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10 Signs That You Need A Virtual Assistant In 2023


Barnaby Lashbrooke

Founder and CEO of Time etc, author of The Hard Work Myth

9 minute read

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As the demands of modern professional life and business ownership continue to grow, virtual assistants have become an essential part of many entrepreneurs' operations. By providing an extra set of hands to help with the ever-increasing workload, virtual assistants (VAs) can be a hugely valuable asset.

A virtual assistant (VA) is a skilled, independent professional who provides professional support from a remote location, all they need is an internet connection. Virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular because they are more flexible in that they can operate from anywhere, and they are more cost-effective compared to traditional in-house assistants.

Many people assume that virtual assistants are only for large companies or those who are already successful, but this is far from the truth. Success happens when you have the right people doing the right things, and the right support can make a huge difference in the life of any business owner.

So if you can relate to any of these signs, it's time to seriously consider hiring a virtual assistant.

1. You constantly feel stressed and overworked

Does your to-do list seem to grow longer every day, yet you can’t seem to cross anything off? Does it feel like you’re always working, but you’re not seeing the results you want?

It's hard to get ahead when you're doing everything yourself. There’s much to be said for the value of hard work, but not when it's at the expense of quality of work or life. Prolonged feelings of overwhelm and workplace stress can lead to burnout, which not only takes a toll on your mental and physical health but also your ability to work effectively.

A virtual assistant can help relieve some of the pressure so that you can breathe easier with fewer jobs on your plate to worry about. For example, you can let your virtual assistant worry about the research for that upcoming presentation, leaving you to handle more pressing matters without the stress of tasks piling up.

2. Your work-life balance is fading away

You find yourself struggling to stay in touch with clients and give necessary feedback even after business hours. A place that is meant to be your sanctuary after a long day’s work ends up becoming an extension of your workplace because work is following you home. When you start taking your work home with you, then you know it’s time to hire a virtual assistant.

With an assistant to attend to your minor business tasks, you will be able to clock out when your work hours are done while not having to worry about unanswered emails and queries as your virtual assistant takes care of all that for you. You can strike a healthier balance between your work and home life so that you can get the most out of both.

3. Your day is filled with time-consuming and distracting tasks

No matter how much you hustle, you can never make up for a lack of time. There will always be more opportunities to make more money but once time is gone, it's gone forever.

Common administrative tasks like checking emails, scheduling meetings in your calendar, posting on social media, invoicing, and preparing documents can be much bigger drains on your time than you think. A prime example of this is email. The average full-time employee in the US spends 28% of their workday reading and replying to emails. When you realize that’s roughly 2 hours and 14 minutes per day, 11 hours and 10 minutes per week, or nearly 45 hours per month lost to one low-value task alone, just think about all the other areas where you could be losing valuable time.

While all these regular, back-office tasks do need to be done, they don’t all need to be done by you. With a virtual assistant, you can make sure all bases are covered while freeing up more time to focus on the high-impact tasks that will take your business further.

4. Important things are falling through the cracks

Juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities can be a huge strain on both your time and your mind. Trying to manage all of this can be overwhelming and leave us feeling scattered.

How often do you find yourself running out of time to get all your jobs finished, so you put some of your work off to do the next day (but then the same thing happens the next day, and the day after that…)? Have you noticed the standard of your work slipping as you’re rushing to get as much done as possible? Have issues been raised that have gone unresolved due to a lack of time?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, a virtual assistant could be just what you need to help avoid costly mistakes in your business.

5. You need support but don't have the budget for full-time assistance

Many small business owners find it difficult to justify the expense of hiring an extra set of hands, especially when they don’t need that much support. And they’re not wrong.

If you're bringing someone on board for eight hours a day, that's a significant chunk of your budget that you'll need to consider. This financial element is another reason why many entrepreneurs choose to keep doing everything themselves. But what they may save in money, they'll ultimately end up paying with their work-life balance, a lower quality of work, or slower progress towards their goals.

There's no question that in-house assistants come in handy, but virtual assistants can perform almost all the duties of the traditional assistant, and they cost significantly less.

