5 Tips To Finding An Awesome Virtual Assistant
When you run your own small business you are inclined to want to do it all yourself. Being realistic about how far you can stretch your time and skills though is necessary. Do you really have the time, patience and knowhow to manage every social media profile? Are you drowning in paperwork? Do you need to undertake market research but realise you don’t have the adequate experience to get the results you need?
When your budget does not allow for a permanent employee but your work load needs lifting, consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA); a professional who can pick up your administration tasks, be your technical side kick or take on any aspect of your business that you need help with.
These 5 tips will ensure that the virtual assistant you hire is as awesome as you need them to be.
1. What are your specific needs and how complex are the tasks?
Understanding from the outset exactly that you need your VA to do will very quickly help you narrow down the huge pool of available resources. Do you need someone who is technically savvy? Do you require a native English speaker to write content or proof read your documents? Do you need a creative helper to design your logo? Make a list of the jobs you need help with and a timeframe that you will need support. You may only want a one off job completed or a month’s worth of help. Get it clear in your mind first.
2. Experience and references
Make a list of questions for all candidates you choose to interview and most importantly ask to see their website and examples of their work. Pay close attention to bad grammar and lack of attention to detail. If they fail to present themselves in the right way they may not reflect your business well either.
You’ll want to ascertain their level of expertise in the area that you need help with. Is it clear that they can manage your social media or can you see no reference to it other than what they have told you. Are they a wiz on excel and can comfortably whip you up an example based on some criteria you set them or do they answer your queries with sentences full or jargon and leave you none the wiser.
Don’t be afraid to test them out. After all you are putting a component of your business in the hands of a stranger so you need to be completely confident.
3. Availability and flexibility
Depending on your business requirements, you must make sure that the VA is available when you need them. Whether it be weekends, after hours or mornings only, make sure they can guarantee their availability and flexibility to suit. Try to use the services of someone in a time zone similar to you that way when you need to jump on the telephone for a chat or need a quick turnaround for a job you don’t have to wait overnight for them to even receive your request.
4. Professional touch
Just because this person is a VA and not physically working in the office with you, does not mean that they should not be professional. Pay close attention to the way in which they respond to emails and answer their telephone. The special touches they add to reports, the way they make an effort to ask questions and clarify details and take an interest in you and your business will go a long way to ensuring the relationship is a successful one.
5. What is your overall impression
Humans have a fantastic way of judging so trust your instincts. What’s your take on their personality? Do you find them to be a perfect fit for your business? Do they have the drive, attention to detail and enthusiasm that you need to ensure there is trust. When talking to them do they sound confident and are you comfortable speaking with them on a range of topics?
You need to be 110% comfortable with your choice. Hiring a virtual assistant is a very affordable method of getting jobs done. Whatever your budget, what ever your needs, a virtual assistant can help you get the job done and give you back time in your day.
Kristy Edwards makes social media magic happen when she isn’t out buying shoes. From Pinterest, to Instagram to Facebook she finds the coolest stuff in the virtual social world.