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Episode 18:

The Power of Delegation: How Virtual Assistants Can Boost Your Business - Jordan Eaton

Want to know the value of a virtual assistant and how they can save you time and energy in your business?

 This week Jordan Eaton, founder of BOSS Assistants, joins me on the podcast. She discusses what people need to consider before hiring a virtual assistant. Jordan talks about the challenges some people face in delegating tasks, especially founders. She also describes the process of hiring a virtual assistant and the steps involved.

https://bossassistants.com/
Jordan Eaton - LinkedIn


 

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Transcript

Jordan Eaton: [00:00:00] You know what, I've actually talked to so many people who say, oh my gosh, it's just so hard for me to let go of the control of the feeling that people can't do it as good as me. I think that's just the mindset that they're, you know, it's my business. No one's going to care about it as much as I do. But I mean, at the end of the day, you're going to struggle if you're trying to do everything yourself.

 

To bring that person in and to have the faith in them. And even if they're doing 80 or 90% and not a hundred of exactly what you want, but at the same time, another pair of eyes really helps to bring in another perspective and a different way of doing things. I've talked to clients as well who've said like, oh, I never thought that I was doing it that way, or, oh, that's really cool that you do it that way.

 

I mean, it's beneficial to yourself and to your business to be able to do that.

 

Eric Rutherford: It is [00:01:00] time for Build that podcast where we will discuss how you can use a podcast to grow your business and expand your influence. I'm your host, Eric Rutherford, and I'm excited today because have with me Jordan Eaton. She is the founder of Boss Assistants, whose goal is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible reach their goals with dependable, stress-free administrative outsourcing. Jordan, welcome to the show.

 

Jordan Eaton: Hi, I am excited to be here and meet you in person.

Eric Rutherford: We've been communicating back and forth with LinkedIn and I've just really enjoyed your content and I thought you would be an excellent guest because of what you know, virtual assistants and the type of work you do.

Really fits into a lot of what businesses in general, but especially those who are in marketing too. I thought this would be a great fit.

 

Jordan Eaton: Yeah, I think so too. Virtual assistants is not new, but it is a new thing to some [00:02:00] businesses. It's interesting, I have people come to me and say, Hey, I've never heard of that before and can you explain more?

So it's actually pretty cool when I get to let them know who we are and what we do.

 

Eric Rutherford: I've known about virtual assistants for a while, but I didn't think that some people might not know what that is. How would you define what a virtual assistant is?

 

Jordan Eaton: What a virtual assistant is is different for everybody. I know that some people, when they think of it, what comes to mind first is like a overseas labor. It's not always someone across the world that you are going to be working with. We're actually a Canadian company, so all of our virtual assistants are located in Canada.

And we also work with Canadian businesses and also those in the US so we try and keep it local.

 

Eric Rutherford: I've heard sometimes language barriers and language can be challenging and so I totally get that.

Before we really talk about Boss [00:03:00] Assistants specifically, what led up to starting it? I mean, how did you decide on the virtual assistant industry and what led you to to start Boss Assistants?

 

Jordan Eaton: I didn't actually choose assistants. It chose me, I feel like, because straight out of high school I started working as an administrative assistant.

 

That was about 15 years ago. Don't mind me dating myself, but I've been an administrative assistant for 15 years and I decided The whole remote workplace thing starting out. I have two young ones at home, and so I'm a mom. And then also I have a chronic back issue.

 

So working from an office was really uncomfortable for me. And when I started my assistant business, I wanted to help other moms and people in the same position as myself who may have a physical disability and they're able to work, but just making their way to the office just wasn't doable for them.

 

And also just to save on gas, save the planet, and[00:04:00] it's sustainable and working from home I think is the future.

So I thought it would be really cool to start that.

 

Eric Rutherford: As things have moved more and more to remote work, especially since Covid happened, the idea of remote is not foreign or uncommon. Most people at least recognize it. They don't frown. The general population has at least a favorable understanding of what it is. So that, that had to help in terms of some of your conversations with people like, we're remote, and they don't, they don't look weird at you.

 

Jordan Eaton: Yeah, it definitely opened the door towards that and Even before I started my business, I was working remotely during the Covid era when I was an administrative assistant. I really got about two years worth of experience before even starting my business. So working remotely is kind of second nature now.

