HireMyVA Podcast

HireMyVA Podcast 133- How many hours does a virtual assistant work?

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Dave Braun
00:00:05
Hey, everybody. Welcome to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building Podcast, brought to you by Yoogozi.com. And in this podcast and at HireMyVA, we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with virtual assistants without breaking the bank. And that means your bank. And I’m Dave Braun. I’m here with my partner and fantastic business mentor and coach, already gave me some advice today, but most importantly, he’s my really, really good friend, Larry Broughton. Larry.

Larry Broughton
00:00:33
Hello, handsome, Dave.

Dave Braun
00:00:35
Tell us how are you doing today?

Larry Broughton
00:00:37
I am great. Things are getting better every single day. It’s a great life if you don’t weaken. Someone told me that once. No, I’m doing great, Dave, how are you?

Dave Braun
00:00:52
Doing well. Beautiful day outside today.

Larry Broughton
00:00:54
Yeah. I just got back. I spent yesterday in Palm Springs with a couple of business associates and it was just a great productive day. So I’m glad to be here with you today. I’m getting my needs met. Well, just the emotional stuff, you know, I love this business stuff, so I know that we’ve got some really good questions that we’re gonna touch on today. So, this one makes me chuckle every time we hear it. So…

Dave Braun
00:01:25
No, this is episode 133. The question is, how many hours does a virtual assistant work? In other words, should I hire a virtual assistant part-time or full-time? I think that’s what people are really asking.

Larry Broughton
00:01:40
This could be the shortest podcast we’ve ever done.

Dave Braun
00:01:44
That’s gonna be, I don’t know. I Don’t know, between you and me, really a short podcast?

Larry Broughton
00:01:50
Yeah, because here’s the answer. Are you ready? Now, don’t blink or don’t like, focus on this because you could miss it and then we’re gonna be done. It depends. That’s the answer.

Dave Braun
00:02:03
Ooh, that’s perfect.

Larry Broughton
00:02:03
It depends, but let’s dive into this. Why the heck am I saying this? Listen, it just depends on what you’re looking for.

Dave Braun
00:02:13
Yeah, absolutely. And there are just so many examples of different things. We have some in our businesses right? I mean, we’ve got one person who’s working 20 hours a week, and that works for him because he’s got another client he wants to work for and he doesn’t want to, even though we’ve asked him to go full-time, he’s like, he wants to keep both clients and that’s a cool thing. And Daph on our team, she works 30 hours a week. So basically, she’s working four days a week because she likes a longer weekend. That works for her. She really values some of that extra time off in her family.

Larry Broughton
00:02:54
Well, let’s go back. Let’s rewind this a little bit. So, I understand where the question comes from, it’s just that I think you and I have heard this so many times between masterminds and podcasts things and people submitting questions. It just makes me chuckle because, I get that people don’t get the math right on this, Dave. So why are we trying to hire Virtual Assistants? Well, we’re trying to find more freedom in our life, right? We’re to find freedom so that I as the business owner or the manager or the leader of the organization can free up some of my own time to grow, to grow the business, or maybe I’m just working so many stinking hours, I need help. And so oftentimes we get stuck, Dave in this math. Okay, I’m spending— Let’s do a, a simple one.

Larry Broughton
00:03:40
It’s the one that we use oftentimes. Larry, Dave, I’m spending 15 hours a week doing accounting stuff and it’s not my strength and I’m always making mistakes. I need to find somebody who really knows how to do this, but I can’t afford to hire somebody for 15 hours a week. And so they get stuck on this 15 hours, times 4.3 weeks in a month, they get stuck on that math, times the hourly rate that they’re gonna pay someone here in California or New York or wherever they are. The math really starts with the number of hours. If you are an expert in that area of accounting, it might take you 15 hours, but it might take an expert a third or 25%, sometimes even a 10th of the number of hours. And if you go through our program and you use some of these, someone from a different developing country, or like the Philippines or a place like that, the hourly rate is much lower.

Larry Broughton
00:04:46
So they’ll be bringing a level of expertise. So it might take you 15 hours a week, but it might take them three hours a week, times a much lower hourly rate. So this is one of the reasons why chuckled, not just because it’s like, okay, we’ve heard it before, but it’s like, I love to look on people’s faces when the light bulb goes off. You’re telling me, I can hire an expert, someone who has a master’s level education at a fraction of what we pay somebody here in Southern California, and it’s gonna get done quicker and more accurately the first time around, sign me up for that

Dave Braun
00:05:20
Sounds pretty good to me.

