For this installment of the Small Biz 100, Liz Strauss shares some insights on hiring an assistant, virtual or local.
Where can a small business person find an assistant locally?
Liz suggests looking in the local university, college, or even high school and technical education. You can also work with temp agencies, or any of the tools Chel mentioned in How to work with a Virtual Assistant.
What characteristics should you look for?
“Ego strength, problem solving, and curiosity,” Liz said. “Anything else can be taught.”
Look for a person who is wanting to develop, to become what you are, Liz said. They can start out by taking just the first round of tasks, like initial research, and can develop more skills to work at a higher level.
How do you get started?
“When I first started, I asked the person to come in for two hours a week. That held me accountable to find two hours of work for that person to do. Believe me, I always found more.”
How can you justify the expense?
“The principle is that people with the highest level skills should be doing the highest level work. You, as CEO of a Fortune 100 Corp, making coffee might be nice, but you’re a VERY EXPENSIVE coffee maker. Let’s say the main work you do is worth $100/hour. If you can pay someone to write your bills $20/hour for 3 hours and you stick to what only you can do, you’re not spending money, you’re making it so that you can earn $240 more in those three hours. “
This article is part of the Small Biz 100, a series of 100 practical hands-on posts for small business people and solo entrepreneurs, whether in a small town, the big city, or in between. If you have questions you’d like us to address in this series, leave a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a community project!
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