Today on the podcast, we have Lindsay Bjorklund expanding on an episode she did a while back about virtual assistants. She has been getting a lot of the same questions from clients about this topic recently, so she decided to do a podcast about it. If you haven’t listened to her first podcast about this subject and would like to, it is linked here. If so, today’s episode goes a little deeper into what that VA relationship should really look like and how to best utilize their expertise.
This is a question Lindsay gets asked a lot by clients. Her answer is that as long as it is more or less close to the initial tasks you hired them for, you can ask them to do other additional tasks. Ultimately, you hired them and are paying them, so you get to decide what they can do for you that would be most helpful. But if you start asking them to do things that they don’t have training for or are above their pay grade, that’s where it gets problematic. Lindsay also recommends keeping an eye on how long it takes for them to do each task as you add them on slowly to ensure they don’t get burned out. If you overload a VA, it means it’s time to hire a second one.
Giving your VA a title can be helpful for you and them so that you are both clear on what their role is. If you hire them as your ‘operations manager’ that’s a tricky spot to put them and you in, because that means they are over many different things. If they quit or if it isn’t working out between you, instead of replacing one streamlined employee who works on very specific things, you have to replace the equivalent of five people or even more since an ‘operations manager’ does so much. Instead, hire a VA for a very specific role that you are both clear on.
What if you hire an assistant for 20 hours of work per week and don’t always have enough work for them? Lindsay recommends hiring someone on a flat fee rate vs an hourly rate. With hourly rates, you can get nickeled and dimed on your end and so can they. If you decide on a flat fee of $500 per month, for example, you can think of it as insurance. There will be some busy weeks and some slower weeks, but it will all even out, and having them on call ensures that you always have help when you need it.