Let’s get real for a second. You need to know when to surrender to your workload and call someone, anyone, for help. Entrepreneurs and freelancers, I’m talking to you. Yes, you often need to wear many different hats to successfully run your business(es), but it’s important to recognise when the signs are telling you that support is needed.
If you’re struggling to balance everything on your plate, a personal assistant (PA) might be the solution. But what exactly is a PA and what function do they serve?
Katie James is Communications Manager at lifestyle management agency Buy Time. She explains: “You can have a PA that looks after your private life, your business or a combination of both. The primary function is to support you and free up your time.”
Now let’s identify some glaring signs that you need to hire a PA, and soon.
Your life is in shambles
Your email inbox is cluttered beyond recognition, you’ve missed an important conference call and you haven’t phoned your mum in weeks. If you’d appointed someone to help keep your affairs in order, you wouldn’t be in this mess.
Katie says: “A PA’s work will often involve diary and calendar management, keeping you on top of your correspondence and your connection with the outside world, administrative tasks and anything that you need doing that you don’t actually have to do yourself – supporting you and freeing up your time.”
You have no time to expand your business
What’s the point of being a business woman when you have no time to work on your business, woman? When you start spending most of your time crunching numbers and trawling through reams of documents instead of doing your actual work, it’s a problem.
Katie says: “The turning point is often when you know you need to spend more time on growth activities for your business but instead you are spending time sorting your expenses, scanning receipts and entering details into an excel spreadsheet ready to send to the accountant – yourself. It’s at this point you might realise there are things you’d like to do which you know can move your business forward and help you develop but you’re putting them off because you’ve got admin work to finish first.”
Personal life? What personal life?
Your career is a big part of your life, but should it really be your whole life? And at what point does the line between work and home become blurred?
Katie says: “It’s when you see that you’re missing out on living your life outside of work. This realisation is often the key factor for many of those that reach out to us. Imagine being a city professional, you work all day long, then you get home late and you want to spend quality time with your family but you’ve got to sort out your household bills, there’s a whole pile of papers at home and the dog’s got to have its vaccinations.”
Recruiting your new PA
So what qualities should you look out for when hiring your first PA? “There’s a lot to consider in terms of HR,” explains Katie. “You need to understand their background, how long they’ve stayed in jobs in the past and how their skills match up with your requirements.”
“Often the things you need support with can vary in skill level so you need to make sure you’re taking on someone who’s happy to do some business development and marketing but who’s also not going to mind booking your car in for an MOT and arranging your appointments. You want someone who’s happy to muck in and get involved across all levels.
“It can be daunting to commit to taking on a full-time, contracted member of staff and that’s where flexible personal assistant services like ours come in. We assign each of our customers a dedicated personal assistant who they can use on an hourly basis in accordance with their individual needs.”
If you’d like some more information about recruiting a PA, visit buy-time.co.uk to find out about their services. LLY