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One of the greatest “inventions” that came along with the internet revolution was the creations of the Virtual Assistant (VA). Even so, many business owners don’t take advantage of this resource because they don’t think they are ready.

I used to run a very large department and I had a personal assistant while I held that position, so I know first-hand the value of an assistant. As such, when I met my VA when she was first starting her business, I was happy to give it a go. What I never expected was how much value the right VA can provide even a very small business – they are not just for 6 or 7 figure entrepreneurs. What I have also realized is that many entrepreneurs don’t really know when the time is right to bring a VA onto their team.

Of course each entrepreneur’s scenario is different, as is the individual VA. Even so, there are some common signs that signal the time has come to hire a VA. Keep in mind each VA or VA company will have different requirements and expectations. However, this also means that there is more than one choice. Just like the search for any new member of the company, the process may take some time, so don’t try and short-cut the process.

You Find the Day Is Shorter Than Your Task List

Most of us have this happen at least occasionally, but if it happens all the time you are obviously trying to do too much. Particularly if you find the things that remain undone are actually important, strategic, or mission critical tasks.

Most likely you are spending too much time on tasks that are habit, routine, and/or part of daily operations. These are often the tasks you can outsource to a VA. The trick is you have to invest a bit more time up front to provide training and create systems and then be willing to give up some control over the long run. In most cases, you will see the rewards in short amount of time.

You Realize You Are Missing Great Opportunities

As our businesses grow and develop we want to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way, but that isn’t realistic. We have to be picky about pursuing those that are the best match for our strategic goals.

But if you can’t say yes to opportunities that are a perfect match, something has got to give. Often the work that got us to the place of this new opportunity no longer requires our full attention. Even if you can outsource a few pieces to a VA, you will often find enough space to take on something new.

At Least One Area of Your Business Is Suffering

Everyone has aspects of the business they enjoy and others that they favor less. Those less favorite tasks often suffer for a variety of reasons, but are usually still important to your business’ overall health and success.

When we don’t enjoy or feel skilled in a particular area, it is easy to avoid doing that work. Hiring a VA who has skills in those areas not only will improve those elements, but often will help you find similar areas where they can also assist. Removing the dread or guilt will open you to more positive thoughts and actions.

You Are Not As Responsive to Customers As You Would Like

With the advent of instant connections, people expect amazingly fast customer service. However, responding to every email beep is also very inefficient, particularly if you are trying to focus on a bigger project.

Although some customer service communications require your unique knowledge, many can be handled by anyone who is given sufficient basic knowledge – A VA can be that person. For the more complicated matters, they can still respond, acknowledging the issue and letting the customer know what to expect in terms of hearing back from you.

You Want to Create New Products But Can’t Seem to Pull the Pieces Together

Entrepreneurs have ideas – lots of them – but converting them from an idea into a product is often much more difficult than it should be.

The reasons vary for each person, but usually include an element of lack of time, lack of knowledge/skill, or lack of desire to complete the next step. More often than not, these are areas where a VA can make a difference. Often some research, proposed alternatives or simple prep-work can move a project forward and doesn’t require any unique business knowledge.

Okay… I’m Convinced

Once you realize hiring a VA is a good idea you have to begin the process. Keep in mind different VAs will have different requirements. Mine only requires a minimum of two hours of work a week, which I can easily fill (even though what she gets done in two hours would often take me significantly longer). Next week, my VA will write about things to consider and look for when hiring a VA. If you don’t want to miss this great information, take a moment and sign-up below to receive new blog post notifications directly in your inbox.