Tips for Finding the Perfect Assistant 7

Finding the Perfect Assistant
Great sounding title, but realistically you are NOT going to find the “perfect” assistant. If you come across someone who thinks they are perfect, then you want to run the other way.  We are all human and we have our flaws, so look for the person who appears to be the perfect assistant for YOU.

Small business owners take on a lot of responsibility when they attempt to run a business on their own.  In the beginning stages, it’s tough.  Once the workload increases, it can be next to impossible to do everything themselves. Finding an assistant is the most beneficial solution.

Assistants can handle a variety of tasks.  Each one has a slightly different skill set, but most can handle almost anything related to the day-to-day operations of a business.  Some can also do tasks such as web design and copywriting.

Here’s some advice to consider when searching for the best assistant for your business:

    1. First decide if you need an in-office assistant or a virtual assistant?  If you need someone to file hard copies or perform other duties that can’t be done over a computer, you’ll need an in-house assistant.  Otherwise, a virtual assistant would probably be the most suitable option.
    2. There are a variety of ways that you could go about finding an assistant.  Virtual assistants often have websites and offer services through online job boards and forums.  Many VA forums have directories of qualified assistants or Request For Proposal areas on their sites. For in-house assistants, you could publicize your opening through the local classifieds or word of mouth. A referral from someone you know and trust is  a great way to find competent help.
    3. Once you’ve found some candidates, interview them.  Ask for work samples if applicable.  When you’re entrusting something as important as your business to someone, it’s important to know that they are capable and trustworthy. Watch for red flags that this person is not the best match for you and trust your instincts.
    4. Once you’ve narrowed the field, consider whether you and your potential assistant’s personalities mesh well.  An assistant is someone who you’ll be working closely with on a daily basis, so it is vital for the two of you to be able to get along well. Opposites may attract in the romance department, but they rarely work in this situation.
    5. If you’re having trouble deciding on an assistant, you could hire the front runners to do some work as independent contractors.  This will allow you to go ahead and get some work done while helping you reach a decision. Don’t ask or expect any candidates to do trial work for free.

Running a business is an ongoing job.  While administration is a necessity, it can take away time that could be used doing more productive things. You want to be ablt to pursue the goals and projects that you are truly passionate about. When you have someone looking after the everyday tasks of running a business, you can concentrate on increasing your profits.  So in the long run, you can often bring in more money with an assistant than you could have without one!

Did hiring an assistant take your business to the next level or do you have any questions about hiring one? If so, please comment below.

perfect assistant, finding assistant, outsourcing, virtual assistant, VA, increase profits

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7 thoughts on “Tips for Finding the Perfect Assistant

    • Leslie Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Sheri. It’s hard to know if someone is well suited for the job without actually seeing them in action – so this is one way to kill two birds with one stone.

  • Gretchen Duhaime

    Yes, definitely trusting instincts is crucial! I would actually say opposites aren’t always a bad thing for assistants. I need an attention to detail person – I’ll get something 95% of the way there and be OK with it, so I rely on team to take care of that last 5%. In friends that would really grate on me, but so key to an effective team!

    • Leslie Post author

      You’re right, Gretchen – I see your point where certain traits are needed in a business partner but could definitely get on someone’s nerves as a friend.

  • sharon Roemmel

    Great ideas. I love the step-by-step approach. Will most VA’s be ready to give work samples?
    I too like the idea of hiring the front runners for independent contractor work.
    Thanks for the ideas.

  • Ruzica

    Great post Leslie! I am just starting out with my online business and I’m already feeing like hiring a VA. Pondering these ideas will defenitely help, thank you!

    Ruzica Kozul
    LOA Life Coach

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