A year ago my life looked like so…
My fiance would get home from work around 1 or 2 (he’s a teacher) and would ask, “So how was your day? What did you get done?”
My response? “Spent forever in my inbox dealing with a bunch of small problems, then did a bunch of admin stuff like tracking my stats and finances, created some blog post graphics and then finally got around to the work I actually needed to do, but I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything important!”
If you’re in the same place where you feel like your day is filled with a lot of small bits and pieces, tasks that are always popping up which you just can’t get ahead of, and you know that you’re not working on the big picture work which will move your business forward, it’s time to bring on a team member.
A perfect place to start? A VA.
Bringing on a team member can be SO life-giving, so while I know it’s scary, know you’re going to be so freaking thankful you did.
I’m very much so a finances-focused girl, so the biggest questions on my mind were “Can I afford to bring on a team member?” “How do you know you’re ready financially?” and “How much does my business need to be making to hire someone?”
So that’s what we’re going to be talking about today!
Because everyone’s businesses are different, including incomes, profit margins, etc., instead of giving a blanket “you’re ready” answer I’m going to have you answer some questions which will lead you and your specific business to an answer that’s true for you.
Question 1: What tasks should you be doing that will help move the business forward, but the “little things” keep you from it? What tasks suck up your time and are just keeping the business afloat, but not growing?
List all of these tasks out. If you use a project management system or planner to set out your tasks for the day, look back to see what you actually did in the past few weeks.
If the tasks that are sucking up your time never make it to your planner because they’re little things which spring up here and there, in the next week, be sure to actually write down everythinggg you worked on that week, down to the tiniest task and email that took time from your day.
When you define these tasks which are keeping the business afloat but that are not moving the business forward, you’ve just identified what your new VA should be doing!
Question 2: What $10, $20, $30/hr tasks are you working on?
Of all the tasks you identified above, you need to start determining how much they would cost to outsource.
Managing an inbox? Pinning pins to Pinterest? Tracking basic business statistics? Repurposing blog content into Instagram posts?
These are all tasks that might cost at max $25/hr for someone from the USA to do. Or less if you have a VA from abroad.
(Hiring from ‘abroad’ doesn’t have to mean hiring someone who is in a completely different time zone or who you would have trouble communicating with. $20 USD turns into $27 Canadian dollars these days, just sayin’.)
Question 3: What is your time really worth?
Let’s take a look at what your business is making. Assuming you’re the only one running your business ATM, then all the revenue generated came from you.
Then estimate the number of hours you work in a week and the number of weeks in a year you work. (Gotta remove those holiday weeks!)
Now do the math.
Total business revenue ÷ number of working weeks in the year ÷ number of work hours a week
What is your hourly rate really?
Question 4: How much more could expect to make if you got rid of the little tasks? What are the projects and things you want to launch if you had the time to create them? What is the estimated revenue from them?
This is an important one. At some point, your business won’t move forward unless you can free up time to work on projects that’ll move it forward.
Maybe you want to launch a blog or YouTube channel or create a product or launch a new service. Those are the kinds of forward momentum projects I’m talking about. They’re either helping your business be more visible and attracting new potential customers or helping you generate more income.
Some projects have a specific monetary value at the end. (Eg. you launch a digital product.) Others, attract new leads to your business, which in the end leads to more income. (Eg. launching a YouTube channel.)
So take that into consideration too. What could your business be making if you could work on those projects?
Question 6: How many hours of work would you pass off at first?
When I hired a VA first, she was just doing about 5 hours a week of work. You don’t need to hire on full-time or even 20 hours a week to begin. You really can start off with a small number of hours.
Though I guarantee once you see how life-giving getting to work on the big projects is, you’ll be all about passing as many tasks off as you can, and getting back as many hours as you can.
Question 7: Are you comfortably paying yourself enough to cover your personal costs every month?
This one is kinda important. While there is no dollar figure that means you’re ready to hire a VA, because everyones cost of living is different, the one question you do want to ask first is, “Am I comfortably able to pay myself?”
If you’re struggling to cover you bills, now might not be the right time. But if you’ve never had an issue so far with paying yourself enough to cover your personal costs, then you’re probably good to go with hiring on help.
So there you have it! Those are the questions to ask yourself.
And before you run off, let me just say that the hardest part is taking the leap to get started and that you can totally start small.
Ps. Ready to hire but not sure how to get started? Check out my Hiring & Outsourcing mini-course and get access to my complete step-by-step hiring process (so you can avoid the headache and expense of the most common hiring mistakes and get things done right the first time!)