An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding a Personal Assistant

by | September 10, 2020


Maximizing time, improving business efforts, and simplifying business processes is important for steady business growth. For this reason, many entrepreneurs will consider the expertise of a personal assistant who can help with everyday business activities, help entrepreneurs reach goals and milestones, and improve overall organization for better efficiency.

But diving into the market of personal assistants can be a little overwhelming for entrepreneurs. Many are unsure whether it’s the right time to hire, how much of their budget can be allocated to an assistant, where to find an assistant, and what qualities they should even look for. Today, we’re going to help guide entrepreneurs on how to find the right personal assistant for their business.

Signs It’s Time to Hire a Personal Assistant

Entrepreneurs often wear too many hats, which actually leads to a decrease in productivity. At the same time, some entrepreneurs overspend in areas of their business they don’t need to or aren’t prepared for, putting a dent in their budget. Here are a few signs it’s time to hire a personal assistant.

You find yourself working overtime to reach the demands of your business without making any progress.
You constantly put off important tasks because you don’t have the time to finish them.

The growing demand for daily business activities prevents you from thinking about your company long-term.
You can afford to hire extra help.

Understanding Budgets and Costs

Before hiring a personal assistant, entrepreneurs should set realistic expectations in terms of budget. For instance, it’s always important to know what you can actually afford. Think about whether you can afford a personal assistant full-time or part-time. Similarly, do you need an in-person assistant or can you accomplish your business goals with a virtual assistant?

If your business is struggling to bring in revenue or you don’t have enough money in reserve, now may not be the best time to hire an assistant. If you believe that your lack of revenue is due to a lack of support, it’s probably a good idea to hire a personal assistant on a part-time basis or per project before committing to someone full-time.

Along with your budget, it’s important to consider the costs of a personal assistant. This will also help you set realistic expectations in terms of what you can expect from a personal assistant based on your own affordability.

For instance, it’s common to hire a personal assistant for a one-time project, on an hourly basis, or at a retainer cost. Hiring a personal assistant for one-time projects is great for entrepreneurs who are unsure whether they are ready to commit to a personal assistant. This will not only allow you to see how well you mesh with the assistant but whether you find their services useful for your company. Entrepreneurs can focus on increasing the number of projects they outsource to assistants throughout the month and eventually work towards hiring them part or full-time if needed.

Hiring an assistant on an hourly basis is a good option for entrepreneurs who know they need an assistant but want the flexibility of hiring someone as needed or entrepreneurs who only need an assistant for a specific time frame.

For example, some entrepreneurs find that they only need a personal assistant for a few hours a week. Similarly, some entrepreneurs may need a personal assistant for a few hours a day for multiple days. Hiring an assistant at an hourly rate can give entrepreneurs the flexibility to meet demands without overspending.

Hiring an assistant on a retainer agreement is a great option for entrepreneurs who have a heavy workload and have the budget to hire someone consistently. In the case of a retainer agreement, you will prepay an assistant for a set number of hours a month.

It’s important to note that personal assistants often set their own rates. With that said, the cost of an assistant can vary greatly. But understanding typical pricing options can give you a better idea of affordability.

Deciding How Many Hours You Need a Personal Assistant

So how many hours do you actually need a personal assistant? The answer to this question will depend on the entrepreneur and is often difficult to gauge. However, it will ultimately depend on your workload and the goals you would like to accomplish. Let’s take a look at an example.

One business owner might dedicate themselves to write 5 long-form content marketing posts 8 hours a week. As the demand for the business grows, the owner may find it difficult to continue meeting their content marketing needs. In this case, it’s a good idea to hire a personal assistant for 8 hours a week to handle this area of marketing.

On the other hand, let’s say the business owner is in need of regular inbox management, expenses and invoice management, and website maintenance. In this case, the owner might need to hire a personal assistant for 20+ hours a week to successfully manage multiple tasks.

With that said, there are typically two types of assistants you can hire: in-person and virtual. Let’s discuss where you can find a personal assistant for your business.

Where to Find an In-Person Assistant

Thanks to the internet, finding an in-person personal assistant is easier than ever before. There are plenty of platforms available to connect entrepreneurs with the right assistant to meet business needs. With that said, due to the popularity of virtual assistants, entrepreneurs may have more success finding an in-person assistant on more traditional platforms such as job boards.

Be sure to write a descriptive job post that entails your company’s mission, the expected duties of the assistant, how many hours and days you need an assistant, and what you’re willing to pay. Additionally, be sure to specify that you are looking for an in-person assistant. Providing a good description will increase the likelihood of entrepreneurs receiving solid responses to the job post.

Aside from traditional job boards, social networking sites like LinkedIn is a great place to find a personal assistant. LinkedIn is dedicated to helping companies and prospective employees get matched with one another. Many people that use LinkedIn are looking to get hired at companies that can jumpstart their careers and provide them with job security. This can make an in-person assistant job post much more desirable on this type of platform.

Where to Find an Online Assistant

With the continued growth of virtual assistants, entrepreneurs will be happy to know that they don’t have to look far to find one. Entrepreneurs can take to traditional job boards to hire an online personal assistant. However, there are also plenty of sites dedicated to remote work. For instance, here at Zirtual, we find and train proactive virtual assistants to help entrepreneurs reach their goals.

What’s even better is that you can hire a virtual assistant to perform all the tasks an in-person assistant can accomplish. A virtual assistant can help entrepreneurs with tasks such as email management, content marketing, and data entry without additional overhead costs.

What Qualities and Abilities to Vet For

A personal assistant can prove to be a great asset for businesses. An assistant provides owners with more free time, improves flexibility, saves money, and gives owners an extra set of eyes and ears. If you think your business needs a personal assistant, knowing what qualities and abilities to vet for is essential. Hiring an assistant is an investment, and you want to add hire someone who adds to your company. Here are 5 things that entrepreneurs should look for.

1. Organized

One of the first qualities you should look for in a personal assistant is their organizational skills. After all, an assistant is designed to support your business needs to improve efficiency and productivity. They will need to be detailed-oriented and be able to prioritize tasks based on their level of importance.

2. Ability to Problem-Solve

Another skill that’s important for your personal assistant to have is problem-solving skills. Hiring an assistant means that you’re removing some of your responsibilities and allocating it to your assistant. This means that your assistant needs to be able to work independently and solve problems on their own without needing guidance.

3. Experience

Having experience working as a personal assistant is another skill that entrepreneurs should prioritize. There are many situations that an assistant can encounter, and the demands of the job can certainly fluctuate. For this reason, you want someone who is experienced with adapting to different work environments and can continue to provide the needed support as demands change.

4. Effective Communication

Communicating effectively is crucial for your personal assistant. While your assistant should be able to work independently, it’s also important they can successfully communicate information regarding the company. Your assistant will likely handle various business tasks on your behalf, which means it’s essential that you and your assistant are able to keep the line of communication open. In addition to this, effective communication will be important for your assistant if their duties include answering phone calls or sending emails.

5. Willing to Update Their Skills

Finding a personal assistant who is willing to update their skills can be a huge plus. While you should certainly hire someone who already has what you’re looking for, hiring someone who wants to continue to learn can be a great resource for your company as it continues to grow.

A personal assistant is a great investment for entrepreneurs to scale and grow their business. If you’re hiring a personal assistant for the first time, it’s important to map out your current budget and needs. Additionally, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with common pricing options.

With the growing demand for personal assistants, entrepreneurs have options when it comes to finding the right assistant. With that said, be sure to hire an assistant who understands your company’s vision and goals and is able to meet your current demands successfully.