 

Eric Rutherford: What is Boss Assistants? You talked a little bit about it before, but just go ahead and lay out for us sort of all that you do. Of [00:05:00] course, that may take a while because your team does a lot of different things.

 

Jordan Eaton: Yeah. We have different Areas in our business that we can help business owners with.

I wanted to mention that Boss actually stands for a business operation support specialist. Not many people know that. I thought it was kind of clever.

 

Eric Rutherford: I love that because you are operation support at its finest. Thank you for breaking that out.

 

Jordan Eaton: I guess the operations of sales and marketing. We also have a division with a chartered accountant. So he helps with tax filing and bookkeeping and pretty much all the accounting stuff that needs to be done. We're not a huge conglomerate company. It's like a small family.

 

Eric Rutherford: I think that is awesome just to build a business and really meet a customer need. What kind of problems do you solve for customers? I know you do several tasks, but is there anything in particular that they come to you? They're like, I just. I need help.[00:06:00] Right. I just need help.

 

So is there anything that jumps out in terms of customer problems?

 

Jordan Eaton: There are quite a few people that come to us that are just a few years into their business or even just a year in their business, and they're getting so frazzled and overwhelmed and they want someone to come in and like, please organize my life. I need help. So what we do is we try our best to help you with your budget if you need you know, migrate to newer tools. Like some people are, you know, like using really old school products that don't suit their business anymore. And just, you know, and they're not even doing anything marketing wise because they just don't have time.

They don't have, you know, they just don't have the know-how. So we just come in and, and hopefully help them with that.

 

Eric Rutherford: Especially it sounds like for new businesses, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, who are just trying to get off the ground and there's just not enough hands or time in the day to get everything done. I can respect that [00:07:00] completely. How does hiring a virtual assistant work?

 

 What's the process look like? So if somebody's like, I think I need a virtual assistant, what do I do?

 

Jordan Eaton: There's different ways of going about this. I know some people might know about Upwork or those kind of marketplaces. You're always able to go on there. But the thing is with those you have to be really clear with your job posting, then you have people contacting you, so you could have up to a hundred applicants. And then you have to go through all those proposals and try and coordinate interviews and figure out who's the best one. What I wanted to do for my business is try and make it as stress free as possible and eliminate all that work of you having to vet them and interview and find somebody. Within my team, What we would do is we'd have an intro call with the [00:08:00] entrepreneur, business owner. They would let me know about their business and what they're struggling with, what their goals are, and then I would match them with someone on my team who would be the best fit skill-wise, personality-wise, wise.

 

And then that just eliminates all that friction of trying to figure out who would be the best person for, for yourself. So they're instantly matched. They get to meet them over a phone call or a Zoom call, and then we get to work from there.

 

Eric Rutherford: I have navigated Upwork and I understand the challenges they're in, of just vetting and it is incredibly time consuming, so I appreciate you really trying to just make it easy for people to find to find. Because that to me is so stressful.

 

Jordan Eaton: There are scans out there too that I've heard some horror stories.

 

So you have to be aware of those kind of things too.

Eric Rutherford: What's the biggest challenge you're currently facing in running your assistant [00:09:00] agency?

 

Jordan Eaton: I think with the whole working remotely and a hundred percent remote, it's hard to get that staff that you're looking for.

 

That is up to the standard of what I'm looking for. So I've had people apply to the job and then when I ask them, Hey, are you ready to come on board? There's crickets. There's no response. So just trying to find good people that are going to have the same values and care about the business owners that we work with as much as I do.

 

 It can be tough, but once you find those diamonds in the rough, then, then it's golden.

 

Eric Rutherford: What makes a good virtual assistant? What kind of traits, what type of personality really makes for a great virtual assistant?

 

Jordan Eaton: Yeah, so I actually do things a little bit differently than most people, so I don't hire on skills completely. When people apply, yes I'll look at their resume and I'll make sure that they have the skills we need. [00:10:00] But most of the time I'm looking at the personality of how they're going to communicate if they're good at being resourceful if they are quick learners, all those kind of things.

