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Why do I need a Virtual Assistant?
Short answer is I don’t. But, I am in a position now that I often do not get things done because I am time poor and I do not have any direct reports at work, so this will be a good opportunity to learn how to manage people while becoming more efficient and effective.
According to Tim Ferris, motivational coach, tech entrepreneur and author of the best selling Four Hour Work Week , getting a VA is the first step in getting rid of the menial, minutia tasks by delegating or ignoring them is the best way to start focusing on what matters. I have tried deleting tasks, but there is always a backlog of ideas that creep back up your spine as a tingle and you are never really satisfied that you made the right choice by not doing it.
Enter the VA.
The VA does two great things for you: Allows you to delegate the tasks that you would otherwise spend a lot of time on sitting in front of a screen when you could be doing something more useful (and lets face it, our time = $$$); plus, and more importantly, having a VA forces you to define an idea into an actionable task.
By defining the task, I am forced to take that annoying periodic spine tingle and turn it into something that someone else can actually understand. Now when I have that tinge, I can take action to define it as something that I might give to a VA. Even if I never give it to the VA, I know that I have taken the step to remove it from my spinal cord and I all of a sudden stand a little straighter.
And now begins my journey to find a VA.
What can I get them to do?
  • Random tasks online
  • Research topics I am interested in
  • Finding me the best deals for personal purchases and gift ideas
  • Find me cool clothes that fit
  • Mix of personal and business idea development
  • Find out trip details and book
  • Create and keep me to an exercise plan
  • Help me define a project plan to goals and then keep me on track (personal project manager)
How often do I need it?
  • At the moment, not that much, but I think that is in part because I have not been using a service yet. Instead, I am estimating things in the below that I repeatedly do, so I can roughly know how much I would need a VA
Repetitious tasks that I could outsource :
Task
How often does it (or could it) occur?
How long does it take me each time?
Buying gifts for friends
2-3 times per month
2 hours
organizing periodical things to be booked – Car repairs, tax return appointment, dentist appointments
Once per week
30 minutes
Be the keeper of my to-do list (and force me to prioritise it)
Once per day
10 minutes
Researching stuff for work
– business plan
– operational plan
– research for new initiatives
3 times per week
2 hours
Research content ideas for blogs
1 time per week
3 hours
Research on business ideas
1 time per month
20 hours
Research on property investment
1 time per year
60 hours
Finding clothes on-line
1 time per month
3 hours
Research holidays and trips
2 times per year
10 hours
Research exercise plans and keep me on task
1 per week
1 hour
Total
~18.5 hours per week
Things I can outsource right now:
  • Research baby friendly holiday in Thailand
  • Research Dentists in Thailand
  • Competitor research for work
  • Research on best practice for strategy development in product management teams
  • Research other businesses in Australia using same CRM systems and find contact details (for knowledge share)
  • Research types of SLAs that would work in the situation we are in with RP
  • Research and present pros and cons of living overseas with a baby
  • Market research for business ideas
  • Find an exercise & diet plan and keep me to it
  • Clean up my email & manage
  • Sell all of the unwanted items around the house
For my first task, I am going to try a few different services with our Thailand holiday and finding my a good Dentist while I am there.
VA Options
There are a lot of VA options out there. The best aggregate site that I have found is Virtual Assistant Assistant. Spearheaded by Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation, it is a very comprehensive list of VA services and reviews.
The handiest feature I found were the video interviews with CEOs and co-founders of VA companies, which give you a little personal insight into the type of business you will be dealing with.
The list so far:
 Service
Cost
Where
Focused on
Ask Sunday
$29/mth – 2 hours – $15 hour after that
$119/mth – 10 hours – $13 hour after that
3 hours free-trial
General personal assistant work
Tasks everyday
$6.9/hour
general purpose
Access to lots of business resource as well
virtual coworker
from $6 per hour
getting you a PA matched to your specific business problems
myvirtualworkforce
$518 per month
teams of VAs that are housed in an office with backup teams
VA talks
$120/mth – 10 hours
India
Tech startups & random business tasks
task virtual
$39/20 tasks – 15 minutes per task
(approx $8/hour)
Entreprenuers and small businesses
task bullet
$200 / 10 hours – you can use them for three months
Philippines
less creative or technical, more admin stuff
 The first trial: VA Talks 2 day trial
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