There’s a common misconception among most lawyers…especially those just starting out or operating as a solo or small firm: you feel you have to do everything yourself. Getting over that hurdle early on by learning to delegate tasks is your first step to understanding how to grow your law practice with a virtual assistant.
Small or solo practices want to keep as much of their money as possible and don’t see the need to pay for someone to help them. The typical mindset is that it will take longer to teach someone what to do than to just do it themselves…sound familiar?
What’s important to remember is that once you teach someone what to do, that task or area of your business is no longer something you need to worry about or spend time doing. Why are you spending time chasing clients or witnesses down to schedule a call, meeting or deposition? Could your time be better spent? What if you could make more money by understanding how to delegate these tasks?
It’s time to stop multitasking and start delegating, so you can create more billable hours and onboard more clients. Multitasking doesn’t mean you’re superhuman…we all do it. What it does mean is that you’re doing 10 things at the same time…and probably not doing a great job on any of them, they’re just “getting done”.
The virtual workspace has changed greatly over the last 10-15 years. There’s been a huge shift in how, when, where and why we work. Large corporations are outsourcing their admin work to save on the overhead of employees…do they know something you don’t?
Many people don’t understand exactly what a virtual assistant is. VA’s are a popular solution due to the change in today’s workforce and can do anything in your office that doesn’t require a law degree. VA’s can be:
● Personal Assistants
● Executive Assistants
● Project Managers
● Digital Marketing Specialists
● Social Media Managers
Utilizing a virtual assistant is an affordable way to hire an experienced assistant without having the expense of an employee.
The benefits of a virtual assistant to consider are:
● No paid vacations.
● No benefits.
● No retirement.
● No office equipment or supplies.
● You’re only paying for the time they work.
What Tasks Can A Virtual Assistant Do?
EMAIL & CALENDAR MANAGEMENT: According to a report by Adobe, a survey of 1,000 white-collar workers found that we spend an average of 4.1 hours checking our work email each day. That breaks down to 20.5 hours each week, over 1,000 hours each year, and more than 47,000 hours over a career.
Those numbers are almost alarming. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your emails sorted for you and general inquiries answered? This is a big area people like to delegate:
- Sort through emails/mark what’s important/sort through spam.
- Reply to client inquiries.
- Calendar management/appointment reminders.
- Schedule & confirm appointments…Do you drive a lot between meetings? Make sure you’re using the most of that time and schedule some calls on the road.
GENERAL ADMIN TASKS
This area of delegation is never-ending, but some common tasks that clients delegate are:
- Travel planning.
- Internet Research.
- Client gifts/Client welcome (purchasing/sending).
- Lead generation.
- Event planning.
- Organize meetings.
Whether you have a simple newsletter you send to clients and prospects or you have a multi-channel social media campaign; when small business owners get busy, regardless of their industry, our digital marketing efforts are one of the first areas we start to ignore. Consistency is the key to any online marketing. A virtual assistant can:
- Create & schedule email campaigns.
- Create & send newsletters.
- Social media management.
- Moderate & reply to comments if necessary.
- Help with blog posts.
- General website management (basic coding/manage subscribers, etc.).
What Tasks Can A Virtual Assistant Do For Your Law Practice?
All the tasks listed above are general areas that any small business owner can benefit in delegating. Some areas that solo or start-up law firms can delegate are:
- Onboard clients.
- Schedule client callbacks & appointments.
- Client intakes.
- Request 911 calls when needed.
- Interview potential witnesses.
- Request and follow up on medical records.
- Collect information from clients and witnesses.
- Pull inspection reports.
- Schedule depositions.
- Send gifts, letters, and notes to clients or other lawyers.
- Organize events and seminars.
Here’s what it really boils down to…what is your time worth to you? Could you be spending your time creating more income for yourself, or are you too busy doing low-level work you could be paying someone else to do? What would you do with an extra 5-10 hours each week?
- If you have a billable rate of $200/hr, and you’re spending 5 hours a week doing low-value, repetitive work…that’s $1000 week you could theoretically be losing.
- If you hire a virtual assistant for $28/hr to do those tasks for you, you’re spending $140 week. (A regular employee could be upwards of $40-50 an hour when you include benefits, vacation time, etc.)
- Freeing that time up for yourself, you just made an extra $860/week or $3440 a month.
- Looking at that annually, you would spend $7280 a year on a VA vs. $52,000.00 on yourself.
- That’s potentially an extra $44,720.00 you can earn annually.
- If your goal is to have more family or free time…is that worth $140/week?
When virtual assistants use a time tracking software, you’re able to track hours for each case and bill those hours accordingly for reimbursement.
Finding the right support services for your practice isn’t rocket science…but it is time-consuming. You can do everything yourself…but what is your time worth? What would you do with 5-10 extra hours each week? Grow your practice by learning to delegate and see what a difference it will make to not only your well-being but also your bottom line. You can view a complete presentation on How To Grow Your Law Practice With A Virtual Assistant here, or download our free e-book. In the comprehensive guide, we’ll help you sort through everything you need to know about finding, hiring and utilizing a virtual assistant, and even how to delegate effectively to them. Get your free copy here.
The other option you can consider is a virtual assistant service in the Philippines. There are many different VA companies that specialize in this arena. Overseas outsourcing isn’t for everyone, but for those that have thought about it and want to do more research, there is some great information to be found here.
Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants who can help solo and start-up law firms get the help they need without the hassle of hiring themselves…and helps them grow their practice. Give Laura a call today at (440) 973-7005 to stop multitasking and start delegating.