Does Your Coaching Business Need a V.A?
Running a coaching business is a lot of work.
While there are the times you get to do the tasks you are passionate about, helping athletes build stamina and physical and mental strength through training, there are dozens of other daily and weekly tasks that tend to get in the way of more important work. Trying to juggle all these responsibilities can get exhausting, time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you are trying to grow your coaching business.
This is where a Virtual Assistant can help. Most coaches should have someone helping them stay on top of everything their coaching business demands.
A VA can help relieve you of some of those tasks you are constantly bogged down by. These tasks range from social media management to marketing, replying to emails, scheduling meetings with clients, accounting, and much more.
A VA can help with tasks and free up your time so that you can focus on what is important - getting results for your clients!
What Is A VA?
A VA is a Virtual Assistant. They are highly proficient individuals who provide administrative, creative, or technical assistance to clients remotely. This means that they can work from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a good computer and internet connection.
For an endurance coach specifically, a virtual assistant can help you manage clients’, create images for social media posts, check and filter your emails, work on spreadsheet, gather information about potential clients and so on. Typically, they perform similar duties to admin assistants. However, working remotely enables them to be more flexible regarding the hours and needs of a business.
Should You Hire One?
There are several reasons why you should at least consider hiring a VA for your endurance coaching business. Let's consider three major ones:
- It will free up your time so that you can focus on training your clients - As an endurance coach, you need enough time to plan for training methods, measure training intensity and progress and do other things that will yield the best results for your clients. A VA will help you plan your time and manage your schedule to be able to attend to the more important things
- It will allow you to delegate tasks that you may not be skilled at or that you simply do not have time for or don’t like doing.
- It can help to reduce your stress levels and give you more balance in your life - With a VA, you are going to have more time for family, fun and other important things.
- You can finally work on the higher level projects you’ve been meaning to start for years but could never find the time.
Can’t Think of the Tasks They Could Do For You?
I’ve chatted to lots of people about VA’s and often they know they are really busy and need help but can’t think of the tasks that they would need a VA for.
This is understandable because when you are busy you don’t have the time to sit down and think of all the different things you need to do in your business.
A good exercise is to spend the next two weeks noting down every task you do. Then create another list of those those tasks that you either prefer someone else did or are not a good investment of your own time because you should be doing more high value tasks yourself.
Don’t be too picky about which tasks you think a VA would be able to do, you’d probably be surprised by how skillful and experience a good VA is and what tasks they are capable of doing proficiently.
How To Find The Right VA For Your Business?
There's a vast market for virtual assistants and finding the right fit for your coaching business can be a challenge. If you are interested in hiring a VA for your coaching business, there are a few things to consider.
As an endurance coach, when you are looking to hire a VA, it would be ideal that your VA is experienced in fitness and exercise, but it is not as important as you might think, the main thing is that they are organized, efficient, can follow instructions and are fast to learn new concepts. You will also want to establish clear expectations and communication protocols. This will help to ensure that your VA can effectively help you with your business.
The best way to find a VA is to ask for recommendations from other coaching businesses or entrepreneurs. You can also search for VA’s online, but be sure to read reviews and check out their portfolios. This way, you can be sure that the VA you hire is the right fit for your business. There are dozens of sites now you can use for searching for a VA if you don’t know someone who can give you a recommendation. Personally I’ve found good people on both Upwork and OnlineJobs.ph
What Skills Do I Need In My VA?
Virtual Assistants generally should possess three fundamental categories of skills to function in their role effectively.
- Soft Skills: Soft skills, or people skills, are character traits and personal attributes that improve an individual's work. These include resourcefulness, time management, adaptability, proactivity, self-awareness, self-management and so on.
- Technical Skills: These are skills that directly relate to the tasks you want your VA to handle on your behalf. They include social media management, project management, scheduling, internet research, creating training agendas and writing meeting minutes and so on.
- Proficient use of apps and tools: In this day and age, endurance coaches can operate virtually and there is almost always an app or digital tool to get tasks done with ease and speed. The Virtual Assistant you hire should be well versed in using the tools relevant to your field and needs. Some of these tools are Trello, Canva, YouTube, Zoom, Microsoft Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS Forms, etc), and Google Workspace (Gmail, Google Meet, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Forms, etc).
