To Female Entrepreneurs: Signs You Need An Assistant
“Me? Hire an assistant? That is ludicrous. It’s not like I run a massive company. It’s not like I am some important diplomat!” These might be some of the thoughts you are thinking when someone suggests you need an assistant. Or perhaps you aren’t so self-deprecating but you are very confident. Perhaps you are too confident, and you believe you can do everything yourself. Why pay someone to do the things of which you are perfectly capable? Well, to that I will say this: nobody is questioning your ability to handle every level of task that comes your way. But is it possible, that by taking on every task, big and small, you aren’t able to take on the big ones as much as you would like? Perhaps you see paying an assistant as a waste of money, but if you think about it more carefully, you may realize that it saves you money in the end. It even makes you money. I know that it can seem like a big step to hire an assistant. If you are an entrepreneur or run a small business, you may feel like you are taking on a lot of responsibility. But you will actually find that it relieves you of a lot of stress. Here are signs you need and assistant.
Everyone keeps saying so
Friends and family visit your office and see the scattered documents, the chaos, and the answering machine that has 16 unheard messages, and they say, “You need an assistant!”
You spend a lot of time on the phone not doing business
You are on the phone often, but it isn’t to close deals and do the important things. You are waiting on hold with customer service for a supplier. You are waiting on hold with your dentist office. You are wasting your time on unimportant phone calls that you personally do not necessarily have to make.
You never get around to what you want to do
You have a major important project you want to work on, and you tell yourself every day that you will do it. But instead, you are first bogged down with hours of menial tasks. You couldn’t even count or predict the ridiculous tasks that come up, that stand in your way of putting even one hour of work into the thing you said you would do that day. You find yourself at 4 PM not having even touched the most important project.
All of your peers have one
It feels a little bit embarrassing, but when you make a professional contact, they give you their assistant’s line, and you give them your personal line. In fact, you have become successful enough that people are surprised when you answer your own phone.
You are turning down new business
You have had to reject new potential clients and projects that would have been very lucrative for you because you do not have the time for them. But the reason you do not have the time for them is not because you are so busy with other clients—it is because you are so busy with administrative work.
You feel very stressed
Running your own business will always come with a certain degree of stress. Becoming the boss is quite an adjustment. But if you feel so stressed that you are considering giving up on your goals, even after you have put so much into them, you really need an assistant.
You can hire an intern
If this really is a money issue, don’t forget that if you are able to provide a valuable learning experience to a college student, you can actually hire an intern to be your assistant. Just make sure that you take the time to share your wisdom and train her in your industry, and she can be your unpaid assistant.
You’re losing money doing menial tasks
Your bank account numbers are not going up, even though, based on your business plan, they should be. But, you aren’t able to properly execute your business plan because you are spending your precious time and wasting your wise brain on licking envelopes. You’re misusing your most valuable asset—you—and it’s costing you money.
Compare your hourly to an assistant’s
Do a rough estimate of how much money you would make hourly if you were able to carry out your business plan, and you were able to take on more clients. Let’s say it breaks down to $60 an hour (it very well could if you were in a position to take on more business). Now consider you pay an assistant $18 an hour. You’d still be keeping $42 an hour to yourself. However, if you’re currently doing assistant work yourself, leaving you working 11, 12-hour days…your hourly could be tragically low.
You’re working late every night
You have no work/life balance. You’re always working. You’re missing out on those important moments with your family, significant other, and friends. Even when you are at home or a social event, you’re pulled away by answering calls and emails an assistant really could handle for you.
You’re messing up your schedule
You’re making a lot of mistakes with your schedule. You’re double booking yourself. You’re getting dates and times wrong. You’re mixing up which lunch is with which person. An assistant would help you stay on top of this stuff.
Emails are backing up
You are taking so long to respond to business emails that people have followed up (perhaps multiple times) to make sure you received their emails. This type of slow response can lose you business.
Your social media is non-existent
Whatever you do, you need social media. But if you’re doing everything yourself, this has probably fallen to the wayside. You know you can hire someone to just do your social media, if nothing else.
You have no time to brainstorm
You never have time to be creative—to push your company forward. All you have time to do is the same old thing, every day. Being creative requires a lot of free time to let your thoughts wander, but you don’t have time for that.
All your systems are outdated
Everything is still in paper form rather than online. Your website is a mess that nobody can navigate and that looks low quality. You receive payment via a platform nobody really uses anymore. You need an assistant to bring your systems to the 21st century.