Larry Broughton
00:05:21
Yeah. And so you think that you hire a full-time person when you probably only need to hire a part-time person. But this is why some of these conversations that we have Dave, like the Q & A that we do, people can kind of dial in and we can talk this through because oftentimes somebody thinks they might need to have a full-time accounting, virtual assistant, but really what they need maybe is either a parttime accounting person or maybe a general VA who can do some of that basic stuff plus other things.

Dave Braun
00:05:55
I agree. Absolutely agree. And we were talking about the different folks in our organization and how, when we say, like you said, it depends, it kind of depends upon the agreement that you have between what works for a particular person’s lifestyle in the Philippines and what you need. So it kind of runs the gamut, but you know, like you said though, it’s really part-time versus full-time, that’s one way to think about it. And you know, one of the things we talk about in our course, and some of our experience though, is we try to get somebody to work more exclusively. So in other words, if they’re gonna work like Daph, for example, a great example, she’s working 30 hours a week, but she’s exclusive to us. She doesn’t work for anybody else. The problem, when you have somebody working part-time for two different people, two different companies is their loyalties are split.

Larry Broughton
00:07:03
Well, the loyalty is split, but often Murphy’s rule is the time that you need them is gonna be the time that their other employer needs them as well. And you each can’t get them. So you’re right. I do like to point out that the experience that we’ve had is if you can get someone that’s—you can’t force someone to work for you exclusively, right? But if you give them the number of hours that they need or at least the salary that they’re acquiring, they’re much more likely to be available for you. Another thing to consider Dave, particularly if you’re working with someone from the Philippines is there is an hour difference, there are a few people who do like to work off hours there, which would be hours that you might be working business hours here. And obviously, it depends on whether you’re in Hawaii or New York. But for the most part, there is a—How many hours difference is it?

Dave Braun
00:07:58
Right now, the easiest way to think about it is if you’re in the Eastern time zone, they’re 12 hours ahead.

Larry Broughton
00:08:05
Yeah. It’s a 15 from California.

Dave Braun
00:08:07
Yeah. So it’s like if you’re on the east coast, it’s just their AM, is your PM, and vice versa the next day.

Larry Broughton
00:08:14
Yeah. So, that’s—

Dave Braun
00:08:17
Daylight savings time, by the way.

Larry Broughton
00:08:19
Hopefully, that’s all gonna go away one day.

Dave Braun
00:08:22
Maybe, we’ll see.

Larry Broughton
00:08:24
Yeah. So the number of hours that they should be working really depends on what it is that you are requiring them or asking ’em to do. What type of VA are you looking for? Are you looking for one who is an expert in a specific area, or are you looking for a general VA? We find oftentimes that these general VAs can bring a lot more efficiency and effectiveness to an organization than the business owner ever could imagine. So maybe Dave, you take 30 seconds to describe what does a general VA do?

Dave Braun
00:08:58
General VA? 30 seconds, is pretty much anything that you want them to that they can do remotely. And Larry, we’ve gone over that kind of stuff in multiple episodes. Like episode 94, what does a virtual assistant do? We talk about all kinds of examples there. We’ve got all kinds of examples in the course. You can also just Google and you can get some ideas of what does a virtual assistant do? One of the problems that we find in people’s thinking is that they say, I just need the virtual assistant. I need somebody to take one or two things off my plate that are driving me crazy. Well, that is a little bit of limited thinking. What we find is once you get somebody on your team and you know, maybe like, I think we’ve talked about before, a general virtual assistant, a lot of times is gonna be somebody’s first hire. But once you start getting a few things off of your plate, then you’re like, wow, I could give them this. I could give them that. And that, and that and that. And then pretty soon you were thinking, originally you were thinking, I don’t even know if I can keep somebody busy 20 hours a week. You’re like, dang it! I wish I would’ve hired them for 40 hours.

Larry Broughton
01:10:07
Or I need to hire a second person. We’ve seen that more often times than it can count. Because all of a sudden, you are freed up to focus on what you’re good at. And most of us are good at leading, expanding, growing the business, and getting more clients, you’ve got more work for them to do than they could even handle.

Dave Braun
01:10:28
Yes.

Larry Broughton
01:10:29
There is an exercise, we talk about it all the time about the three-column exercise, but it was around that same time, Dave of the number or 94, might have been a few weeks after that, we did the delete, delegate, defer the podcast. And that’s something you should really listen to. If you’re trying to figure out what do I need to get off my plate that I can hand over to a VA. That’s a really good one. And knowing you, you probably know what podcast that was.

