Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to work with a Virtual Assistant to reduce your daily / weekly / monthly workflow, whilst you concentrate on other aspects of your business, such as its development and growth.
But how do you go about choosing the right Virtual Assistant for your business needs?
Well it really boils down to 3 things:
- Your business type
- Your support needs
- Your preferred communication method
Let’s imagine you run a service business in the US and need a Virtual Assistant to answer customer queries. Straight away you rule out VAs’ based outside the US due to normal business hours, and most likely VAs’ outside of your own time zone too, since the main remit of the role is to handle customer support. You’ll need a VA who is personable, organised, proactive and has the ability to be responsive, so you can ensure you retain those all important customers and gain new ones.
Now let’s imagine you’re a US based business owner who needs a Virtual Assistant to manage their website updates, social media, and company blog. Here’s a scenario where your VA could be based locally or in Europe since there aren’t any major time restraints. However you will need to be clear on how you’d like to work and your preferred communication method. If your preference is being able to physically speak with them via Skype or another VoIP service then time zones will need to be considered.
From there, it’s time to start your search to connect with a VA and give a trial task.
So how do you ensure you choose wisely?
There are a few basic things you can check to help narrow down your search. Firstly do they have their own business website? Can they provide you with testimonials or references? Can they provide you with examples of their work (if it’s a specific skill)? Those 3 things will help establish their professionalism and help you determine a level of trust.
Then once you’ve done that bit, it’s OK to contact 2 or 3 different Virtual Assistants. Chat with them via Skype, compare their experience and skill set with the rates they charge against your own needs / budget restrictions. Be sure to check their availability and that it matches your requirements. And listen to your gut instinct!
Then start small. Handover 1 small task with a deadline, check the results, and build from there.
Virtual Assistants are used to working with clients who aren’t used to working with them. So as long as you’re open, communicative and clear, you should be able to create a solid working relationship. And finally, give yourself a pat on the back for making a great business decision.