Fear and doubt stop many entrepreneurs from getting the help they need in their business. It’s estimated that over 20 million small businesses are solo operations and in addition to putting 100% of the work on the owner, we know that those companies can’t build a legacy without help. Even worse, you probably can’t take a day or hour off without the business stopping.
So why do so many entrepreneurs stop short of hiring? It can’t be that they don’t know how – my free video series on Finding Fabulous Help has been downloaded and watched by hundreds of people who need this kind of support.
I’m pretty sure it’s just the fear holding them back. Let me teach you how to minimize the risk and test your new VA for as little as $20 to find out if it’s a good fit.
The first challenge is to select a task that’s relatively routine and doesn’t require a ton of instructions. This should be easy if you did the Day 2 task in the video series and completed the assignment. One popular task is to collect data from Google whether on competitors or popular subjects. Another good one is writing tweets for an existing post (but not sending them).
Once you have a task in mind you have to select a candidate or three. Find a few people through your postings who seem to be qualified to do the work. When you’re reading emails and resumes it’s likely that you’re going to have a ‘gut feeling’ about people. Listen to that feeling and test out the candidates who you are most drawn to.
I know that if you’re reading this post and are job searching you may be frustrated. After all, if skills and experience aren’t the most important thing, then it’s easy to get upset that you don’t have a job even though you’re qualified. Understand that the way I teach systems allows entrepreneurs to find the person with the right personality match and passion about their business and train on the rest. Yes, skills are important but it’s much harder to train for attitude, and with most entrepreneurs if you don’t actually like your team, it won’t work out.
Back to it… now that you have some candidates in mind you want to match them up with the task. Estimate how many hours the task should take and hire the VA you think would work best for a limited number of hours. This is why I recommend services like oDesk and ELance, where you can easily set the limit.
If your VA’s hourly rate is $5/hour then you can give up to 4 hours and essentially bet a $20 that they’ll work out.
What if my VA has a higher hourly rate?
Obviously this will vary depending on the task you want the VA to do and the hourly rate of the person you choose. Try to choose a simple, introductory task and find out in 1-5 hours if it’s working. Then you can throw them a much more difficult task and see how it goes.
What if my VA fails?
It’s fine if the person fails to accomplish the task, simply part ways amicably and move on to candidate #2. It should be easy since you already have a task for them to complete and if you’ve prepared them by explaining this is a trial. Be sure to look back and consider if you misjudged the first candidate and refine what you’re looking for in a VA.
If you’ve yet to complete my VA hiring series, go back through the videos today (they’re only 5-7 minutes each) or sign up at the top of the page and get video #1 immediately. If you follow the assignments, commit to getting help to grow your business, and invest a little money to testing the people you want to hire than you may just find the best VA for you this week.