As an entrepreneur, you try to wear many hats – but your forte lies in those particular skills that encouraged you to start your business, not in bookkeeping or other office functions. Decide what your ROI would be if you paid someone to do those administrative tasks. Compare your hourly rate with the value of paying someone who can do it faster and more economically – freeing you to make more money by doing what you do best! The yardstick to use is, “how much does someone charge to do this task?” If it’s less than 60% of what you charge your clients, then outsource. Think about the time you spend filing, making labels, organizing, deciding what should be saved and what should be shredded, and then about how you could use that time contacting and meeting with potential clients or servicing current ones. Don’t throw away your $200/hour time doing $35/hour work.
If you’re trying to reach the CEO, or HR Director, or VP of Operations, and the Executive Assistant takes the call, remember that he/she is your client. She controls who you speak to, and if you treat her as the client (instead of as a blockade), she will make sure you get in. Send her the thank-you – make the appointment with her – know her name and value her. (This applies equally to a male EA.) You’ll have a much higher chance of getting to the decision-maker – and many times, the EA is the decision-maker, rather than the CEO, especially regarding office management (insurance, office machines, maintenance, cleaning, etc.). To read from another expert, check out this Forbes article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2014/06/14/the-7-strategies-for-getting-past-gatekeepers/#11e005ca3606
Acknowledged by almost every C-Level official, an Executive Assistant, or Executive Administrator, is the glue that holds an enterprise together.
Far more than a secretary or office manager, she* is the “connective tissue” who probably knows more about company operations than any single individual, so can quickly connect whatever dots will best smooth the path of progress. She wears a number of different hats, and often gets to change them at lightning speed.
Most enterprises have one. Every enterprise needs one.
- Start-ups, where work is plentiful but money is tight.
- Growing entrepreneurs, where activity is beginning to outpace its leaders’ time and resources.
- One or two-person medical practices, such as dentists, counselors, chiropractors, acupuncturists and other healthcare professionals.
- Small offices or groups, like architects, accountants, financial advisors, investors, life coaches and similar individual enterprises.
But not every enterprise can afford an Executive Assistant – or wants to pay one – as a full time employee. Also, many believe that either the executive herself (or himself) or a floating secretary can take care of administrative tasks.
The common outcome is that the exec bogs down with mundane tasks that consume more dollars than the job is worth, instead of spending that time making the decisions that run a department or company; analyzing, strategizing and taking action.
Even something as seemingly simple as making reservations for a business dinner, as it uses up expensive time, can take the exec away from more
The solution? A Virtual Executive Assistant.
(While some call it Virtual, some say On Call … some say Outsourced … some say Fractional … same thing.)
A Virtual EA is not a secretarial temp – one replaceable cog in a gear train – who is here today and gone tomorrow.
Instead, even though she might be paid by the hour, per assignment, or on retainer, a good Virtual EA will familiarize herself with the company culture, much like an employee.
Available at every hour of the business day – and often at night – she would in fact be familiar with multiple corporate cultures. Since input provided by an experienced Executive Assistant/Administrator can accelerate growth, this broad knowledge can be invaluable to companies struggling to find ways to meet their goals.
Yet the cost of paying a Virtual EA will probably be only one-tenth to one-fifth of the principal’s own time.
Outsourcing this talent – employing a Virtual EA – is one of the smartest ways a small office, growth company, or startup can choose to meet their growth and performance targets.
* We’ll say “she” for the sake of simplicity. It might just well be “he.”