The dynamics of a startup are different from most large corporations. The teams are busy and very goal-driven − they need to be productive to move the business to a more stable environment.
“Building a vision, as well as the product and the team, simultaneously, then there is one factor that is precious – time” Mads Singers, CEO and management coach at Mads Singers. But with this advice, some challenges should be mentioned – each day is a new opportunity. The newly formed company can either make a leap forward or be outsmarted by the competition, leading to total failure. Therefore, increasing productivity is vital, yet many startups tend to hit a bottleneck point at some stage. This is when they slow down so dramatically that both the founder and the recently hired have reason to stress. Cracks can start to show, staff might leave the business, or investment might stall.
However, similar to most companies, irrespective of size, there is usually a laundry list of items to sort out. The list includes keeping the website and social media updated, and admin work that wasn’t seen as essential yet is starting to bite. Things can often simply be done better, which is why people and investors are looking for alternative options available. Such is an avoidable scenario if you grasp that your team is not a limitless resource. They are human, and there is only so much they can do each day. Unfortunately, in most cases, artificial intelligence (AI) is either not available or in its beginning stages, so not very effective.
Therefore, let’s take a step back – let’s go back to the nuts and bolts of what mistakes are, and how to avoid them. Firstly, you are a startup filled with ideas and not too many resources. You do not understand the complexities of what is needed since, in some cases, you are an engineer with excellent skills in engineering but lacking marketing or social media skills. Also, hiring people and giving them tasks simply because you need someone to assist is not the best strategy. Your team will burn out or start to feel bitter about you, ultimately moving to your competition and taking with them their (or your) knowledge. In addition to the human-resource side, you also lack money in the bank to steamroll all your ideas to the market effectively. Now, you might think getting venture capital will solve this, and yes, to a point, it will – until you stop throwing money at it. After that, you will not just revert, but your retraction speed will be faster than the time spent building your progress. It’s time to think smarter – to feel like an established entrepreneur. Serial entrepreneurs know the most prominent tool they have is their ability to think strategically about spending their money to get the best possible outcomes.
Virtual assistants and where they fit in with a startup business
Virtual assistants or remote (online) workers are an excellent way of adding skilled workers to a project, especially in an agile method, to benefit from their services for the period they are wanted. Areas in which they can assist include all the mundane tasks such as managing calendars, data entry, bookkeeping, HR responsibilities, social media management, marketing, lead generation, or even SEO development. This employment technique is also economical and will dramatically boost your team’s productivity.
The effect is that, when a VA completes these tasks, tasks that you would have done yourself or have had members of your team do, the VA does so perfectly, timeously, and most importantly, costing you less than you or any of your team would have cost. Additionally, the time freed up means that you and your core team will be able to focus directly on your main work. That is the game-changer, since you will be more productive. Both your investors and your market will notice this. Such can accelerate your expansion to other countries and define your dominance, making sure your competition does not affect your success.
The reason for self-hiring not being recommended is not that we are biased – it’s that we know that many companies fail in their ability both to hire people and manage them. More so, the trend is increasing amongst startups to hire a virtual assistant as their secret weapon. There is also a lot of hesitation, mostly through unfamiliarity with this approach, or having attempted the hiring themselves, and being badly burnt. When you start with broken parts, the vehicle is doomed to fail at some point. However, you can avoid this – use an agency, like Aristo Sourcing.
What benefits do a virtual assistant bring to a startup?
We have already mentioned the financial benefit, as well as increased productivity. In addition to that, a VA can help to free up time (a precious commodity that can’t be replaced); they can help you remain organized, help to find new leads, improve your customer service, connect with your clients, and add much-needed skills to complement your existing team.
In our upcoming article, we will detail what and where a virtual assistant can be of help. This article will have a more practical explanation of how an online assistant can add benefit to a business, especially focusing on startups.
The point to take home
Understanding your reality, your limits, and what is available. Once you have acknowledged your failures, you can fill those gaps with talent that is not just effective but also a smart economic and strategic move. You can change your staffing mix to match your needs and not be burdened by on-site staff hired to do work you don’t need them for anymore. Therefore, give yourself and your startup the edge by hiring a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is there to assist you for the period and tasks you need them for at the time. As your needs change, so will your assistant help to supply these needs.
You might be interested in reading our follow-up post – Startups Using Virtual Assistants [a Practical Guide].