Tips for Business Owners:
Finding Help With Virtual Assistants
When you have a business, you will sweat even on the small stuff–because all that ‘small stuff’ can create a big impact in your company. These small things come in the form of updating databases, data entry, keeping up with emails, responding to inquiries, writing press releases, fielding customer service calls and much more can be too much for your hectic schedule. That’s why there are Virtual Assistants. And yes, they are a thing!
A virtual assistant (aka VA) is a professional that provides support and administrative services. And a big thanks to technology, your VA can work remotely. He or she could be on the other side of your town, your country or can even be on the other side of the world!
DO I NEED A VA?
It can be confusing to know whether or not you need to hire a virtual assistant. Here are some signs that tell you it’s time to delegate to one.
Working long hours on repetitive tasks
You might want to hire a VA if you spend hours doing repetitive tasks like responding to comments, emails, fielding customer service calls, data entry, online posts and more. The key is that you find these repetitive tasks, that are done the same over and over, these are ripe tasks to delegate to someone so you can focus on your business.
When you begin to lose money in your business because you can’t keep up with every request / inquiry / question your clients throw at you, you definitely need help. For any business, losing clients is a bad start and you don’t want that.
Doing lower-value tasks
This is your company. You own it. You started it. Your working hours should be spent adding value to your assets and inviting more prospect clients in a way only you can. Delegate those lower-value tasks to a VA.
Dealing with work you don’t like
In running a business, it is always important that you love the things you are doing. Doing things you don’t like will just burn you out, affecting your productivity in a massive way.
WHERE CAN I FIND A VA?
Looking for a virtual assistant is not as easy as hiring anyone that has visited your office. Sure, it may be challenging to find someone who you can rely on about some private company matters but they are out there. You just have to know where to look.
Its understandable to be apprehensive, hiring a VA is a huge step, trusting someone with business duties is a huge step, especially if you are a solopreneur and this the first time delegating and allowing someone to work inside your business. It can be scary, sure, make sure to check out the tips of what to look for in a VA below to help easy into this process.
Online Job Platforms
Popular Online Job Platforms include Upwork and Elance. These platforms have review systems ensuring the quality of online freelancers. They also offer time tracking features, chat, feedback, quick invoicing and easy global payments under an escrow service.
This social media platform allows you to reach out to VA companies and candidates. Top VA companies have listening posts and responses well to companies’ demands for virtual assistants.
Your Professional and Social Networks
Your contact list might have include other businesses, influencers, professionals. It is best you call them or send them an email and let them know you are looking for a virtual assistant. They might not be the one for the job, but chances are, they might know someone, or can recommend somebody that does VA services. You’ll never know.
Your social media networks can also be of great help. You can ask around Facebook, and even join groups and forums and you might just get the perfect leads!
Workshops, Seminars and Networking Events
Gatherings with professionals is a great place to find the virtual assistant for you, share with others not only what you do, but what challenges you are facing and you might end up with a great referral.
If you’re a first timer and you ran short on referrals, VA Networking is the place for you. VAs usually gather here to look for jobs and look possible solutions to tasks they are currently working on. What’s more convenient? They also have a hiring section where you can post what kind of VA you’re looking for. Check it out here https://www.vanetworking.com/.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A VA?
Below are just some of the qualities you should definitely look for when hiring a VA. Again a scary process and thought to delegate some of the business to someone, especially when not meeting in person, but there are some qualities you want to look for in a VA, that you would want with an in office assistant as well. In addition, thanks to technology and video calling, you can virtually meet the person face to face.
On the hiring process, observe each candidate on how responsive they are. The best ones usually reply the fastest. This quality is helpful since you need to be constantly communicating with your VA.
Pays attention even with the smallest details
Before you hire someone, be sure look at their previous work. If they have good attention to detail, then rest assured they will have good attention to detail in all aspects of the tasks you’ll assign them to. If they are lenient with typos or careless mistakes, is that someone you want to represent you and your business?
Most virtual assistants opt to get paid by the hour. As such, you want someone who is well-trained, knowledgeable, and knows how to work promptly. The more experience your virtual assistant has, the faster they will be capable to realize duties. This will assist you to properly manage your time and work on other tasks needed to be done.
A capable virtual assistant will meet troubles head on, figure them out, and then keep the subject matter at bay in case that difficulty springs up again.
Virtual assistants must be able to schedule/handle/organize tasks, and manage multiple clients at the same time. The power to multitask will aid a virtual assistant in keeping the company progressive.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Once you find your ideal VA candidate (or candidates), there are a some few helpful things you may want to reckon to assure that your working relationship together is a best one.
Delegating tasks slowly
Start by assigning minor tasks at first. Even if the VA is an experienced one, don’t delegate a critical assignment right away. By having the VA handle smaller tasks first, you can ascertain the good ways to communicate with each other.
Be as specific as possible
Be specific in all your instructions, You know what they say: Never assume… never assume that your VA already knows what you want. It’s best to set out the expectations in advance and let your VA handle it from there.
Ask for suggestions
After delegating an assignment, you may want to ask your VA if he has any questions, concerns, or comments. Especially in the beginning when your VA is still shy, he may not volunteer feedback unless asked. Also ask if the VA has any suggestions regarding how to handle the task better or how to become more productive. He may have formulated some shortcuts and working techniques while working with his past clients, or he may have the abilities and experiences that you simply didn’t know about.
This is a learning processes for the VA as well, as you delegate tasks and give them the opportunity to execute work for you, give them feedback on the task completed. Just like anyone else, they won’t get better at providing you great service, if they don’t know how they are doing. Communication is key!
Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to increase your productiveness and focus on the work that really matters to your business. There are respective virtual assistants available and they differ in skills and qualifications. To make sure you hire the best VA that fits your business’ mission and vision, review the skills and qualifications mentioned above, determine which ones are a priority for you, and then make sure the virtual assistant you hire possesses the skills and qualifications that you find necessary to keep moving forward.
Start slow, most VA’s are willing to-do a trial run. When communicating with the express your interest in hiring them, set the expectations you have for the future and express that first a trial run is needed to ensure comfort with their state skills and expertise. Most of the time, they person you are working with will find this acceptable and has worked great for us here at The Business Mentors in finding excellent VA’s for various projects.