Here a few ideas for assessing the need for a PA, managing the work and getting the most value from a PA.
Knowing if you need a PA comes first. Are you missing opportunities to generate revenue or is your work/life balance suffering? If you answered "yes," write down a list of weekly tasks and how long it takes to perform each one to get a baseline on the time you can potentially recover as well as the amount of time you might need a PA. This list will also help you establish job responsibilities.
Start with low-priority tasks. This gives you time to assess skills. Beginning tasks might include sorting mail, data entry, scanning, filing and file shredding. Don't be shy about errands either, like picking up dry cleaning, buying office supplies or getting lunch.
Graduate to higher-priority tasks. After your PA establishes a track record of trust, builds an understanding of your business and signs an appropriate confidentiality agreement, additional tasks can be introduced. These may include managing social media, scheduling appointments, client follow-up, invoicing or screening email.
Virtual PAs are also a viable alternative in the digital age. If you don't require in-person assistance, tasks like email screening, phone answering and appointment scheduling are easy to handle from a remote location.
Stay tuned next month to learn where to find and hire local and virtual personal assistants from