Salespeople tell me all the time: “I can’t afford an assistant!”
Do you want to know the truth? You can’t afford NOT to have an assistant!
Not convinced? If you’re on the fence about hiring an assistant, take a little time to do the math! It’s a simple process to determine if you can afford to hire an assistant:
- List everything you do
- Calculate how much time you spend on each task
- Decide which tasks you can delegate
- Determine your true hourly rate
- Calculate your new income
Let’s dive in and find out if hiring an assistant is worth it.
1. List everything you do
The first two steps may feel daunting, but they’re necessary! Make a detailed log of everything you do over the course of a typical week. I mean EVERYTHING! Booking appointments, sending emails, meeting with clients, making copies, and anything else you spend time on during your workday.
You might be able to do this off the top of your head, but you’ll be more accurate if you keep a detailed daily journal for a week or two. You can use the list from your ideal week or the list you created for your income producing activities as a guide. Either way, be sure to include how much time you spend on every task.
2. Calculate how much time you spend on each task
Now that you have a thorough list of everything you do in a typical week, go through and add up how much time you’re averaging per task. You’ll have a condensed list with items like this:
Setting up meetings: 3 hours
Follow-up emails: 4 hours
Client meetings: 16 hours
Intake paperwork: 5 hours
CRM management: 4 hours
Proposal writing: 7 hours
Remember, you want to capture EVERYTHING. You may only spend 30 minutes a week printing out proposals or making copies, but it’s important for that time to be included on your list.
3. Decide which tasks you can delegate
Now, go through your list and identify which tasks can only be done by you. Meeting with a client or writing a proposal are good examples—as a salesperson, these are core requirements of your job.
Everything else is fair game for delegation. Sending a gift to a client, entering data into a CRM, or setting up appointments are tasks that your team can handle.
You might not want to delegate a task even if someone else can do it. For example, many people delegate calendar management, but I really like to be in control of my calendar! It’s okay to hold on to a few things, but be honest with yourself—there’s plenty of mundane tasks that aren’t worth clinging to.
After this process, you’ll have two numbers: the hours you spend on income-producing activities that only you can do, and the hours you’ve been spending on tasks that you can easily hand off to someone else. Surprised by your numbers? Sales professionals often have ten or fifteen hours of work they can delegate every week!
4. Determine your true hourly rate
I’ve already written about how to determine your true hourly rate. This is something that every sales professional needs to do, so follow the steps outlined in that article!
By taking stock of your income producing activities, you’ll be able to put an exact dollar amount on the value of your time. Knowing this number is crucial for all sorts of decisions—including whether or not to hire an assistant.
5. Calculate your new income
You’ve now collected all the information you need to make a final calculation. The only remaining factor is how much you plan on paying an assistant. Depending on the tasks you’re delegating, you may be able to save money with a virtual assistant. On the other hand, your assistant may need industry-specific certifications that warrant a higher hourly rate.
REMEMBER: You don’t need to hire a full-time assistant! Unless you’ll be splitting an assistant with other team members, a part-time freelancer is fine. Virtual assistants usually require a minimum of just 5 hours a week.
In our example, we’ll assume our assistant will earn $20 an hour. With all these numbers together, you’ll have something like this:
Hours per week on income-producing activities: 30
Hours per week to delegate: 10
Assistant hourly rate: $20
My true hourly rate: $154/hour
So, by paying an assistant $200 a week, you’ll free up ten hours to focus on income producing activities instead of mundane tasks that aren’t making you money. When you multiply that by your true hourly rate, and subtract the cost of an assistant, you have an extra $1340 of income every week!
To put it another way, for only 1.3 hours of income-producing work, you can afford to delegate 10 hours of other tasks!
You can’t afford NOT to have an assistant
When you do the math, the decision is obvious. Chances are, you can not only afford an assistant, but you’re giving up a bunch of income by NOT having an assistant!
It’s not just about income, either. What you do with that extra time is up to you. After you’ve figured out how many hours of income-producing activity you need to pay for an assistant, you know your break-even point. You might decide to use your additional hours to take on a new project or regain some family time.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!