If you are just getting started with your business or are in the phase of growing it, there are a ton of things you need to attend to. Unfortunately, even if you have the time, it is simply impossible to accomplish them all. So there will come a point when you will need help, whether it is for data entry, scheduling, e-mail management and so on.
A virtual assistant is an excellent choice for administrative help. Aside from being a productivity enhancer, a good VA can also help reduce work load and costs for businesses. Yet, not all virtual assistants are created equal. While many do their jobs efficiently, some just do not know how to deliver what is expected of them. With this in mind, you want to pay careful attention to who you will be hiring. After all, you want to get the services you need for the money you are willing to pay for. So if you are planning to hire a VA, ensure you get the perfect match for your needs by following these tips.
Know What You Need
Before you as much as go online to search for a VA service, it is vital that you first identify your needs. Clearly think about the tasks that you need help with, such as bookkeeping, e-mail management, content writing, marketing, etc. Making a list will allow you to determine the specific responsibilities you can assign to the VA. This will also let you identify how the VA will fit in with your current business set up. Do you need a task-based VA, a full-time assistant, or someone who can work for you on a part-time basis?
Find a Good Source
Since virtual assistants have exploded into popularity, the Internet is now teeming with sites that offer virtual assistance services. Keep in mind that every site appeals to different niches of virtual assistants, so you need to be picky. Some sites have VAs specializing in a particular task, while others would allow you to post your projects and have VAs from different locations bid on them. At the most, you want to find a source that has a good record for providing efficient VAs.
Screen for Compatibility
Once you have narrowed down your choices, the next step is to find out who among them is a good fit for you and your business. Given that this is a virtual working relationship, you want to ensure that the person you will hire has the right experience and can handle the work you will assign.
There are a number of ways how you can screen candidates. You can review their websites (this is crucial if you intend to assign web design or development tasks); check their portfolios; get in touch with their references; view ratings; or correspond via email. However, if you really want to properly assess the candidates and know them a bit more before taking your pick, consider chatting with them online. This will allow you to better judge their communication style and will also permit you to know their skills and response time.
Have a Detailed Contract in Place
Before you hand over all your tasks to a VA, make sure to have a detailed contract in place. Outline all the specifics, including the responsibilities, tasks, revisions, payment schedule and contingencies among others. Be sure that you and the VA are in agreement with all the things included in the contract before both of you sign on the dotted line.