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Have you ever wanted to work from home, make your own schedule, travel the world, all while making money? Or if you're a business owner, do you find yourself working endless hours and doing tedious tasks where you aren't utilizing your full potential? If either of this are true for you, now is a good time for you to look into the world of virtual assistants (also known as VA's).
Recently, our CEO Stacy Jones sat down with someone who was looking to find remote work and not only found it, but is sharing how she did it with others. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores how Virtual Assistants can streamline your business and ease your mind with the founder of The Academy of Virtual Assistants, Molly Rose Speed.
After years as a corporate accountant, Molly Rose decided to live out her mission and live a life owning her time and her unique service to the world. By helping passionate, mission driven entrepreneurs implement their ideas online through flawless tech execution, she has not only freed herself, but the hundreds of the entrepreneurs she has automated and streamlined.
Molly Rose is the creator of The Academy for Virtual Assistants which trains and places VA’s nationally. She is also is the operations genius behind Build A Bigger Life, a retreat, events and consulting company. She's a military spouse and solo world traveler who believes in creating a career and a life that allows you to do more of what you love.
Question: To start off, can you share with our listeners a little bit more about you, who you are, and what got you to where you are today?
Answer: Absolutely. About six years ago, I was a corporate cubicle dweller doing the nine to five grind to the 45 minute commute each way, never having time for travel or holidays. I knew something needed to change, so I quit cold Turkey and I found the career of being a virtual assistant. Fast forward to today, I now call myself a business integrator, which is kind of the top of the support service chain for entrepreneurs. I've done everything from general admin, to building websites, to strategic planning with my clients. Now, I'm teaching other virtual assistants how to do the same through my academy for virtual assistants.
I'm also a military spouse, so that lended well to this career path. I started getting asked the same question over and over by military spouses, "How do I do what you do?" That was kind of the foundation or the passion behind creating this program. A lot of the women that have gone through my program are military spouses, but we also have a lot of moms, and world travelers, and it's kind of a motley crew. But the foundation is military spouses, which is really rewarding and cool. It's really neat to see them go from confined lifestyle to be able to travel when their husbands are deployed or if they are a teacher, they can work all summer and kind of adapt their schedules that way.
Question: What are some of the mistakes that people make along the way of trying to source, and find, and hire, and work with, there's so many things here, a virtual assistant?
Answer: Yeah, this comes up a lot. I think that letting go as a business owner is key, so trusting and having that period of 60 to 90 days when you bring someone into your business, and testing them small but not worrying about major mistakes, just talking through them as they happen, and open communication. What works for you, what works for them, and make sure that it's balanced on both sides is very important. Setting those roadblocks up throughout your on boarding relationship is really important because then it carries through for the years to come and they know that they can talk to you just as much as you can talk to them. It's just a well-oiled friendship almost if then get it to work that way.
Then I'm usually asked "How do I start the process?" My recommendation is always to go through a two week period. You can do this in a week if you're a super, super busy entrepreneur. I have a guide that goes with this, but basically you just need a sheet of paper and you write down everything that you do for two weeks. Like call your mom, send this email, invoice someone, do a coaching call, onboard a team member, do payroll, whatever it is. Just keep going and just keep a little log. Then at the end of two weeks come back to it and look at it and circle all the things that you physically have to do. I bet you like 10% of it is actually demanding you and your time and your brain. The rest of it can be outsourced.
Most entrepreneurs need that type of thing to just get it out there and understand that there really is a lot that you can be outsourcing. From that, you will create your job description. If you work with me, I take you through a consult and we figure out how many hours is this going to take, talk through budgets, personality types, communication style, and then we can match you with a professional virtual assistant of the program or you can find someone on your own.
Question: For virtual assistants, is it that they have to be doing office work or are there other things that they can be doing to help you as well?
Answer: Yeah, so this is where it gets really exciting and some virtual assistants specialize in things, but VA is kind of our jack of all trades in a lot of cases. They can help you with social media, and marketing, and website updating if they know that. If not, a lot of them will be willing to learn. Then they can also do the admin that we all know VA's for, like checking email, and calendar, scheduling, booking appointments, travel, those managerial type of things. There's a whole bunch of stuff in between. I've built courses for people, and helped with branding, and a lot of various things that seem a little bit more high level, but virtual assistants are actually equipped to handle.
Question: How is it different than having an employee in house? So why would someone say, "Oh, I need to get a VA", versus, "Oh, I just need to bring someone else into my company."
Answer: VA's are great because the overhead is a lot lower, acquiring a new employee for companies is expensive and benefits are involved there. With that though, I have seen VAs go from a contract employee to a to an employee, so that that always is an option. But it allows for a lot more flexibility. You can grow their role as as they grow. Starting someone at 20 hours a month might feel most comfortable, but then you'll probably quickly get to 40 hours a month and so on. There's just a lot more flexibility with having a contractor in this type of role and a lot more flexibility with what they can do and take on. When they work, it works well for them to have that flexibility of their own business so they can set their own hours and feel comfortable with that as well.
Question: Can you also have the VA work with other people where they help manage other people?
Answer: Yes, yes. As the VA grows, I share that they kind of almost become like a business operations person within your business. The up-leveling from a VA to business operations, OBM is kind of the term in the industry, operations business manager. They can outsource. If you're working with a designer, they might help run that, so they become your point person as the business owner and then they can come and work with all the contractors on the team. That's ideal as they grow in to that role if they're a good fit.
And if you're on the fence about whether or not to get a VA, get a VA. Like, just do it. I think I heard this a few days ago, I was listening to someone speak about virtual assistants, and they said the same thing. They were a business owner and they were like, "If you're thinking about it, just do it. Just do it because your business will completely change."
The industry is really growing with entrepreneurs and the VA market is growing as well, but I'm at a point where the demand for virtual assistants is so strong. Everyone that's a business owner listening, your peers are doing this right and left, that my VA market is like I need more VAs. I need them. It's really important for you to scale, to grow, that you grow with a team, grow with the business owner.
If you're interested in learning more about virtual assistants, whether it's becoming one or hiring your own, you should definitely listen to the full episode with Molly Rose! Check it out below.
When it comes to running a successful company, theres never enough information to learn! Check out some of our other podcast blogs where we have expert business advice, and see how you can change your company for the better!
Topics: Business Advice, Podcast Interviews, HB Podcast