Like me, maybe you've found yourself knowing you need a hand with some administrative stuff—data entry, transcription, research, cold-calling—you know, stuff. It seems easy to jump in and hire an intern, but don't be so quick on the draw!
Not too long ago, I spoke with my friend Joyce from Cool Party Favors, who was asking about hiring an intern. I gave her a bit of advice based not only on my experience having an intern here at Slanted, but also on my time in an agency. That agency gave me a spot as an intern, and then I turned around after I was hired there and had my turn hiring and managing the teams of interns that came on after me. I love internship programs, and I think they are extremely valuable both for the businesses and the students.
When you are a busy solopreneur or personality entrepreneur, your time = money. And you never seem to have enough of either. So it can be tough to decide if you a) should hire help, and b) what kind of help to hire. There are a lot of ways to outsource tasks, but I'm going to focus specifically on VAs (virtual assistants).
Virtual assistants come in a variety of forms from domestic to foreign, experienced to newbies, part-timers to full-time. They have a variety of specialties: lead generation, customer service, writing, marketing, social media, data entry, transcription, and on and on. What this means for us as entrepreneurs is that we can find the right person to do JUST the task(s) we need them to cover for us. They can come on for a short period project or for a longer term. And you can find someone in your price range as well. They are generally easy to find and easy to get rid of if it's not working out as planned.
That's not to say interns aren't your answer. But generally, they need a lot of structure and a lot of training to get them to where they are, in fact, useful to you. If you're like me, you need someone who can roll up his/her sleeves and just jump in without a lot of onboarding. So unless you are in a place where you have lots of time to dedicate to training and growing an internship program (because that's what it has to be), you may want to consider instead hiring a VA.
So jump on in. I recently hired a VA and I am so glad I did. She is keeping me on track and helping me get so much more accomplished in my week. (Thanks Ellen!)
Jensie is the ringleader of Slanted Communication & Consulting. She is an expert in marketing, social media, content, and loves helping other entrepreneurs get started in their own adventures. Learn more about working with Jensie and her team here.