By Zeanique L. Barber
The last thing that you want to do as a budding entrepreneur who has learned how to turn a profit on your start-up, is pay someone else to do something that you can do yourself. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing exactly what, how, when, why and where something needs to get done but you just simply don’t have the capacity to take the time to structure yourself because you’re too busy meeting your client’s needs and you’re moving 1000 miles an hour like this sentence!!!!! Breathe…Your business is booming, this a blessing, but you’ll need to make sure you continue to nail the basics as you get some steam under your little engine.
Sex and the City (still waiting on the 3rd movie) if it did nothing else, gave all entrepreneurs insight into what it means to be an entrepreneur and a one woman show. The women of Sex and the City were all entrepreneurs in their own right and I particularly enjoyed the introduction of “Louise from St. Louis,” who helped Carrie organize her one woman empire so that it could go to the next level. Louise helped Carrie get organized while ensuring that the lights were kept on and Carrie paid her bills on time. There are some considerations you must make when you’re deciding if you are at the point where you need a personal assistant (PA). Sure, you can get a PA at any time but as an Entrepreneur of a start-up your resources may be limited and your time, money and ability to produce quality work product are paramount to your success. A PA may become a very necessary asset and below are tips on the types of PA’s you may need and what you should consider.
1.) The Novice Personal Assistant – No Experience
Novice Personal Assistants are good if your budget is $0. You can typically find a novice intern at your local high school or university and these two places are particularly great for finding untapped talent who want to be exposed to a field but don’t have any experience. Here is a good litmus test to determine if you should hire a novice PA: Are you at a point where you have standard tasks for your PA? If the answer is yes, then you may want to go with a novice resource. Do you have a huge bulk of mail that needs to be sorted by predefined categories? Do you have the need to help unpack office deliveries and then itemize those deliveries to a predefined process? Tasks that you have already established standard processes around may be the best to have an intern to assist. This Novice PA with is looking to learn how a business works and wants to gain insight into operational logistics from an Entrepreneur and depending on what your needs are this may be a perfect fit.
2. The Experienced Personal Assistant – Some Experience
However, if you have standard tasks as well as tasks you would like them to help you innovate around like vlogging, social media strategy etc. then your budget may start at the industry average for Personal Assistants $14.74 and may increase, depending on your job description.
3.) The Professional Personal Assistant – Proven Track Record of Success
Considering when to get a Professional Personal Assistants is similar to how you consider where to live. If you have access to resources such as money and privilege such as choice, then you are able to choose where you want to live based on your resources and what’s important to you. This is the same case with determining what type of Personal Assistant to hire, once you’ve reached a certain level. Of course, you can get skilled interns that will provide you with a certain level of assistance, but if you want a personal assistant that has some experience and a certain level of existing professional skill set, then you will want to be very explicit in your job description and get the experience that you need to take your business to the next level.
Remember, being busy is a blessing when you are adding to your start-up’s bottom line. You may want to hire different types of Personal Assistants depending on your budget, your needs and the time you have to find this resource. You’ll have to consider your pay structure for your personal assistant before you consider anything else and after that determine how much time you have to train your new PA for them to be effective. Congrats Entrepreneur on getting to the point where you need a Personal Assistant for your Start Up and the best is yet to come!
May the Force Be With You,
Zeanique works with public, non-profit, and private entities since 2000, where she has architected large scale ERP and CRM implementations. She has been a Salesforce Consultant since 2010 and is based in Washington, DC. She’s also served as a Professor for small business marketing, value proposition and business plan development at Trinity Washington University