So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and outsource your admin to a Virtual Assistant, question is what do you do now?  How do you choose the right one for your business?  Below are some pointers to help you along 🙂

What to do BEFORE outsourcing your admin

1.  To-do List

First things first, you need to create a to-do list.  Go through the list and determine which tasks can be delegated.  Try not to fall into the trap of thinking “It’ll be quicker and easier if I do this myself”, the whole purpose of a Virtual Assistant is to save you time (and money, of course!).  In the long-term think how you will use all the time you free up from administrative tasks to generate more revenue for your business 🙂

2.  Be specific

Make sure the Virtual Assistant has the skills specific to your requirements.  There are so many VA’s now specialising in various areas that its imperative you are specific.  It’s no use choosing one that specialises in social media and giving them accounts work!

3.  Time

Estimate how much time you will need a Virtual Assistant for – be realistic and work out how much you can actually budget for.  Most VA’s offer packages which ultimately save the client money.

Things you should consider when choosing your Virtual Assistant

1.  Cost

Look at your budget and how much you can afford to spend.  Remember, though, to add into your budget calculations the fact that you’ll be able to generate more income with the time that will be freed up by hiring a Virtual Assistant!  Whilst most businesses tend to steer towards the cheapest, that is not always the best option.  Ask yourself why they are so cheap.  Look at the experience the VA has.  If it sounds too good to be true – it usually is!

2.  Testimonials

Make sure you ask the Virtual Assistant for references, people you can contact who will tell you about working with them.  Ask people you know if they could recommend anyone, word of mouth is the best form of advertising.

3.  Quality of work

Take a look at their website.  Are there any spelling mistakes / grammatical errors?  This is a pet hate of mine – there is no excuse for spelling errors, especially on a website that is offering proofreading as a service!  If the Virtual Assistant isn’t paying attention to their own website, how can you be certain your work will be accurate?

4.  Good customer service

This is someone you’re going to be working with closely – what is their telephone manner like?  Are they friendly?  Do they come across as approachable and professional?  The chances are at some point the Virtual Assistant will be contacting your clients, you need to be certain their customer service ethic matches your own.

5.  Availability

Does the Virtual Assistant work full-time or part-time?  Are they available evenings and weekends (if that’s when you work)? What time zone are they located in?  These are all things to factor in when choosing a VA.  Be clear on deadlines with them, remember they will have more than 1 client so work has to be scheduled in.  Be realistic on timelines.

A few things to remember……

1.  Virtual Assistants are business people too

A VA is not an employee!  We’ve had to set up the business, market our services and overcome obstacles just like you… we are business people 🙂

2.  Personality

Working with a Virtual Assistant is a two-way partnership.  The first thing to look at is probably their personality, you want to make sure you’re both on the same wavelength, that there is a “click” between you.

3.  Location is not an issue

Being virtual means we can work anywhere with an internet connection.  Most Virtual Assistant’s never meet their clients – the majority of the time there is no need to, all work is carried out remotely.  That’s not to say that you’re not allowed to meet with the VA ;-), just that technology allows you to be on the other side of the world if you have to be.

That means I can still carry out work for my clients when I’m living on my tropical island……. as long as there is internet connection 🙂