The Importance of Assistants in Startups
Running a startup is an incredibly exciting yet challenging responsibility. Not only are you focusing on how to grow your business through hiring, training and fundraising, but you are also juggling the million administrative tasks that come up during the day. Startups are all about keeping up this momentum and energy, putting systems in place to manage rapid growth and a lot of hard work and innovation. Without the right support, it can be incredibly difficult to manage all these contending responsibilities and still focus on your business goals.
One way to alleviate some of the stress is to work with an executive assistant. Doing so can help increase your productivity by outsourcing some of the tasks on your long to-do list while allowing you to focus on what’s important. Read on to learn about how else an executive assistant can help you navigate through a changing, fast-paced startup environment.
Why should startups hire executive assistants?
There are many reasons why a startup can benefit from hiring assistants. They can take on key responsibilities and duties right off the bat, leaving you with time to focus on what’s most important for the business.
Some of the tasks that executive assistants can take on include:
- Become your right-hand gatekeeper by managing complex personal and professional calendars and scheduling internal and external meetings.
- Take on tasks from your to-do list
- Prepare and prioritize correspondence, including email inbox and crafting emails to clients
- Organize and manage domestic/international travel arrangements
- Handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
- Maintain and update personal/professional contact database
- Manage personal/professional finances/expense reports, as needed
- Coordinate events, client dinners, personal reservations
- Provide off-hour availability via cell
- Handle ad hoc projects as and when needed
While the duties can vary to an extent depending on your individual needs, these are some of the general tasks that assistants have experience with. Startups should aim to hire executive assistants who have the right prior experience and current skills to ensure they can thrive in the role and provide an organizing influence. However, because a start up is such a rapidly changing and growing environment, it is important to hire someone with a growth mindset when it comes to acquiring new skills and being flexible.
Typically, the ideal profile for an excellent startup assistant is someone with a Bachelor’s degree and of course, excellent Microsoft office skills, Google Suite skills and calendar management skills to handle all correspondence, scheduling and other tasks. Project management skills are also highly desirable and, depending on the start up, a background in technology and/or social media may be needed.
Ideally, you should be looking for someone with several years of prior administrative experience, either at a start-up or at a rapidly growing company so that they can hit the ground running in their new role with you as soon as possible. Other key personal qualities can include proactiveness, resourcefulness, the ability to prioritize and work in a very fast-paced environment, detail-orientation and someone who can adapt and learn and apply new skills quickly. They should be someone you are comfortable delegating work to and who can deal with clients effectively.
Many of these qualities, particularly around client-facing work, will likely require some additional training and development. Startup executive assistants must have a good foundation of experience and skills to make it easier for them to adjust to the new role quickly.
Unfortunately, finding candidates like this is not always easy. It can be difficult to find assistants for startups because of the specific combination of qualities essential to thrive in the role. You’re looking for someone with an even temperament, high intellect, excellent communication skills, a good sense of humor, and a willingness to work long hours and work well with you. Coupled with the unstructured environment and the need for juggling and changing gears quickly, it can sometimes feel like a tall order if you’re searching on your own for an executive assistant.
However, there is no denying that a great assistant at a start-up can play a major role in the company’s success, and that’s why it’s so important to find the right candidate from the start.
That’s why working with an experienced staffing firm can be so beneficial.
Finding the right executive assistant with the necessary experience and knowledge of how startups operate can provide immense value right off the bat. Working with a staffing firm with the right track record can help you quickly find the best candidate possible.
How can Executive Assistants help small businesses grow?
From data entry to social media, small business owners can also benefit from hiring an executive assistant. The right assistant can free up time so that you can focus on more important tasks like fundraising, industry networking, expansion, and other measures. Plus, executive assistants can wear many hats to help your business function better.
This can include taking on different roles, such as HR, Investor Relations, Operations, and communication with stakeholders while still providing administrative support. Additionally, assistants also play a big part in establishing processes and procedures and laying the groundwork for operating the business in a more organized fashion, enabling it to grow and avoid growing pains.
It’s easy to think your business can function without the presence of assistants, and it likely can- but not at its full potential. Once you hire an assistant, you’ll see that they are an essential part of your business and its long-term growth. The right executive assistant can be one of your most critical hires to expedite growth.
Contact C-Suite Assistants for your Startup Assistant Hiring Needs
Hiring an executive assistant can make a major difference to your startup, which is why it’s crucial to work with a staffing firm to help you find the best candidate possible for the role.
C-Suite Assistants have the necessary experience to find and place executive assistants with the right background and knowledge to thrive in the role and provide the administrative support needed to help your business grow. To learn more about the value of startup executive assistants and finding the perfect assistant for your business, please get in touch today.
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