Hiring a virtual assistant for the first time is a significant step, and we know you’ll have a lot of questions if you’re thinking about it. This page seeks to answer all of them in one place, so you can leave feeling well-informed about the situation.
Let’s get started, shall we?
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Is hiring a virtual assistant the best solution for you?
If you have the following needs, hiring a virtual assistant may be the best solution for you:
- You require flexible assistance without a long-term commitment.
- Have you reached a moment in your business where you’re having trouble moving forward on your own?
- You’ve got a big launch, event, project, or customer coming up, which means your workload will be larger than usual.
- Are you confident in your ability to manage a virtual working relationship and are comfortable working digitally?
- Are you willing to relinquish some control and start delegating responsibilities to others?
What can a virtual assistant help you with?
Virtual assistants come in a variety of forms and sizes, with different skill sets and specialties depending on their previous experience.
Virtual assistants typically offer one or more of the following services:
- Administrative assistance in general (e.g. data entry, CRM management, reporting)
- Financial reporting and bookkeeping (e.g. recording expenses, invoicing, reconciling)
- Personal/executive help (e.g. inbox and diary management, travel bookings)
- Administration of marketing (e.g. blog upload, social media scheduling, proofreading)
- Management and assistance with events (e.g. planning, organising, coordinating on the day)
When should you consider hiring a virtual assistant?
When it comes to employing a virtual assistant, there are no hard and fast rules on how much you should charge or how many hours you should work. Instead, to determine how you’re feeling in your business right now, ask yourself the following questions:
Is it possible that I’m working more hours than I’d like?
Is it possible that I’m missing out on opportunities because the day isn’t long enough?
Is my time being used efficiently? Is it possible that some of my responsibilities could be delegated to someone else?
Am I having fun at work? Or do I waste too much time on jobs that make me unhappy?
Do I have growth plans but not enough time in my day to put them into action?
Do I require assistance to fill a skill gap or with jobs that take me much too long?
The numbers are the next thing to consider if you’ve decided you’re ready for a VA. Getting the help you need is critical, but so is the financial health of your company. Also, read about Local Digital Business.
What does it cost to hire a virtual assistant?
In the United Kingdom, the typical beginning rate for hiring a virtual assistant is £25 per hour.
Prices will rise as expertise and skills improve, and you should expect to spend upwards of £50 for highly specialised assistance.
You may, of course, obtain it cheaper, as with all freelance/virtual services offered online. A virtual assistant from overseas could cost around $5 per hour, but be aware that low-cost providers breed low-quality work.
Consider the following factors when comparing costs and benefits:
Will it be possible for me to communicate with my VA as and when I need to due to time zones?
Will my VA be able to understand my needs and talk with me in colloquial English due to language barriers?
Is my VA fully insured in case something goes wrong?
Data security — Is my VA well-versed in current regulations, and can I trust them to adhere to them?
Will my VA have cultural and economic awareness of the sector and market I’m in, and will they be able to relate to the type of client I’m after?
How do you choose the best virtual assistant for you?
It’s a good idea to identify and interview several virtual assistant candidates when you’re just starting out.
Asking your network for referrals, searching or posting on social media, perusing directories, and placing paid adverts are all options for finding virtual assistants.
After you’ve identified some potential VAs, ask yourself the following questions about each of them:
Do they have prior experience with the things I require assistance with?
What additional services do they offer that I might require in the future?
Have they worked with companies in my field before?
Can they show that they have a thorough understanding of my company and the work they’ll be doing for me?
Is their communication good, and am I convinced that we could work well together?
What kind of internet persona do they have? (Do I like having this person represent my company?)
What are their availability options?
What do they charge and how do they operate?
Where can I find a virtual assistant?
What happens when you’ve narrowed down your search by asking the aforementioned questions about any potential VAs?
Make a test run – Set some test exercises for your VA (or VAs, if you’re still undecided). Keep an eye on how they work and the results they produce.
(Don’t expect your VA to do this for nothing.) No one should have to work for nothing, and it will set you up for failure. Find genuine activities that you need help with in your organisation to make it worthwhile).
Start small – Don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s fine to start small and hope to expand your connection if things go well.
Develop your delegation skills – Don’t rush the briefing process with your VA, and take your time deciding which responsibilities to assign and how. The better you explain your requirements, the more likely they are to be met.
Prioritise contact with your VA over the first few weeks and months of your collaboration. In addition to providing comments, inquire about their thoughts on how things are going. A two-sided relationship is required to develop a strong partnership.
Don’t be scared to start over — even if you follow all of the steps indicated in this book, you might not discover the proper VA the first time. If it doesn’t work out, throw in the towel and start looking again. We promise it will be worthwhile in the end.