Despite the every increasing popularity of using Virtual Assistants, there are still so many people who have questions about finding the right one for your business. I still receive so many questions about this topic, so I wanted to take a moment to send out a short refresher.
A Virtual Assistant can be a great asset to your business IF you choose wisely. The choice to hire a Virtual Assistant is not something you do on a whim, with no prior planning or preparation. I’m not talking about going on Fiverr and finding so meone willing to do a quick task for a cheap price. Fiverr can be a good option in minor cases, but it is not a long term solution.
I’m talking about selecting someone who has the potential to enhance your productivity and help you grow your business. That selection process takes time, but it is well worth it. Here are some tips to help you in the process:
1. Domestic or International?
One of the biggest questions is whether or not to choose a Virtual Assistant from a foreign country. This choice is totally based on your comfort level. My Virtual Assistant is from the Philippines and I’ve worked with her for over 4 years. She handles the majority of customer service, and I’m very comfortable with putting that responsibility in her hands for two main reasons:
A. I began with the end in mind
I knew I wanted a Virtual Assistant who could handle daily calls and provide optimal customer service, so I never considered someone without excellent English skills. Also, I only looked for candidates with Executive level assistant skills. I needed someone who already knew the basics, so I could build on that foundation.
B. I didn’t go with the cheapest option
Understand this – cheap isn’t better, it’s just cheap. If you needed to have heart surgery, would you choose the hospital or facility based on their price, or the quality of their surgeons? I’m willing to bet money would be the least of your worries at that point. Well, your staff is the heart of your company. They represent you in every facet, and you always want to be represented well.
I’m not telling you to break the bank here, but don’t just choose someone because they are the cheapest. If you do that, you may find yourself stuck with someone who adds no value to your organization at all. If I was looking to hire a virtual assistant today this is the company I would use to help me find the perfect one: Click Here to check out Virtual Assistant Staffing
2. Train first, then delegate
THIS IS A MUST!
You should never assign a task to your Virtual Assistant that you can’t do yourself. Why? How can you assess someone’s ability if you don’t know what they’re doing? Training is a valuable, yet widely under-used tool. Training allows you to teach your Virtual Assistant to do something exactly the way you want it done. There’s no guess work on the part of your employee, you know that each task is done correctly, and you can quickly pinpoint any issues.
For every task you give your Virtual Assistant, you should know the following:
A. How long it should take
B. All the tools needed to complete the task
C. Each step required to complete the task
Your job is to pass on the necessary information needed for your Virtual Assistant to successfully complete work for you. You can’t do this if you’re clueless. Also, training is ongoing, so you’d be wise not to think of this process as a “once and done” activity.
3. Set up a probationary period
Don’t just jump into a contract with a Virtual Assistant for an extended period of time before you know you’ve found a good fit. You want to be sure this person works well with you and fits into your company culture. I suggest establishing a 60-day probationary period to assess and consider the following:
A. How efficiently the candidate completes tasks
B. How well the candidate receives and follows instructions
C. The personality of the candidate, and whether the two of you align
D. Development of a work schedule that works for both parties
There may be other factors you wish to consider during this time, and by all means do so. This is not a minor decision and should not be taken lightly for either party.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to hire someone without sharing your vision. This is more than just saying what your business does or sells. Your Virtual Assistant is only as good as the information you give them. Tell them why you started your business, what you hope to accomplish, and where you see your business going in the next 3-5 years.
You want to bring someone on board who understands what you expect and what you need. Sharing this kind of information will help both of you decide whether or not to proceed. If you’re ready to start now: Click Here to check out Virtual Assistant Staffing
So, now that you’ve been refreshed, I hope you feel even more equipped to hire a Virtual Assistant who will be a valued addition to your company. As I said before, this isn’t an easy task, but you’ll be glad you took the time.
To Your Success!