As a small business owner or startup, your work is never done, the to do list seems endless and the sheer workload can seem pretty overwhelming a lot of the time. However this is often because many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to do everything for themselves in a misguided belief that they are saving costs.
In actual fact, trying to do all the work yourself only results in a loss of efficiency, productivity, motivation and ultimately passion. If you are the one handling all the chores, the research, the billing, debt recovery, and all the other tedious parts of your business, then you take away from the fun part of running your own entrepreneurial venture, and you waste your own valuable time on tasks that you don’t add value to.
For these reasons (and to keep your own sanity), it is a good idea to find an administrative assistant to support you, particularly in the early days.
What are the benefits of an Administrative Assistant?
An administrative assistant can be a secretary, a receptionist, an office manager, a researcher, a note taker, an accounts clerk, and even a driver in our case. Their job is to help you keep your business workflow smooth and efficient by taking care of several duties that you would have to do on your own otherwise.
An assistant can answer your correspondence:
One of the biggest chores of running a business, and the biggest distraction to getting the real work done, is probably having to manage your inbox and phone line. Responding to emails, scheduling meetings and answering phone calls are all surprisingly time consuming and distracting to an efficient workflow. An administrative assistant can answer emails and telephones, and manage your calendar so you never miss an engagement with a client.
An assistant can do your research and reports for you:
Tedious research that bores you to death can be left to the assistant, who knows how to find information efficiently and quickly. She or he can create templates and manage regular reports that need submitting, they can attend meetings with you, recording and sharing the minutes afterwards. They may even be able to write full reports and create client-ready presentations and pitches for you.
Your assistant can keep you on schedule:
Not only can a personal assistant manage your calendar and work diary, they will help you keep to your schedule and not miss a single appointment. If this means getting your business suit from the dry cleaners, or arranging a lunch delivery while you are busy with an unexpected hiccup at the office, your assistant will be able to make sure you get what you need to keep yourself going, no matter what the circumstances.
So do you really need an administrative assistant?
Answer these questions for yourself to get your answer:
Do you find yourself spending hours every week entering data into an Excel spreadsheet, or creating reports or presentations?
Do you have to make calls, attend meetings, collect cheques and run errands that do not need your particular special expertise?
Does your filing system (online and offline) resemble a disorganized and cluttered collection of documents?
Do you forget to send invoices and/or spend hours on the phone chasing payments?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you may find the addition of an administrative assistant useful. However, hiring a new employee on the payroll may not be cost-effective if you only have a few such tasks that you cannot manage on your own. You may be able to budget for a basic salary, but does this include recruitment ads, visas, insurance, flights and the cost of your time in recruiting, interviewing, training, managing, motivating and appraising? And what caliber individual will you get for the salary you can afford?
Small businesses will usually not be able to afford an experienced executive assistant, with years of experience as the right hand of top-level executives. There is a solution however, in the form of Virtual Assistants (VA’s) who have the same roles as a traditional Personal Assistant (PA) but are based remotely. In today’s digital age, the distance really is no issue as everything (down to bringing you lunch) can be arranged online. At MY PA, we combine the benefits of a VA with the advantages of a local presence, by being based in Dubai, we can also attend meetings and events as your assistant, and our driver can pick up stationary supplies, dry cleaning and much more as required – therefore fulfilling all the requirements of an assistant to a busy business owner without the costs or commitments.
So, if you want to manage your time efficiently, ease the stress, and ensure that you continue to work on the business, doing what you do best, whilst maintaining a good work-life balance, you will find the services of an administrative assistant invaluable.
Please do get in touch with us to find out more about how an administrative assistant might be able to help your business.