Dave Braun
01:10:55
Episode 124.

Larry Broughton
01:10:59
So look at that. I know that I’m overwhelmed. I know I’ve got a lot on my plate, but I don’t know what I could possibly give to a VA. Once you get this emotional and time freedom in your life, it’s amazing how your quality of life changes. You find passion in your work again, and enjoy what you’re doing again. Business becomes attracted to you. Other people become attracted to you, and you’re gonna find that there’s a lot, you could be de delegating and deferring.

Dave Braun
01:11:31
Oh yeah. Right. And I know some of you folks have already heard that or listened to that episode, but maybe by the time you’re coming back to this one, you probably need to do the three-column exercise again. Because your business changes, your opportunities change, and your products and services that you’re gonna be offering change quite often. So it’s an important thing to redo or at least maybe not totally redo from scratch, but to update on a regular basis. And also Larry, it’s so important to have that mindset, especially when an entrepreneur starts out they’re a solopreneur and they gotta do everything themselves. And so the mindset is, oh, I gotta do this. I gotta do that. Well, the mindset needs to change once you have somebody on your team to thinking, okay, I’ve gotta do that, but can I delegate it?

Larry Broughton
01:12:22
Yeah. Right, right.

Dave Braun
01:12:23
And instead of saying, can I delegate it? Say, how can I delegate it?

Larry Broughton
01:12:29
Yes.

Dave Braun
01:12:29
Really figure it out.

Larry Broughton
01:12:33
Yeah. I wanna go back for a second, Dave If we can. I wanna kind of put a fine point or an exclamation point on this conversation about if you hire someone part-time and they’re working part-time for someone else, that they may not be available when you need them. And the reason I wanna do that is because we see this oftentimes, it comes up often. So maybe there might be a hierarchy here. So if you do this, if you go back and listen to—was it 120? The delete delegate defer, 124? Was that it? You listen to that, you may realize—maybe I do have enough work to hire someone full-time. That’s kind of, we think, that that’s really the— that’s the top, that’s the ideal, hire someone, full-time. Number two is, to hire them Part-time but they work exclusively for you. That might be someone who only wants to work 20 hours a week, or they only wanna work 10 hours a week. Or they only wanna work like that 30 hours a week, that I wanna work for somebody else. There are people out there that are like that. You know this is something to consider, Dave is to hire someone who works part-time for you, but also for part-time for somebody else, another business owner that you know.

Dave Braun
01:13:48
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
01:13:49
Or you’ve got a relationship with them. And that’s the great thing about this community, right? Is that there are plenty of people who realize, really, I only need somebody 10 hours a week. And by the way, fellow HireMyVA tribe member, you need somebody 10 hours or 30 hours a week because we can split them up. Why it’s that important? Because then you’re talking business owner to business owner. How can we make this work for both of us? And then I think finally is that part-time sharing with somebody that you don’t know, but you are really gonna have to be clear about setting your expectations with those types of people, Dave.

Dave Braun
01:14:23
Yeah. Absolutely.

Larry Broughton
01:14:25
Because the truth is they need to help you with your business. And if they’re not available to help you with your business, why have them on the team?

Dave Braun
01:14:35
Yeah. You really, really have to be careful when they’re part-time of their overlap hours to make sure it’s maximized. So you do have some of those with you, so you can direct them appropriately or people on your team can direct them appropriately.

Larry Broughton
01:14:47
Dave, explain what overlap hours, for those who might not know.

Dave Braun
01:14:50
So overlap hours are, remember, we talked about, what time is it in the Philippines? For example, it doesn’t have to be there, It could be anybody that you’re working with remotely. If they’re three hours different from you, it doesn’t matter. But you have to decide on what hours during the day you want them to be working when you are working on a normal basis. It could be one hour. It could be just a couple of days a week for a couple of hours. It could be half of every day, or it could be the entire day. It just depends upon you. And we could talk about this maybe in another podcast is how do you decide that? How do you decide, what is the best amount of overlap to have with somebody?

Larry Broughton
01:15:33
Yeah. Dave, do we handle this differently for our friends and community who have taken the HireMyVA course versus our White Glove Service people?

Dave Braun
01:15:45
When you say, when we handle it differently, well, we, on our White Glove Service, we actually talk to them about it and say what works best for you? So in other words, we do this in the Prepare meeting. That’s part of it. So when you come into the White Glove Service, we have basically three meetings with you. One is the prepare where we get through your requirements. And we talk to you about how you work in your business. Who do you really want? We talk then about the overlap time.

