by Stephen Fairley
Last week I interviewed renowned business guru Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited, on best business practices for law firms. Before our chat, I invited attorneys to submit questions they’d like me to ask Michael.
I was somewhat surprised by how many questions dealt with personnel issues. One attorney practiced in a rural area and couldn’t find qualified people. Another practiced in a big city but had the same problem — too many flakes. The basic questions everyone was asking was, “How can I find good people?”
The answer may be, online.
You have no doubt heard of virtual assistants. I started my business with the help of a virtual assistant and although most of my folks work in our Phoenix office, I also have lots of good people on the payroll who work virtually.
You see, I’ve found that sometimes the best people for the job are not where you live and work. And I want the best. Apparently, many of you do, too. Don’t let distance be a deterrent to getting the right person for the job.
Virtual assistants are readily available these days and their virtues are many:
- You only pay for what you need.
- You don’t pay for downtime, sick leave, vacation days or medical benefits.
- You don’t pay for extra office space or equipment.
- Having a VA frees you up to focus on building your business.
- The right VA can add a lot to your business if they have skills you lack, like marketing or finance.
Virtual assistants are accustomed to protecting private information with SSL-encrypted files that ensure your client data is not inadvertently shared inappropriately. They are also willing to sign nondisclosure or confidentiality agreements.
Solo practitioners are usually the biggest beneficiaries of using VAs, since they have a tendency to do everything themselves. You can get a VA to handle your email, your schedule, draft marketing content, post to your social media accounts, schedule speaking engagements, follow up with leads — just about everything you would pay a person to do in your office if you could find the right one.
You can also find paralegals who freelance at very affordable rates.
So how do you find a VA? There are online job sites like Elance, Odesk and Staff.com that have employer reviews so you’re not flying blind, or you can even post an ad on Craigslist (it’s free).
If you’re ready to focus on what you do best and make a more productive law practice a reality, try going virtual.
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