How to choose the Right Virtual Assistant

Written by: Penny Cooke | Posted on: | Category:

Once you’ve made the decision to use a Virtual Assistant to help you spend more time doing what you want and need to do to boost your business or to spend time with your family or – heck! – even to get rid of all that administrivia, you need to not only find the right VA that can help you with those business needs but one who suits your style of working, too. So how do you do that? It’s not quite as simple as sticking a pin in Yellow Pages, or the Google equivalent, but it’s not as hard as you might think.

First off, consider these three things.

  1. What’s your business about?
  2. What do you actually need and want to hand over?
  3. How would you prefer to communicate with your shiny new VA?

Maybe you need someone who can manage your website updates, social media, etc. This opens up your possibilities and you can consider someone who lives in another time zone, another country or even another hemisphere. But you would need to be clear right from the Get Go on your working methods and especially your preferred method of communication.

Or, if you run a service business and want your VA to answer customer queries by phone, you're going to need someone in the same time zone as you are. She’ll also need to be organised and proactive. She needs to be responsive and - this might be something you wouldn’t think to consider - she needs to be friendly, too. You don’t want her scaring away your existing customers and turning away new ones with a brusque or intimidating personality.

Okay. Now you're clear on the type of work you want to hand off to your VA and whether she needs to be up and awake when you are (more or less!).

So, the fun starts here. How would you go about finding her, maybe giving her a trial task and, more importantly, how do you make the wise choice? Consider these options.

Does she have her own website?

Can she provide testimonials?

If you're looking for a specific set of skills, can she provide an example of her work?

That’s the first part out of the way. It’s not unreasonable to contact a few Virtual Assistants. You can do this by email or phone in the first instance, but I’d suggest setting up a few Skype calls so you can, virtually, chat face to face, and look them in the eye! You need to compare their various experience and skill sets. You'll want to know how much they charge and how this gels with what your own needs and budgetary restrictions are. This is where that “look ’em in the eye” comes in – trust your instinct. It’s more difficult to do that on the phone but especially so by email.

That one task I mentioned earlier? That’s your initial trial run. Check results, check deadline, and take it from there.

VAs know that a lot of people won’t be used to working with us, so it’s our job to make that transition as easy as possible. We need to be clear, upfront about what we can and cannot (or won’t!) do, and have an honest and open relationship with our clients, whether new or existing.

Are you ready to take the next step? Good-o! Give me a call. See what I can do for you – help you focus on what you do best, and leave the rest to me.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke / Pixabay

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