 

 That is almost more important to me then the skills attribute of it. And basically we want people that share the same values as us. And also, responsible and we can depend on them. This is my business and I care about every single one of the clients we work with and, you know, all the people I have working with me, working with me now, they share the same, you know, they care about the business owners they're working with too. So that's what we look for.

 

Eric Rutherford: I appreciate so much the idea that you are not completely trying to hire on skills that, you know, some of the skills can absolutely be learned.

 

Jordan Eaton: A lot of the skills that even I have were self-taught. I taught myself how to use WordPress and made my own website, so that was kind of cool.

 

But people [00:11:00] that are the same as me, that are resourceful and can actually take courses , or learn on their own, then yeah, that's definitely, definitely a.

 

Eric Rutherford: Just being that self-starter, resourceful person to kind of figure things out. This is sort of back to some LinkedIn messages we were bouncing back and forth. This idea of SOPs standard operating procedures. If I'm hiring a virtual assistant how do they know what I want done . Do I provide like you know, examples or processes or do you have your own or how's that work?

 

Jordan Eaton: I think it's a little bit of both. We would work together with the business owner. A lot of times there are some things that have to be done a certain way for their business only. But for the most part, some of our clients, we've even created the SOPs for them. Sometimes it's as easy as getting a screen recorder and just doing the task one time, and then you can send that video to your virtual [00:12:00] assistant and then they can actually write an SOP for you.

So we've done that in the past as well.

 

Eric Rutherford: I didn't think about that. Doing just a screen recording and sending it to you so you can see. Has to happen that way. It's, I'm not trying to write. Multiple steps that you may or may not understand where I'm coming from. Because I'm sure you deal with that.

 

It's seems like it's all communication or nearly all communication.

 

Jordan Eaton: Most of the time our virtual assistants have done the task that you were looking for, so I mean, they would have experience in the way that they necessarily would do it, but. We like to work together with the business owner and just make things as easy as possible.

 

 If sending a screen video or sending a voice memo is easiest for you, and then from there we would take it. We want it to be like super stress free.

 

Eric Rutherford: I'm all about that. There is enough stress in the business world trying to take care of things so limiting that stress is a huge, huge win in my book.

 

 What do people need to think [00:13:00] about or consider before hiring a virtual assistant? Do they need to think through some things first? I would just kind of love your opinion on that.

 

Jordan Eaton: I think that they would probably have to think about how skilled they want their virtual assistant to be if they have the time.

 

Write out step by step instructions or like I said, if they want someone that is already experienced has done that task before. Also they have to think about the kind of outcomes that they want. Are they trying to get more leads or are they trying to retain their clients? Do they want organic marketing?

 

And then also of course, they'd have to think about their budget.

 

Eric Rutherford: That makes sense thinking about the skillset, the budget and how that works. How do you guys do that? Do you do it under retainer? Is it by month? I was curious how that worked. We don't have to go into numbers, but is it like full-time? Is it like 10 hours a week? What's that look like?

 

Jordan Eaton: It's a monthly subscription and it's an increment of [00:14:00] 10 hours. I guess the lowest would be 10 hours. And then you would have to think about typically, how long would it take me to do these tasks or how long would it take the virtual assistant to do these tasks?

 

Of course you're not set in stone for that. We play it by ear and, and obviously if it needs to increase or decrease per month we work with our business owners with that. You just have to think about like you're exchanging your budget for more time for yourself. You have to think about like, how much is that worth?

 

Eric Rutherford: It's a very good picture.. And so as you have dealt with a lot of clients, a lot of different customers. Are there any before and after stories you'd like to share where like, life just turned around wonderfully.

 

Do you have any stories that you'd like to share?

Jordan Eaton: Well, there is a company that we're working with as we were mentioning before about the SOPs. They actually had no SOPs in place, so we helped them write all of those. And then they also migrated to ClickUP. They were doing [00:15:00] everything in Google Docs, everything old school through email.

 

 Everything became more automated and it was easier to manage the projects with ClickUp so that was kind of cool.

 

Eric Rutherford: That's a big win. I think of just SOPs and how many companies, especially small businesses, they just don't have them.

And if something happens to one person you lose the whole understanding of how a process works whether that's to pay bills, whether that's to send emails, so that is no small task in terms of creating SOPs for them.

