It may surprise you to learn that many entrepreneurs and startup Founders don’t have an assistant. Sure, they might acknowledge that they need “help” and the benefit that could come from having a virtual assistant onboard. But does this make them actually go out and hire one? Often, not.
Yet you only have to look at a handful of successful entrepreneurs to see that there’s a sharp divide between those who are millionaires and those who have barely made it out the doors. The secret? Outsourcing.
Why paying out leads to money in
Neil Patel is the founder of a series of startup “success stories” like Kissmetrics, Crazy Egg and Hello Bar. He also works with companies like Amazon to help grow their revenue. Neil is known as one of the most successful content writers of the past decade, a low-cost method he uses to attract users to his software products. In a Quora thread, a user asked:
“How do people like Neil Patel produce so much content in such a short time?”
You know what his answer was? Outsourcing to an assistant. Neil explains how he does the bit he’s best at (actually writing the content) and then outsources the other 90% so that he can spend more time on the writing. By doing this, he is able to publish eight blog posts a week including five guest posts. Given that this is the number one source of customers to his existing businesses (not to mention the amount of exposure he gets as a Founder and investor), it’s a pretty smart way to spend his time.
As he says,
“Your time is valuable. You should stick with creating content in the most streamlined process. I used to post to WordPress and add pictures to each of my posts myself, but that process would take me twenty to thirty minutes. By hiring someone, you’ll save time.”
This shows how even saving 20-30 minutes per task is essential to increasing productivity and more importantly, increasing the activities that make the biggest difference to profit or customer number.
The importance of time management
Social media guru and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk knew that when it came to hiring an assistant, it was largely about better time management. When he realised he was disrespecting a lot of clients, employees and potential partners with his ad-hoc approach to meetings and punctuality, he needed someone to bring in a system that would help.
What had stopped him from getting an assistant for so long? Disbelief that he could find someone that could schedule someone who was, as he put it, “totally un-schedulable”. Despite this, Gary quickly realised what an improvement having an assistant made not only in respecting the time of others, but for his own career and life.
“I’ll tell you that now being able to follow a schedule (with the help of an assistant), and being able to work out (with the help of Mike) are two of the biggest confidence builders in me.”
Managing time doesn’t have to be about reducing the company to do list either. As many entrepreneurs and startup founders know, time management in your personal life is just as important.
“You spend money on a PA to make money, because you can focus more on your business. Having a personal PA do my life admin doesn’t mean I spend less time with my son, it just means I spend less time at work distracted by other things” explains ibLE Co-Founder Georgina on the reasons behind hiring a PA for her personal life.
Autumn Adeigbo, entrepreneur and Founder of a women’s wear label by the same name, explains how important delegation of tasks like laundry and apartment cleaning are if they’re the tasks that drain not just your time but also your energy:
“Delegation has become an important part of my sanity both professionally and personally…it is an important aspect of leadership development and an important element in self-care.”
The value of an assistant
Something entrepreneurs are good at is working out their return on investment. Think about it like this; an entrepreneur earning £1 million in dividends or personal income per year, could hire an assistant who earns £80,000 per year. To break even, that assistant would only need to make him or her 8% more productive.
Would you be 8% more productive if you had an assistant who could take care of tasks like email management, meeting scheduling and even dry cleaning? If we think about this in terms of time, an assistant to an entrepreneur who works a 40-hour week, only need save them 3 hours a week, to be a worthwhile hire.
It also makes for an easy first hire, while you perhaps build up to a role like your first VP of sales or Head of Marketing.
“If you’re a solopreneur hiring a VA is one of the best investments you can make and one of the best ways to get into learning how to manage a team.” says Kathleen Shannon who runs the successful Being Boss franchise.
If you want to become better at time management, save time and seek more freedom to chase the bigger picture of your company, hiring a VA is a clear step in the right direction. Try a no-obligation virtual PA from ibLE today.