Maternity Leave Musings
I get it. You’re busy and you feel like you have no space to breathe, let alone get anything done. You talk to your biz friends about it and they suggest getting a VA and you see posts on facebook groups asking for VA recommendations. This can be such a tempting solution– just have someone on your team to pass off the tasks that you just don’t know what to do.
Here’s one scenario: Once you hire someone who seems nice and competent, you realize you are spending a lot of time answering questions and you get to a point where it just feels easier to do certain tasks yourself instead of passing them off and explaining them. And if you’re not reaching your retainer hours for a VA, you feel like you’re wasting money. Uhg.
Here’s another scenario: You have clear expectations and roles and responsibilities. You have SOPs in place and a dedicated few weeks for onboarding your support person. You have the space carved out to answer questions that come up and your new person pretty seamlessly integrates with your team.
I have people come to me inquiring about my instensives– which are all about getting a business set up with the necessary systems and processes or prioritizing necessary projects. These create space and advising for business owners to get everything they’re thinking out in the open and then make decisions about what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how to delegate these things– for example. I’ve found that often systems and such are not one size fits all and it’s so helpful for the CEO to make decisions and to have someone like me translate what that can look like from a systems perspective and WHO can help them.
After an intensive, I can then make recommendations of who to hire and what services I can offer. I usually don’t work for more than 90 days inside someone’s business. I’m not an implementor– and I’ve helped my people find the right ones! After an intensive, I’ve offered hiring manager for hire services as well as short term project management (usually around SOPs) and advising.
I’ve discovered after talking to many CEOs that some people just want to make that quick hire and forgo an intensive AND forgo a careful screening and hiring process. I’ve heard “Wait, you’re telling me you want to talk to me on the phone and then not necessarily work with me ongoing? Why not just hire a VA?” That’s a great question! A quick hire (and forgoing an intensive/getting things set up) can totally work for some– and I don’t recommend it for everybody.
– You know what you need/ you have some systems and SOPs in place
– You have your client process mapped out and have your system in place (like Dubsado for example) for onboarding, you have your methods for collecting money and accounting processes down. This doesn’t need to be perfect but you have made these decisions.
– If you haven’t made these decisions about processes and systems, you are OK with someone else figuring it out and you not having a say (if you truly want to quickly pass it off)
– You hire someone who can lead and tell you “no” and tell you what they need
– You don’t feel comfortable asking for what you need or you don’t know what you need- any hire needs training or if you’re getting a VA/implementor, they need to be explicitly told what to do in your business
– You don’t have your systems and processes down– like your client onboarding, your contract systems/CRM (think Dubsado or others)
– You still want to have your hand in the decision making about baseline processes/procedures in your business yet you’re desperate to just “hand it off”. Nothing is more frustrating than handing a project off and then having it not be right– but people can’t read your mind. If you don’t mind having it done a certain way, then great!
– You’re not ready for people to make decisions on your behalf or haven’t taught them how to make decisions on your behalf. You also don’t want to field a bunch of questions.
(What can happen too is that you hemmorage money for retainer hours that you don’t use or for support that is more expensive than what you actually need)
In my experience, the hiring process, though it can seem long and overly thorough, can really pay off (of course, along with processes in place and a mindset of being able to delegate and trust others).
These are my observations from what I’ve seen in my own business and in others’. Does any of this sound familiar to you?