 

Jordan Eaton: I think it's super important no matter how small you are, always document it, I feel, because as you start to grow and things get a little more disorganized or people are, are changing out from your team, someone leaves, someone new comes in. It's so important to have those documented and always be improving on them and looking at them, maybe on a quarterly basis or [00:16:00] bi-yearly kind of thing, but Even if you're small and you think, oh, I don't need that chances are you will.

 

Eric Rutherford: It's true. I didn't even think about the fact but you need to review them. It's not simply making them, but reviewing them on some type of regular, quarterly, semi-annual basis, because processes do change. Login information changes, just things change and it can be lost.

 

 I've experienced that so I totally get that. How do you know if you shouldn't hire a virtual assistant? Because I was kind of wrestling with what do you need to consider? But also the flip side, how do I know if I shouldn't hire a virtual assistant?

 

Jordan Eaton: I think when people decide they want to hire virtual assistant. You have to be committed to it. So I think you have to have that mindset that, yes, I'm going to bring someone into my business, they're going to learn about how we do things, they're going to learn about my business, and I'm going to delegate things to them.

 

And you [00:17:00] just have to be ready for that because we've actually seen it before. We worked with one client.

 

Thankfully it was only one who was only giving us like half the information, was failing to give us passwords or access to systems that we needed and their outcomes. Outcomes were very unclear and we just weren't sure exactly what they needed from us. So it's really hard, we're not able to read minds unfortunately. So you just have to be clear on, on what you're looking for, what your outcome is, and make sure that you're communicating that with the person that you're bringing into your business.

 

Eric Rutherford: And just that idea of delegating, is that something people have to learn how to do. I was curious with that because I know I struggle with delegating, so I believe that I'm probably not the only one. So I was just curious, if that's something you kind of have to work through with people?

Jordan Eaton: You know what, I've actually talked to so many people who say, oh my gosh, it's just so hard for me to let go of the control [00:18:00] of the feeling that people can't do it as good as me. I think that's just the mindset that they're, you know, it's my business. No one's going to care about it as much as I do. But I mean, at the end of the day, you're going to struggle if you're trying to do everything yourself.

 

To bring that person in and to have the faith in them. And even if they're doing 80 or 90% and not a hundred of exactly what you want, but at the same time, another pair of eyes really helps to bring in another perspective and a different way of doing things. I've talked to clients as well who've said like, oh, I never thought that I was doing it that way, or, oh, that's really cool that you do it that way.

 

I mean, it's beneficial to yourself and to your business to be able to do that.

 

Eric Rutherford: Other people can do things just as good as I can. In fact, they can probably do it better in many cases. It's like I need to get over myself sometimes. If it's your business, it's more than business. [00:19:00] It is that personal connection.

Jordan Eaton: But not all business owners are super amazing at administrative work and a and not much of it is fun anyway, so like, why would you want to do it?

It's just boring.

 

Eric Rutherford: It is not my strength. I will be the first to tell you it is not my strength. The organization aspect does not, it doesn't come naturally to me, so, I totally appreciate that. Do you have like whether they're solopreneur or startups where they're trying to outsource all their marketing to you, do they just outsource some of it?

 

I was curious with sort of sales enablement and marketing how that worked. And how much of those pieces companies outsource, whether it's all, whether it's just a handful of things. Does that question make

sense?

 

Jordan Eaton: Yeah. I mean, it's really dependent on what the business needs are. For them they can delegate as much or as little [00:20:00] as as they need.

 

What's funny about that actually is we work with a e-commerce marketing solopreneur and he's actually busy doing his own client work, so he just doesn't have time to market his own business. So everything falls to the wayside. We're actually helping with optimizing the website blog writing, seo, social media posting on social media, but also engaging.

 

That's another thing that business owners don't have time for is, is answering their dms or their comments on social media and all that kind of stuff. So we kind of swooped in and, and took care of that portion for them.