Considering the costs of salaries, recruitment, employee benefits, office supplies, and equipment, hiring a virtual assistant could be up to 90% cheaper than a full-time employee. The money you save can then be reinvested into other areas of your business, which could provide many more opportunities for growth.

See: Virtual Assistant Vs. Personal Assistant: The Best Support for Business Owners

6. You can't find the right person in your local area

Recruitment can be a tricky process at the best of times, especially when you're searching for someone with specific qualities.

When recruiting for a full-time, in-house position, you’re usually limited to candidates who are available within a commutable distance from your business. And depending on your location or industry, this may shrink your available talent pool even further.

If you've been spending too much time on job ads and recruitment websites trying to find a qualified assistant that ticks the right boxes, this is another sign that you need a virtual assistant. Another significant advantage for business owners is that you are not restricted by geographical location when searching for talent. This gives you access to a much larger pool of candidates to choose from, vastly increasing the likelihood of finding someone who is the right fit for your business needs.

7. You lack the time and energy to drive your business forward

If at the end of another long, busy day you feel like all your efforts are just keeping your business ticking over instead of meeting your goals, this is another clear sign that you need a virtual assistant.

No matter how hard you try, the fact is that there are only so many hours in a day, and your own energy (both physical and mental) is in limited supply. You can't do everything all at once, so you need to focus on the things that will have the biggest impact.

You can avoid being drawn in a million different directions and battling a never-ending to-do list when you hire a virtual assistant. Knowing that all your repetitive administrative tasks are being handled by someone else gives you the freedom to be more intentional with your time, and make sure that every minute counts.

8. You don’t have the right expertise for certain tasks

Different people possess different skills, and this is where offloading tasks that you don't excel at has considerable benefits.

Hiring a virtual assistant can not only relieve the pressure of your workload but also help to bridge any gaps in your skills repertoire, building a more well-rounded team to help take your business to new heights. Don't just take it from me, ask Virgin Group founder Richard Branson about the secrets to his success and he’ll say “When my friends and I started up Virgin, I knew that I was lacking vital knowledge on some subjects, and so I started learning (delegation) very early on in my career.”

We can all make a significantly greater impact when we have more time to dedicate to our strengths. And when it comes to the areas where we’re not so strong, handing these tasks over to someone else more skilled or knowledgeable in that particular area is likely to lead to higher quality and better results than if you’d done them yourself.

9. Staying organized is a constant struggle

Do you have so many things on the go that it’s hard to stay organized? If you're like most entrepreneurs, the answer is probably yes.

In the hectic life of a business owner, it can be tough to keep track of all the plates you need to keep spinning, especially when you’re trying to balance work, family, and social obligations.

From scheduling appointments in your calendar, keeping track of your to-do list, managing your email inbox, helping manage your projects, and even ordering your grocery shopping for you, virtual assistants are great for getting your life organized and taking away the stress of having to do everything yourself.

10. You are always behind on deadlines

Missing deadlines or constantly asking for extensions can erode your clients' trust, damage your reputation, and may even lead to lost business.

This is where a virtual assistant can be a lifesaver. Having someone to help manage your workload can help ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner. This way, you can focus on what's most important without having to worry about missed deadlines.

See: 5 Reasons Why We Miss Deadlines (And How To Never Miss One Again)

What’s the bottom line?

As your business grows, chances are you'll find yourself with much more to do than you can physically do on your own. And with so much to manage, it can be tough to stay focused on the growth of your company.

Virtual assistants offer many of the same advantages as full-time assistants, but without the added expense or commitment. By hiring a virtual assistant, you can focus on growing your business without getting bogged down in the day-to-day details.

If you’re ready to join the 22,000 business owners that have already used a virtual assistant from Time etc to reclaim valuable time and achieve more, speak to our expert team to get started or try a skilled virtual assistant for free today.

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About the author

Barnaby Lashbrooke is the founder and CEO of Virtual Assistant service Time etc as well as the author of The Hard Work Myth, recently recommended by Sir Richard Branson. Barnaby is a Forbes Columnist on productivity and is also an accomplished entrepreneur, selling more than $35 million worth of services.

Psssst...want a free copy of my book The Hard Work Myth?

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