How to tell if you need an assistant or just better productivity

Almost every entrepreneur dreams of having a personal assistant, but will a PA bring enough value to your professional life to make it worth hiring one?

Maybe you can re-allocate your tasks to save the money needed to hire someone. Or maybe you really do need an assistant.

Risk and reward

Hiring an assistant, or any employee for that matter, is not an easy decision. You go from being a sole proprietor to being a boss. Managing another person takes energy, time and money.

You have more risks to deal with, ranging from privacy, taxes and injuries. Here are some things that you should think about before becoming an employer.

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What would you have your assistant do?

Before hiring any worker, you should have a good idea of what you need done. There’s no sense in paying someone to sit around while you figure out the tasks they should do. Pretend you have an assistant for a week. Write down every job that person could do for you.

Don’t think too much about the tasks, just put them down on paper.

After you’ve tracked the tasks for at least three days, sort them into categories. Some suggestions, errands, busywork, tasks that only you can do, tasks which could be automated, and tasks which don’t really need to be done. This helps you take a look at what you’re doing that isn’t vital to your life. I think this is where you can really decide if you need to be more productive and efficient or if you really need help.

What’s the value of your time?

Take the tasks you want an assistant to perform and time them out. Total up the amount of time the tasks should take. What would it cost to hire someone to do those tasks? Be realistic about what it would cost to pay someone.

Don’t forget to include taxes, workers’ comp insurance and other expenses in that figure. (Please check the law before hiring someone as an independent contractor.)

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Can you afford an assistant? Does it free you up enough to generate more revenue or bring you more joy? Are you willing to trust someone with your email accounts, social media pages and clients? Do you have time to train a person as to your expectations and system?

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