A Virtual Assistant, also known as a VA, is a self-employed professional who works as an independent contractor. As an independent contractor, they set their own hours and rates and define their own contracts. They also provide their own business essentials such as a computer, insurance, health care, etc. From implementing systems in your business to reducing team training and communication, there are endless ways a VA can maximize your efficiency as a business owner.
Why Hire a Virtual Assitant
There are many different reasons a business owner may hire help. We find that the top reasons are:
- You’ve reached burnout
- You have to choose which tasks take priority over others & this is impacting your business
- You are wasting time on tasks not in your zone of genius.
The benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant for your wedding business severely outweigh the downfalls. Not every business has the same motivating factors or tasks that they wish to outsource. As a result, the reasons and benefits of hiring a VA are truly unique to every individual and company.
Maximizing Efficiency With Help From A Virtual Assistant
Being as efficient as possible when running a small business can mean the difference between success and burnout. Sure, we can all spend hours and hours customizing a proposal, organizing files or culling images for a blog, but is that the best use of your time as a business owner? With help from a Virtual Assistant, they can ensure you are focusing your time on your areas of expertise and zone of genius rather than getting bogged down in every individual task.
Here are some ways that a Virtual Assistant can help maximize your time and increase efficiency in your wedding business:
1. Setting up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
By having clear SOPs in place, you are setting up your wedding business to outsource and manage tasks easily while maintaining your brand values. SOPs also provide consistency in your business and allow for an excellent client experience even if you are absent.
2. Setting Up & Maintaining a Project Management Tool
Long gone are the days of managing your event using individual clipboards hanging on your wall. Digital project management software is an essential tool in your wedding business that can help streamline your processes and systems. Check out this blog about How A Project Management Tool Can Help You As A Wedding Professional for more!
3. File Organization and Management
Having a clearly defined organizational system can not only reduce headaches as a business owner but also save you time and money. Whether you use Google Drive or DropBox a cloud-based file management system is crucial for managing an efficient business and setting your business up for growth opportunities. A VA can help you organize and manage your files in a systematic way that works best for you and your team. Check out our interview with Julia Painter, a wedding systems strategist, for more information on essential tools and systems for managing your wedding business.
What Are Some Benefits Of Hiring A Virtual Assistant For Wedding Pros?
Unlike an employee, Virtual Assistants are flexible with their time commitments. You can hire a VA for as little as 5 hours a week to help with inbox management or as many as 40 hours a week for large projects.
Many Virtual Assistants are skilled in various applications and areas that may be outside your zone of genius. Rather than hiring an employee and training them to do individual tasks, your VA is most likely experienced and skilled in unique tasks and software. By hiring an expert, you are taking training off your to-do list and thus allowing more time for CEO tasks that will move your business forward.
When hiring a VA, you can hire someone with experience in the wedding and event industry. Not all contractors may have this experience; however, there are many VAs out there who customize their services uniquely for wedding professionals. Outsourcing your marketing to a generalized VA with no wedding or event experience will produce different results than a wedding marketing agency can guarantee.
Where To Find Your Virtual Assitant For Wedding Pros
While many freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Fiver and Craiglist are handy resources, I do not recommend finding a Virtual assistant for your wedding business on these platforms. These platforms are often known for outsourcing work overseas to less experienced freelancers at below-market-value rates. Would you rather save money and have your business managed by someone with minimal or no experience or know that you are covered when hiring a professional and skilled freelancer?
Some of the best places to hire a Virtual Assistant are under your nose! Ask around and see if fellow vendor friends have a VA that they recommend. You’d be surprised how many businesses use VAs to help manage the day-to-day tasks in their wedding business. Alternatively, you can reach out in wedding industry-specific Facebook Groups for referrals and recommendations.
When you go straight to fellow members of the wedding industry for referrals, you reduce the number of hours you spend searching for, qualifying, and interviewing potential candidates, thus increasing your efficiency.
How To Maintain A Healthy Relationship With Your Virtual Assitant
Anyone can hire an employee or contractor, but maintaining a healthy relationship is a whole different skill set. I recommend spending some time daily and monthly to ensure you have a healthy working relationship with your VA to avoid having to restart the hiring process.
A few simple steps include:
- Providing feedback and support through regular touch-base meetings. In these meetings, discuss what is working and what is not so you can both adapt and grow. Be sure to prioritize these meetings and not cancel them when life or business gets busy.
- Provide clear expectations through goal setting or key performance indicators. This will ensure that your VA knows what they are working towards.
- Provide easy-to-understand instructions with all required information upfront to reduce communication issues. Doing so will also increase efficiency for both parties so that less time is spent discussing the task.
It is reassuring to know that you have help when life and business get busy. A Virtual Assistant for wedding professionals will ensure your business is running smoothly and as efficiently as possible so that you can focus on being the CEO. If you’ve made it this far in this article, it may be time to hire a virtual assistant for your business! Learn more about the best time to begin the outsourcing process based on your region and peak wedding season, as well as how to outsource here!