Technology is fantastic at increasing our productivity, but it has its limits. It's important cultivating a relationship with a virtual or in-office assistant to assist you.
The virtual executive assistant market is rising, with forecasted growth of 41% by 2020. The change to all-remote work made individuals more comfortable working with people who weren't on-site, and a renewed focus on work-life balance forced many startup CEOs to rethink how they spent their time. Traditional executive assistants are also hard to come by—over the last 20 years, the United States has lost 2 million administrative assistant jobs, and according to the current Lensa Index, it is the third most difficult post to fill. #TWN
The average company founder "works around 300 days a year, 14 hours a day," according to venture capitalist Bill Trenchard of First Round Capital. He should be aware of the situation. Trenchard has cofounded and led three firms and advises hundreds of startups as venture capitalists.
"Looking at a typical CEO's schedule, a whole 70% of that time is suboptimal," Trenchard added. "Email consumes over 30 percent of that time." Another third is spent in meetings, with research indicating that half of those hours are squandered."
All of the productivity apps aimed at making executives self-sufficient and resulting in the elimination of armies of administrative staff have had the opposite effect.
The phrase "virtual assistant" is a bit of a misnomer. The term is used to describe voice aides like Siri as well as human assistants that operate remotely. There are many different types of virtual human helpers. Some people refer to someone who completes work from an overseas location as a "virtual assistant," such as graphic designers, web developers, and software coders.
Virtual executive assistants are people who work remotely in places of the world where there is a surplus of college-educated, English-speaking talent but few chances for meaningful work. The assistants take care of the administrative responsibilities that take up so much of the time of the entrepreneurs.
The conventional administrative responsibilities that take up so much of your time are taught to most virtual executive assistants:
"Things that can't be delegated should always be the focus of a founder: good leadership, networking, long-term growth, and so on," Green added. Tasks that require your judgment, experience, leadership, or accountability cannot be performed by a virtual executive assistant. They allow you to focus on the tasks that you can and should complete:
Clutch, a review site, features over 4,000 virtual assistant firms. On job forums and gig marketplaces, there are also armies of freelancers. When it comes to hiring a remote executive assistant, there are three options:
Virtual executive assistants can be found on job sites such as Indeed and gig markets such as Upwork. These sites typically have the lowest hourly fees, but the danger of making a terrible hire is significantly higher. You are also responsible for training and managing the assistant, as well as quality monitoring of their job.
Hundreds of agencies will pair you with an onshore or offshore independent contractor virtual assistant. The advantage of this arrangement is that most agencies conduct some vetting of the contractors with whom they collaborate, lowering the likelihood of a disastrous match. The price is higher, especially for assistants residing in the United States. You're in charge of training, performance management, and quality control once you've chosen your helper.
You hire a firm, not an individual when you use a managed virtual executive assistant service. Your assistant's job is hired, trained, supervised, and quality controlled by the service provider. The service provider bears the most of the risk, and the services are best used in long-term agreements. A dedicated virtual assistant, a trained backup, and a consulting manager support you in defining processes, documenting workflows, and optimizing the service.
There is no one-size-fits-all virtual executive assistant model that will work for all entrepreneurs and enterprises. A freelancer or independent contractor can work if you know exactly what you want in an assistant and wish to supervise the person and their job. A managed service relieves you of the responsibility of training and managing your assistance if you don't know how or don't want to. Review sites like Investopedia and The Balance SMB can help you choose the proper solution; so you don't fall behind in 2022.