I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
Being a PPC agency owner is HARD. When you’re running your own business, your mind is trained to move at a million miles per second. Every problem, big or small, has the potential to shake your business from the ground up.
And don’t even talk about the distractions. You’ve got a to-do list as long as your arm, fifteen projects on the go, and you’re about to take on another client. You can’t remember the last time you were able to have a coffee and really enjoy the taste, not just have it for the fuel.
But something is itching furiously at the back of your brain. Before you know it, you’ve clicked off one tab and found yourself in the enthralling world of your email inbox. No new emails? Better recheck the ones you got last night, just in case you missed something, and…
Boom. 45 minutes down the toilet.
I ran my PPC agency, Flexx Digital, for five years without taking on an assistant. PPC managers, copywriters and web designers, sure. I’m an ideas man, and I needed a solid team to make those ideas a reality – and fast.
But I was hesitant when it came to getting an executive assistant. If the work pile got too high, I’d outsource to the Philippines for a fraction of what I’d be charged in the UK. I convinced myself that combing through my inbox and checking Facebook were just “part of the job”.
November 2018, I caved. Now I can’t imagine doing my job without one.
Here’s why every agency owner needs an executive assistant. They’re not just a luxury – they’re an investment.
#1 Hiring An Executive Assistant Means You’ve Got The Right Mindset
Becoming rich is kind of like being confident at a party where you don’t know anyone, and you’re not really sure if they’re “your kind of people”.
In other words, you’ve got to fake it ‘til you make it. To become rich, you’ve got to get yourself a “wealthy mindset”.
But before you spank all your credit cards on that cherry red Lamborghini, a vital characteristic of a “wealthy mindset” is the ability to think sensibly ahead.
It’s no myth that many entrepreneurs find the first two years of their business the hardest.
This is partially due to the usual stresses of running your own business. The mortgage depends on how much you bring home that month. As does food on the table. And, running any new business means you definitely owe (a lot of) money to somebody, somewhere.
Tie all this in with the fact that 80% of entrepreneurship means dealing with stuff you know nothing about and did not expect.
If an entrepreneur manages to get through the first couple of months, 20% will see their business fail in the first year. If you’re lucky, you could be part of the 50% who fail in the first five.
As one of the 50% who didn’t fail, I feel slightly guilty using statistics as a fearmongering technique.
However, the truth is there. Daily stresses, finances and competition aren’t the only reasons why so many businesses fail.
Many businesses fail because their owners don’t know how or when to get help.
As a result, they so become so preoccupied with every little task, they find themselves drowning under a pile of work – 30% of which could easily have been delegated.
Say these entrepreneurs had hired personal or executive assistants for a few hours a week, or part-time. Delegating time-consuming tasks, like inbox monitoring or errands, could save them five to twelve hours a week.
If those five to twelve hours are put to good use (i.e. working on the business), you could make double or triple the amount you would without an executive assistant. This more than cover’s the assistant’s fees – and gives you a tidy profit, too.
I wish I’d known this before I set out solo all those years ago.
So, think wealthy and think ahead. Long term, “I can’t afford it” and “it’s just a waste of money” will affect you more than you think.
When I’m distracted, or stressed, a hit of dopamine from a new email means the world. On the other hand, I used to spend a lot of time refreshing my inbox.
When starting a business, most entrepreneurs take the saying “if you want it done right, do it yourself” really, really to heart. They feel that if they let go of one small thing, and it goes wrong, the rest will soon follow.
This kind of attitude can build up to be damaging to the business, as well as exhausting to the business owner.
Hire an executive assistant and work on what’s important – like brand recognition, revenue and business growth. Since I hired her, my executive assistant is the only one who manages my work inbox. If she can’t answer the question, or find out the answer from the team, only then will it come over to my personal email.
That way, I’m not spending hours emailing back and forth with clients. I don’t have to sift through endless junk mail, and I’m not scrapping around for a dopamine hit. She also manages my Facebook and LinkedIn notifications, keeping up with messages from clients, students and prospects.
I also trust her with credit cards and transactions – something I wouldn’t dream of doing a year ago. And guess what? A little trust goes a long way. All direct debits, parking fees, train tickets and travel expenses are managed by her.
#3 An Executive Assistant Gets You Where You Need To Be
I don’t know about you, but I hate keeping track of my calendar. When I’ve got three meetings, and ten phone calls a day, plus keeping on top of my other stuff, continually adjusting my schedule can be a nightmare.
Now my executive assistant knows my routine, she has full control over my day to day business. If a client wants a half-hour call, she’ll simply slot it into a time I’m free. Recurring tasks are blocked out for the entire year.
I meet with my assistant every morning to see what’s going on in the day. If anything needs to change, I’ll let her know, or vice versa. Now I’ve got somebody else running my calendar, I’m actually far more reliable.
#4 They’ll Also Act As A Gatekeeper
If I picked up the phone to everyone who called me, I’d never get anything done.
My executive assistant acts as my gatekeeper. If she thinks the call is worth my time, she’ll put a one-to-one direct call in my schedule, along with a quick brief. If it’s a waste of time, or can be handled by another member of staff, she’ll deal with the caller accordingly.
On my “focus days”, my executive assistant also acts as a gatekeeper for my staff. It doesn’t happen too often (I have my marketing dream team), but sometimes there can be lots of questions, or my staff aren’t thinking for themselves.
My assistant knows that I shouldn’t be bothered unless the situation is critical (and it rarely is). If there’s anything that needs an answer within the next 24 hours, she’ll make a note for me to answer later, or she’ll arrange a brief meeting for the next day. A majority of the time, other people on the team can help with any pressing questions or worries.
#5 They’ll Make Sure Projects Get Finished
I’m the kind of guy who has two or three new ideas a week.
When you’re constantly setting your team new projects, it can be hard to keep track – for them, and for me. Sometimes, whole projects can slip under the radar when I think another should take priority.
My executive assistant makes sure these projects get completed. In the business, we use the work management software Asana. That, along with my assistant’s follow-through superpowers, means my team always work at maximum efficiency.
#6 An Assistant Will Help You With Your Work/Life Balance
This point is kind of a summation of the previous paragraphs.
An executive assistant will help you achieve a better work/life balance. Since I hired mine, I’m spending less time in the office – safe in the knowledge that everything is running smoothly.
And the best thing? I get to leave at six in the evening, every day, on the dot. Gone are the days where I would stay up and burn the midnight oil. Once you’re rid of all those little distractions, you’ll find three or even four more hours a day to really focus on the big picture.
Flexx Digital is a PPC agency that uses the Pay Per Lead model – no retainer contracts.
If you want to find out more about this Pay Per Lead model, and how we run the business, check out my free case study.
Inside you’ll find how I:
- Severed ties with retainer contracts once and for all
- Moved away from local businesses
- Started working with national B2C companies
- Land high-ticket clients
- Found the verticals we work in
- Consistently generate leads of the highest quality
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