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A VA?
The cost of hiring a VA can vary depending on factors, including the VA’s experience, skillset, and location. Typically, you can expect to pay $5 - $15 per hour for most VA in lower cost areas like the Philippines and $25 - $75 in higher cost areas like the US, depending on the experience of the VA and the type projects/tasks you want your VA to handle.
Should You Hire Locally or Abroad?
This is an important question. It’s difficult to get your head around hiring someone from a country far away with a different culture and economy. You may think it’s important to hire locally rather than outsource overseas. Some people are concerned that outsourcing cheaply overseas is taking advantage of those in other countries less fortunate, or they'd prefer to keep the money within their national economy.
If you can afford to hire locally and feel strongly about it then go with your gut and do that, it will be less complicated to not have to negotiate a different culture but from my own experiences in terms of quality of the work produced is comparable regardless of where the VA is based.
In countries like the Philippines, being a VA is a highly sought after and respected profession that offers a lot of benefits like being able to work from home in their own time and not to mentioned being paid well above the average Philippine national.
However the reality for most small coaching businesses that hiring a fulltime VA locally in a western country is out of reach financially. If it comes down to being able to have full or part time help from a VA in another country or not at all, then the question of locally or abroad answers itself.
How to Ensure your VA is Successful in their Role
A great virtual assistant is often quite a fast learner, able to catch on to the ins and outs of your field and what is required of them. Usually, this acclimation can take a month or two.
The most important thing to consider is that you put a lot of effort into getting your VA setup and onboarded.
As a responsible employer you should create detailed documentation and guides to ensure your VA has everything they need to be successful at the tasks you give them. This documentation is normally referred to as SOP’s or Standard Operating Procedures.
If you don’t put time and effort into creating these SOP’s you will be extremely unlikely to have any success with a VA.
Creating the SOP’s is actually pretty easy, the next time you do one of the tasks yourself just document it as you go, it’ll take a little bit of extra time than normal but just imagine that it might just be the last time you need to do that task at all?
I store all my SOP’s in Notion and give access to my VA’s. I also use Notion task boards to manage individual tasks but you could also use something like Trello. There are plenty of tools you could use even as simple as Google Docs.
Example of SOP in Notion
Example Task Board in Notion
When I hired my first VA I actually flew all the way to the Philippines to interview and then train my VA on the tasks she would need to do. This was actually a great experience as I spent a week in a co-working space getting to know my VA Joanna. Joanna and her husband took me out to dinner and showed me the local spots. This even though was a good experience is not at all necessary as since then I’ve had another great VA work for me that I was referred to by a client and friend.
What Are The Risks And Benefits Of Having a VA?
To make a solid decision, it's necessary to consider both sides of the coin. Let's look at the pros and cons of hiring a VA.
- Payment: Yes, having a virtual assistant means having one more person to pay. However, the services do save you a lot of time and can potentially increase profit because you can be more productive.
- Culture and time differences: Working with assistants from all over the globe means that your virtual assistant could likely be from a completely different culture and area. This can, unfortunately, result in occasional miscommunications and possibly bad execution.
- Cost-effective: Hiring a VA reduces operating costs especially because they are hired on demand. Generally having an in-office assistant can result in higher costs. Virtual assistants can provide inexpensive yet invaluable services to your company, allowing your operations to reduce costs.
- Greater work efficiency and productivity: Your VA takes a lot of the administrative tasks off your plate, leaving you with more time and energy to focus on achieving your client's fitness goals. This results in the increased efficiency of you and your team.
- More flexible work environment
- Proficiency in Required Skills: Virtual assistants often already have the skills and tools required and don't need extensive training. They may also have skills you lack to make your coaching business thrive. For example, social media marketing.
- High quality of work
The pros outweigh the cons when it comes to getting the help and support you need to make your coaching business successful. It's especially true since most of the risks can be worked around. This means that if you don't have one already, it may be time to consider hiring a Virtual Assistant to organize your numerous tasks.
If you want any other advice or have questions just let me know, I’ve been using VA’s for many years now and would not be able to cope without them.
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