Larry Broughton
01:16:14
White Glove Service is where we will find candidates for you. And you pick the final candidate versus just saying, Hey, here’s how you do it. I’m sorry. I should explain that first. Go ahead, Dave. I’m sorry.

Dave Braun
01:16:25
And then we have a Hire meeting where we guide you on how to do your onboarding meeting with them and all that kind of stuff. And maybe discuss with you if you are on the fence of hiring one or two, which person should you hire that will match your personality? We give you different things to think about. In fact, we just had one client where we said, based upon what your tasks are, we think you should do this person. But then the other one said, but then she actually chose somebody else because of a personality. We’re gonna see how that works out because I’m not sure it’s gonna work out. But she had her reasons. It’s like, okay, you’re the boss. And so then we end up having, we’ve changed it recently, Larry, to do two Thrive meetings. The one is we do a quick 15-minute meeting a week after you hired to see how it’s going with you. And then after that, we’ll do something like three or four weeks later, a little bit longer one, so that you and your virtual assistant can thrive. We work through some of those issues that you may have. And most of the time, the issues aren’t with the VA, it’s with you.

Larry Broughton
01:17:32
Ain’t that the truth? Isn’t that what we—

Dave Braun
01:17:35
Especially after a week.

Larry Broughton
01:17:36
Yeah. And so this whole question about, how many hours do you expect them to work? Well, again, it really comes back to you. What are your needs? More often than not. I think we find that people think, I only need somebody for 15 hours a week, but then as they get going and they see how productive they are, they realize I could be handing over a whole lot of other things to them, but it takes courage. Let’s be honest. It takes courage and patience from the business owner to do this. Dave, most folks are not gonna thrive with a VA. If they have the perfectionist mentality only I can do it. No one can do it as well as me, and they don’t offer grace. And that’s the same with any team member, by the way, that’s the virtual assistant.

Dave Braun
01:18:23
That’s right.

Larry Broughton
01:18:24
You would just find it absolutely nerve-wracking. And you’ll be frustrated if you don’t work on that part first. But if you wanna dip your toe in the water, start out part-time, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Dave Braun
01:18:40
There isn’t at all. Now one of the things to remember also though, is as we recommend, you know, going the Filipino route, you know, the difference in cost between somebody part-time versus full-time really isn’t that much, it’s a few hundred dollars a month. And so it’s, it’s very affordable. And that’s why in the program, Larry, and how we’ve talked a lot about this is it’s we recommend people starting off full-time with somebody.

Larry Broughton
01:19:09
Yep, I agree. Good. Well, there you have it. How many hours does a virtual assistant work? It depends, but really I lay dollars to donuts full-time. You’ll find work for them. And the value they bring is just so powerful. So powerful. And if you don’t know, start with the general VA.

Dave Braun
01:19:34
Yeah. That’s usually what we recommend, but it depends. Some folks in the technical realm need to hand off some technical stuff and that works too.

Larry Broughton
01:19:42
I totally get it.

Dave Braun
01:19:42
That works too.

Larry Broughton
01:19:43
Totally get it.

Dave Braun
01:19:44
Awesome. Anything else, sir?

Larry Broughton
01:19:46
No, I think it looks good. Let’s wrap this up.

Dave Braun
01:19:48
Well, thank you everybody for joining us today. And remember building a team is the way to reclaim your freedom and we are here to help you with our course community and our White Glove Service, where we find a rockstar VA for you. We talked a little bit about that in this episode. But three things we’d love for you to do right now, and we really appreciate it. Number one, subscribe to the podcast. If you haven’t already done so, either on your iPhone or Android phone and on YouTube, by hitting the subscribe button and clicking the little bill next to it to get reminders. And then number two, give us a rating. We’d love you guys to give us a five-star rating, but also leave a comment below this video if you’re watching us on YouTube, because that will help get the word out.

Dave Braun
02:20:28
The more engagement there is, the more YouTube will push our videos up. And we wanna really help people with this. We think we’ve got some good content here because we want to give people freedom. But then the third thing is go to Hiremyva.com for more information on our course and community and our White Glove Service. Because remember, even without experience, you’ll learn how to prepare for hire and thrive with virtual assistance. Larry, we’re excited about all the folks that we’re helping and we wanna help you too. So just go to Hiremyva.com for more information.

Larry Broughton
02:21:00
Yep. And we’ll keep it simple. God bless you. God keep you. God hold you. All right, my friends. Go get them. We’ll see you next time. Bye.

Dave Braun
02:21:06
Okay. Bye, everybody.

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