Brighter business / How an Executive Assistant can help your small business flourish

How an Executive Assistant can help your small business flourish

There comes a time in the growth of your business when you need to become more efficient in your day to day tasks, in order to take accomplish everything that keeps piling up on your to-do list. Perhaps you’ve considered a personal assistant in the past, or you might even employ one right now. Is it time to take it to the next level, though? It may be time to consider hiring an executive assistant.

What is an executive assistant?

An executive assistant works with the executive level rather than just the managerial level, and is likely quite invested in and knowledgeable about the inner workings of the company. They are able to stand in for you, the executive, during meetings, because they have this higher level of knowledge about the company.

This knowledge, this personal investment in your company that your EA has, can develop over time to become an incredibly important asset to you. They can be someone you can trust to handle many decisions, because they understand how you think and how you would respond.

How does a PA differ from an EA?

Both roles aim to lighten the load of the executive by managing things like scheduling, reading and responding to appropriate emails, fielding phone calls, and, in many ways, managing the executive. Where the two roles diverge, however, is in the additional duties and seniority that an executive assistant is able to take on in the company.

An EA may play the role of HR lead in smaller companies, because of their extensive understanding of the company’s needs. In addition, an executive assistant may have their own PA to assist in the more menial tasks they might have had to handle for the executive, freeing them up to deal with more important issues in the company.

Finally, the salary for an executive assistant is significantly higher than that of a personal assistant, tending to start at the high end, or above, of a personal assistant’s salary. In short, they should be a stand-out team member.

Why should you hire one?

Building a business from nothing can be a recipe for incredible success. However, if you become too attached to doing everything yourself, it can go the other way. The fact is, there are plenty of tasks you could be giving to an assistant, in order to free up your time and your brain.

As well, your entrepreneurial brain may need a bit of taming and focusing, which your EA can help out with. Someone who understands your weaknesses can help you present a complete package by balancing out those weaknesses, or helping you manage them better. Don’t underestimate how much organisation an executive assistant can add to your business, as well. An EA’s job is to help you run your business like a finely tuned machine.

It’s not just that, though. Working with someone whose job it is to know and understand you as a person and as a business leader can be enormously beneficial. An executive assistant can act in your stead when you are engaged elsewhere, because they know what you would say and do. Having that kind of trust in someone at your company can free you to focus your energy where your company most needs it to be, in order to grow your business.

The question is: why wouldn’t you hire an executive assistant?