrangements, and other administrative tasks.
Being unsure if you can trust someone else to tackle these is anxiety-producing. This is why some leaders struggle to delegate these kinds of activities. Add to that, how do you know what’s getting done today or happening tomorrow? Or suddenly an email disappears from your inbox—was it replied to or did you still need to follow up?
A true pro will give you real-time communication and visibility into what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and what you still need to keep tabs on.
So, while the above admin tasks (and many more) don’t contribute directly to organizational growth like sales, for example, delegating them will unlock significant time and mental bandwidth.
They’re things that need to be done competently—but not by you.
How To Calculate ROI To Expect From Virtual Assistant Services
One study found business leaders wasted a shocking 21.8 hours per week on activities that either can be delegated or eliminated altogether. They either left more important work undone, or were pushing into the ranges of a 70-hour work week.
That 21.8 of hours were a surprising mix of tasks others could competently do for $50/hour or less. The best virtual assistant services shift the critical details from you but still get it done—and done exceedingly well.
So, what ROI can you expect from a virtual assistant service?
First, understand that not having a reliable virtual assistant may be costing you thousands each month. Add to that you’re likely stuck with activities outside of your wheelhouse like organization, detail-oriented work, or admin.
(Especially for you entrepreneurs of the world.)
By hiring a virtual assistant to manage these tasks for you, you’ll likely save money from day one.
All of those hours that used to be locked up are now yours to do more of what you do best, and what only you can do. These are the “working on the business” actions like:
- Strategic planning and vision
- New product and service development
- Key relationship building
- Leadership development and mentoring
- Culture building
- And more…
Imagine if you brought in just one new client, expanded revenue with existing customers, or found inefficiencies that had been overlooked. How many thousands of dollars might those hours be worth?
Not to mention, amazing VAs can actually pave the way for you to rest. To gain the peace of mind that you can leave without everything falling apart. This in itself is invaluable.
This is about opportunity cost, where you can either pay in dollars or in time. What growth opportunity might you have missed while you answering emails or coordinating schedules?
Time spent here is time not invested in what grows your business. These become lost opportunities that compound week after week and, eventually, year after year.
How Can You Increase Your Time Spent On High-Value Activities?
A good way to figure out what’s taking your time is to first write down what needs to be done. Then write down the things you probably shouldn’t be doing because your skills and knowledge aren’t up to it. Next, write down the things you hate doing, because those usually end up taking twice as long as they should.
Your list might include:
- Writing memos, briefs, or newsletters
- Audio and video editing
- Meeting notes and/or transcription
- Social media and online marketing
- Graphic design
- Appointment scheduling
- Customer response
- Web development and maintenance
All of these have to be done. They’re important gears in the machine. And the key element to delegating them is trust.
Trust is the big leap for leaders in all of this. It’s hard to give up a rein or two. You’ve done those things since the start and it’s hard to trust them to a virtual assistant.
Again, will the assistant care as much as you do? Will they represent you well with your customers and vendors? Do they understand your brand like you do?
It’s not just about finding a list of skill sets, but finding a virtual assistance service you trust enough to do the job to let you step away.
You want a VA service that can give you a VA with at least three superpowers.
- Communication. They should be proactive in surfacing problems, sharing updates to keep information flowing, and be responsive to customers, vendors, partners, internal team, and anyone else you need to stay in step with.
- Chemistry. They need to be a good fit. They have to work how you work. Personalities have to click. You want to get hand-matched and meet them before you dive in.
- Course of Action. There should be an onboarding process that establishes communication and understanding of expectations. Instead of you designing workflows and training, the best virtual assistant services will come ready-made with the best ways to work with them.
While there are other considerations, these three Cs form the bedrock of productive relationships.
Which Virtual Assistant Service Should I Hire?
Now that you know what a virtual assistant should do, the next questions are: “who are they?” and “how will they work for me?”
The model with a reputation for excellence in virtual assistant services is called premium subscription staffing. It takes everything a run-of-the-mill virtual assistant company offers and more—and elevates it to a quality level suitable for business users.
Premium subscription staffing lets you “subscribe” to highly qualified, personally matched virtual assistants—without any of the hassles of recruiting and employment—and at lower cost.
Who Is My Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants can become a real part of your core team.
That’s why trusting their skill sets, decision-making abilities, and ability to communicate are non-negotiables.
Subscription staffing gives you access to Fortune-500 trained virtual assistants you can trust. You’ll find rockstar talent with:
- A minimum of 10–15 years of experience in your industry (or closely related discipline),
- Often Master’s level education, professional certifications, and ongoing career development,
- Deep experience in remote-only roles rather than just learning the technological and logistical ropes,
- Fluent multi-lingual support for U.S.-based companies with multinational clients or locations, or non-U.S. based organizations,
- W2 employment status within their virtual assistant service (rather than a 1099 contractor), making them legally compliant from day one.
Choose A Virtual Assistant Service You Can Trust
You’re careful with your regular hires. That’s why you don’t go out and find just anyone to be your virtual assistant.
So choose a tenured expert you can trust, and get your focus back on high-value growth-generating activities.
May 2022 Update: Times have changed, and Virtual Assistants with this level of expertise are now typically called Remote Executive Assistants.
Topic: Remote Executive Assistant