Do You Need an Assistant? 3 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Most freelancers and small business owners start out operating under the assumption that if they want something done, they’ll need to do it themselves, whether it’s balancing the books or dusting the waiting room. But how do you know when you need to hire help?

Sandy Fernandez at The Daily Worth has a few great tips for figuring out when going it alone no longer makes sense, including:

1. You’re working hard, but not getting anything done.

Are you stuck on a treadmill of administrative tasks, to the degree that you never seem to have time to do your actual job anymore? It might be time to look into outsourcing some of that work.

2. You’re missing deadlines.

If your organizational skills seem to be in decline, you might have too much on your plate. Missed deadlines can be fatal for small businesses, because clients need to be able to trust you to do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Hiring an assistant or even a project manager might be a way out of the cycle.

3. You’re not good at some part of your business, or not interested in doing it.

Allison Hemming, CEO of The Hired Guns, tells Fernandez that her first hire was a financial manager, and that this is pretty common in her industry.

“I work with the digital creative class, so profit-and-loss statements and balance sheets aren’t the things that get them up in the mornings,” Hemming says. “If you know you’re bad at that, outsource it as soon as you can afford to.”

The good news is that even if you do need more help, you might not necessarily need to hire a full-time person to do the job. Hemming’s financial manager, for example, worked with her once a week, and the boom in virtual assistants means it’s relatively easy to hire help for just a few hours here and there. It might not take much help to get you back to where you need to be.

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