Advice on hiring an assistant
Thread poster: RHuber

RHuber  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:38
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 28, 2013

Hello fellow freelancers, I am thinking about hiring a part-time assistant to help with bookkeeping, invoicing, some client contact and other general tasks that I consistently get behind on. I would rather concentrate on translating and business development, and frankly bookkeeping and administration are not my strengths. I am wondering if anyone else has hired an assistant, and whether it was worth it. Thanks!

 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 21:38
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
Look differently Aug 28, 2013

All admin work can be done through some available suitable software( invoicing, book keeping etc). All you may need to do for an added impact is directly contact the customers/clients.

 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:38
German to English
Software not the answer Aug 28, 2013

I've hired (and fired) office assistants for specific projects to keep administrative / process matters under control while I translated. Reliability is as important as any specific skills a candidate may have. A reasonably intelligent person can enter data into a properly set-up spreadsheet, for example, or answer the phone and take messages. The trick is finding someone who can be depended upon to show up as scheduled (you may find you may need help only a few days/week once that person gets trained). I had one who could read German which was a real help, but unfortunately he couldn't stay sober and I had to get rid of him after a few weeks. He was replaced by a monolingual young woman who was eager to learn, and she was a gem. Unfortunately she was too good, and after a few months I couldn't provide her with enough work to hang onto her. I've hired assistants for short periods as well.

Believe it or not, apart from the first person mentioned above, I've found help via Craigslist.


 

RHuber  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:38
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
cost/benefit Aug 28, 2013

Thanks Srini and Kevin, I agree that software can help, but I don't feel that messing around with Quickbooks for an hour a day is a great use of my time. I am mostly concerned about the cost-benefit factor, i.e. if I could actually make up the cost of hiring someone part-time by being able to do more work and/or get more clients. I suppose it would take a few months until the balance was positive.

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:38
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
It won't work Aug 28, 2013

RHuber wrote:

Thanks Srini and Kevin, I agree that software can help, but I don't feel that messing around with Quickbooks for an hour a day is a great use of my time. I am mostly concerned about the cost-benefit factor, i.e. if I could actually make up the cost of hiring someone part-time by being able to do more work and/or get more clients. I suppose it would take a few months until the balance was positive.


Those who are competent may desire the salary that can be as high as your income. Those less competent can't do anything. With the time you spent explaining to him or her, you have already got everything done.

I hired an assistant and she stayed 8 months and the only thing she did that really same me some time is to go to the bank to deposit my checks, or to a notary public to get documents notified on behalf of my company.


 

Sarah Silva  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:38
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
A good assistant is worth hiring Aug 29, 2013

I would advise hiring someone who is self-employed for a couple of hours a week. You can then increase/decrease their hours after trying it out for a couple of months.
I can afford to pay for about 10 hours a month bookkeeping, invoicing and admin help and to me, it is worth it as I can then spend all my time on translating and my customers and have an organised office!


 


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