If you're just setting up your business or you've reached a point where you need a helping hand but don't have enough work to take on a permanent member of staff, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and to work yourself too hard.
I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt, washed it and worn it over and over again!
That's why I want to help you understand how the right VA can add great value whilst freeing up some of your time to focus on yourself and your growing business.
A great way for you to grow your business without having to increase your staff count which, let's face it can be unnecessarily expensive and time consuming, is via the employment of a professional Virtual Assistant.
The benefits of this are:
It can be a challenge for some business owners to source the right VA, especially if hiring for the first time. However, we've put together some tips to help you succeed first-time around.
The main things that you need to bear in mind are:
1. What do you want?
It can be extremely tiresome for both you and your VA if you don't have a clear understanding of what you want, when you want it and how you want it carried out.
To ensure that you and your VA have a solid relationship from the outset, you must decide what you want and explain your requirements clearly to your VA. If anything needs clarification a good VA will ask questions to ensure that they fully understand your needs before commencing with the work.
It's always important to remember that some VA's have certain specialities for example, here at Admin Angels UK we have a strong background in social media and proofreading whereas other VA's may specialise solely in Data Entry or Finance.
To ensure that you and your customers receive the best possible service, be sure to do your research and find out exactly whether your VA can fulfil your business requirements.
2. What skills do you need?
When looking for a Virtual Assistant to help you with a specific task, it's always a good idea to have a basic understanding of the types of skills required to complete the work to the highest possible standard.
For instance, if you're looking for someone to help you with customer support, you must have an outline idea of how you want them to communicate with your customers, the types of issues they will be dealing with, what message you want them to send to your customers and how to do this. You will also need to identify whether they have the experience/qualifications required to assist you effectively, which brings us to point 3...
3. Asking relevant questions
The entire nature of a Virtual Assistant is that everything is performed virtually. Therefore, it's very unlikely that you'll ever meet your VA face to face, but don't be alarmed. This doesn't mean that you have no control or that your VA isn't to be trusted.
Many people have pre-conceived misconceptions that VA's will not communicate effectively to provide work updates, are not monitored, cannot be controlled and will not produce the work specified. Whether this is because of a bad experience in the past or simply a distrust of the unseen, you need to dig a little deeper and find out exactly whether your chosen VA is a good fit for you and your business.
Do not be afraid to request case studies, testimonials and references from your VA's previous clients. Find out how they operate including; working hours, communication/reporting methods, do they have a support system, an emergency contact number and what are their response times to new emails/enquiries?
Getting the answers to all of these questions, be it via a website or simply asking, will ensure that you choose the right VA who will fit in perfectly with you and your business; giving you the peace of mind that you deserve.
4. The fine print
Once you've found the right VA for you, before you proceed with the project, be sure to clarify the following working terms: