Katherine Keller
Posted on September 7, 2018 by Katherine on Blog, BUSINESS

A Control Freak’s Guide to Hiring A VA

The Story:

I’m the oldest of three kids which, by default, means I’m always in charge and always right.

Starting at the age of 6, I organized and coordinated my siblings like a mini-Meryl Streep in “Devil Wears Prada.”  I was a nerdy, control freak. Playing “school” was my favorite past-time activity.

I tossed a few papers to my 4 year old brother. “Bill, you’re in charge of handing out these papers to the class.” The entire “class” was made up of him and my 3 year old sister who agreed to join only because I told her there would be a “snack time.”

“Why do I ALWAYS have to hand out the papers?” he whined.

“Because I’m the teacher and teachers always have their *most important* student hand out the papers.”  (Flies….honey…I was on a fast-track to upper management.)

His 4-year-old brain considered for a moment, looked at my sister who was chewing on a crayon wrapper, and then nodded his head in agreement that my explanation seemed plausible.

He tossed the paper at her and the corner poked her eye. She started screaming. He told her to stop being a baby. I rolled my eyes….my students were the WORST.

When my brother was learning to write I kept yelling at correcting him by putting the pencil in his RIGHT hand. He’d argue that it was easier to write with his left and I was like, “Well, you’re wrong. I’m currently attending some seriously rigorous kindergarten classes. I think I would know.”

Fast forward several years when his elementary teacher said, “Uhhh….I think he should’ve been left-handed,” to my bewildered parents who couldn’t figure out why he had the handwriting of a serial killer.

He is currently ambidextrous.

I’ve never been thanked.

So What’s A VA?

VA = virtual assistant/saving grace/God send/your new BFF

A virtual assistant is like my little brother…sans the sh**ty attitude.  Thanks to my siblings, I’ve been preparing to have a VA my whole life.

Here are just a FEW things VA’s can do for you:

  • Schedule a meeting, call, or meal
  • Do some data entry
  • Remember your preferences
  • Manage your to do list
  • Send a meeting reminder
  • Find or book a flight
  • Find or book a car service
  • Find or book a hotel
  • Check in for a flight
  • Create or update a spreadsheet.
  • Find or book a car / truck rental
  • Transcribe recordings
  • Do a weekly phone sync.
  • Create a presentation or slideshow
  • Research something online
  • Live assistant phone answering
  • Add an or modify a calendar event
  • Contact someone on your behalf
  • Find or book a restaurant reservation
  • Find or book vacation or local activities
  • Purchase flowers or tickets
  • Find or book a campground
  • Pay a bill
  • Buy something online or send a gift
  • Find or book a service provider
  • Find a courier or contact a delivery company
  • Fill out an online form
  • Purchase a meal or order takeout
  • Find or book car repair and maintenance
  • Find or book pet grooming
  • Contact the DMV
  • Book an Airbnb or rental home
  • Purchase groceries
  • Post on Craigslist
  • Find or book a nanny
  • Find or book a massage or spa
  • Find or book a doctor or dentist appointment
  • Find or book a hair or nail appointment
  • Find or contact a pharmacy
  • Find or book a workout class

What are the Pros?

Um…please review the previous section of the list of things they can do for you. If those aren’t reason enough, I don’t know what is.

Bottom line: They save you a crap-load of time that you could be working, sleeping, exercising, or drinking a cab sav. Nuf said.

What are the Cons?

#1 Money.

As I learned from my extensive management experience at the age of 5, cheap and free labor can be a pain in your ass.  

If you want someone to do it right the first time, represent you well, and not require more time explaining and correcting than just doing it yourself, then you’re going to need to fork over some cash.

Food for thought:

“If a VA can save you just 4 hours a week by researching, making/answering calls, ordering items, typing documents, etc. and charges you $50, but you use those 4 hours to make sales calls and earn $300, it’s pretty much a no-brainer.” Because…math.

Use your new free time wisely. I don’t advocate getting a VA so that you can sit around and binge watch “The Crown” for a week while O.D.’ing on mint Milanos.

But if a VA can cut down your to-do list, or cut down your work hours, so that you become more profitable AND happier….it’s a win-win.

#2 Crappy VA’s

They do exist and they are a huge time/money suck.

How do I avoid bad VA experiences?

#1 Get a referral.

Know someone who uses a VA? Buy them a drink and snag their VA’s digits. VA’s aren’t monogamous. Think Scarlett Johansson of the virtual business world.

#2 Use a company.

With small or home-based businesses on the rise, more entrepreneurs are saying “ain’t nobody got time for that,” to the ‘solo’ part of solo-preneur.

VA companies are popping up like bunnies in the spring. They have VA’s who are available around the clock on demand, like my new favorite liquor app.

Below are two companies that help busy individuals who are looking for a casual VA relationship, and aren’t ready to go all in and put a ring on it. (*These are non-sponsored/non-affiliate links…I just ❤️ them.)

OkayRelax: This is my favorite because you get a dedicated assistant. He/she becomes your go-to person. When a VA becomes your BFF there’s less explanation which means less time wasted. This is a U.S.-based company and they are closed during certain hours and holidays.

Fin: Fin is newer on the market. Unlike OkayRelax, you don’t get a dedicated VA. However, Fin is available 24/7/365  (Hello, workaholics!)

With both there is a pay-as-you-go option or a monthly subscription plan.

Ready to Roll? Not So Fast…

Want to find a really quick way to burn through your hard-earned cash? Hire a VA without having systems, procedures, and guides in place.

VA’s need you to be organized so that they can get sh*t done.  The more unorganized you are, the longer it takes a VA, the more money you fork over.

How do I get organized?

Sign up for 90-Minutes to Monetize. It’s a one-on-one, fast-paced 90 minutes to organize everything from your social media to your organizational workflow. Use this link to get 10% off the normal price.

Know someone who needs help with their business?

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