 

Eric Rutherford: As you describe that doing that type of work for an e-commerce entrepreneur. You talked about handling things like LinkedIn and their dms and other things like that. How does that work? Because I know that's probably not unique in the world in terms of, this is the only one. Do you take on like their persona? I'm just fascinated to find out how

 

Jordan Eaton: that works. Yeah. [00:21:00] There actually are quite a few agencies that I've met that offer this service. But the way that we do it is we want to make sure that we are getting your brand voice and we know a lot about how you would speak or how your brand would speak. So we do the due diligence of learning and reading through your materials, your website, and also that brand voice document that I actually sent to you and I posted on my LinkedIn a little while ago, so get them to fill that out.

 

But yeah. We would be able to answer comments or dms in a way that your brand would. We would just kind of take on your persona and take that off your plate and do it for you.

 

Eric Rutherford: I love that. So if you are listening to this and that is something you struggle with let me encourage you to reach out to Jordan and her team, I'm dealing with that right now. And it's just, it, it's like you're trying to grow your [00:22:00] business and grow your brand and grow your reach, but it just takes time. It just takes time.

 

Now, do you help with that? Do you help expand their reach? Is it like posts, is it comments?

Is it like trying to make new connections? Kind of what, what does that scope look like? Or does it just depend?

Jordan Eaton: Yeah, it's a mix of all of that. So we would have to know about your target audience and we could help making connections with new people sourcing out you. Talking to new people and commenting and all that kind of stuff.

 People don't realize that you can't just post and ghost on your social media and if you're always posting and you're not engaging with your audience and they're commenting on your stuff, but you're not replying, then they'll stop. No one likes to have a one-sided conversation, so you need to show up for your audience and you need to show them that, that you're there and you're supporting them.

 

Eric Rutherford: That's such a good point. You can't just [00:23:00] post, you can't just let things exist. Especially as a business, you need to engage and I think a lot of people in businesses don't r ealize the importance of that. I know it's something I've really been learning in the last several months of how you build relationships and familiarity and conversations and so yeah, it's, that's something if you're listening to be mindful of in terms of, of what you're doing with it.

 

Jordan Eaton: It almost is becoming more important than the actual post themselves is, is showing that you're human and showing that you're supportive and that you appreciate all your followers or the people in your audience.

 I would even say more important than even posting,

 

Eric Rutherford: I'm glad you brought that up because I would agree. And it feels weird agreeing to that point cause I would've never thought it true until about the last couple of months.

 

 Commenting is incredibly important. And because I've posted some things that I thought were amazing and [00:24:00] nothing, just, just crickets. But the more you post, the more you have conversations with people, the more engagement you get. Even when you're just trying to post something for the day, so you may not feel ideal about it.

 

It may not be this perfect thing, but you're like, wow, I got a whole lot more engagement than I thought. That's why I appreciate you

 

Jordan Eaton: bringing that up. That's why it's called social media.

Eric Rutherford: It is. I appreciate you bringing that up. So before we kind of wrap up here, do you have any other stories you'd like to share just in terms of working with customers or how a virtual assistant can help?

 

Jordan Eaton: I just wanted to say that being an entrepreneur is hard and there's not any set rules. I've talked to quite a few people who said that they wished they would've started delegating sooner. Don't wait until you're overwhelmed and burnt out to ask for help, even if you join like a network or like get a mentor or something like that.

Just having help as an entrepreneur, like is, you know, [00:25:00] it's priceless.

 

Eric Rutherford: Just being able to ask questions and get some some advice, get some help and again, just kind of figuring out your outsourcing and what can be outsourced is. Is incredible. As we wrap up, if listeners want to know more about you, more about your work with Boss Assistants, where would you like them to go?

 

Jordan Eaton: I spend most of my time hanging out on LinkedIn, so I love meeting new people. They can definitely connect with me there, or on my website, which is bossassistants.com. They can check that out.

Eric Rutherford: Excellent. So I will make sure both of those are in the show notes. If you're listening to this and you want to get more information from Jordan, more information in the way a virtual assistant can help your business and help you, definitely check out those links. Jordan, this has been, this has been a wonderful conversation. I've wanted to learn more about virtual assistants, and this has helped me a ton, so I know it has to help my audience as well. So, thanks for joining me today.

Jordan Eaton: It was so much fun. I, I hope I was able [00:26:00] to teach something to the listeners.

Eric Rutherford: Absolutely. I know you did for me, so I have no doubt you have for them.

Transcript
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