Do You Need an Executive Assistant?
Your business is growing, and it’s getting harder and harder to juggle all the balls you’ve got in the air every day. Between following up on new leads and dealing with customer service issues, paying bills, booking travel, and everything else you need to deal with, it’s tough to prioritize your most important job: taking your business to the next level. So, is it time to hire an executive assistant to take the burden of day-to-day operations off your own shoulders? Here are some signs that you need help.
You often overbook yourself for meetings or forget about scheduled appointments. Time management can be tough for business owners, and when you’re dealing with so many other issues, it’s even more difficult to make sure you’re not over-committing yourself or forgetting about scheduled events. An assistant can keep track of your schedule and make sure that you prioritize your most important meetings while helping you leave time for other business development.
Your email inbox has hundreds of unread messages. These days, most business communication is done through the instantaneous process of email—a good idea in theory. The problem? Many business owners end up receiving far more email than they have time to read and respond to, and struggle to prioritize their responses. You may want to create a strictly private personal email account for friends and family and let an administrative assistant handle the rest: He or she can sort through your overflowing inbox, send out responses when required, and forward on the few messages that actually do require your personal attention. (Chances are, there won’t be nearly as many urgent emails as you expect.)
You find yourself neglecting your family. Everyone knows that when you first launch a business, some 12-hour days are required to get it off the ground — but when you’ve been established for a while, your kids might not be quite so forgiving when you keep on missing their soccer games. An assistant can help you balance your schedule by setting aside time for family events and ensuring that you stick with a more limited work schedule so that you can join your spouse in cheering for your kid at every game.
You’re turning away new opportunities because you simply don’t have time to take them on. To run a successful business, you need to focus on activities that will increase your revenues — yet you’re spending so much of your time dealing with busywork that you don’t have time to respond to RFPs or take on new client opportunities. An assistant can handle many of your day-to-day administrative tasks, freeing you up to focus on developing and going after lucrative new business opportunities.
Kathryn Hawkins is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.