Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant

Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant

You’ve finally decided to outsource some tasks and know what you want to delegate.  How do you know what virtual assistant is right for you?

Let’s start with the fact that every Virtual Assistant is different – different in their pay structure, different in how they work, different in the quality of their work. Keep this in mind researching your Virtual Assistant.

Even before you start researching, ask yourself the following to make sure you get the right Virtual Assistant for the task:

  • Are you in a special line of business (i.e., Real Estate, Legal, etc.)? Are the tasks that you are delegating something that a general Virtual Assistant can perform or do you need a specialty Virtual Assistant?
  • Are you ok with being one of many clients or are you looking to be the one and only client?
  • Are you ok if English is the second language?
  • Do you already have the procedure/steps written down on how to perform the task?
  • Do you have an idea of how many hours a specific task should take?
  • Will the VA use your login and password or are you able to create a separate account and give them rights?

Now that you know what you are looking for, how do you find a VA?  Here are some ideas:

  • Reach out to your network – you probably know someone who has used a virtual assistant in the past.
  • Check local chambers or BNI (Business Network International) directories – there might be a VA that you didn’t know about.
  • Look on LinkedIn to see if there is a VA in your extended network and ask the mutual connection for an intro.
  • Look on Facebook and online – There are also a bunch of different Facebook groups and online forums for Virtual Assistants.

There’s no doubt you will find a Virtual Assistant, but are they the right fit?  When you talk to them make sure you find out some of the following questions.  This is sort of an interview process for the both of you – just without resumes – but of course, there should always be a LinkedIn profile and a company website.

  • How long has the VA been in business?
  • What is the VA’s work experience?
  • Do they bill by the hour or by the project? Do they have additional fees for rush projects? Do they give an estimate if by the hour? Is there a minimum billable time? Is there a contract? What is the minimum for the contract?
  • Do they have the right equipment and software needed to perform the task that you are delegating?
  • Do they know how to use the software that is needed to perform the task that you are delegating? If not, how will training be done? Will you pay for the VA to take a course? Does the VA expect to be paid for the time they are being trained?
  • Where are they located? Are they in the same time zone as you? What are their core hours?
  • How do they work? What kind of lead time do they need for projects?
  • What is the typical turnaround time?

It’s a process – you are hiring and trusting a person with your business. But when you find the right person, it will all work out because there is something that every single VA should do for you – give you back your time to work ON your business and not IN your business.