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How to Successfully Find a Virtual Assistant (VA) for Your Business

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The number of virtual assistants is shooting through the roof. When it’s time to find one or multiple virtual assistants or freelancers to help you run your business smoothly, you don’t need to worry about how close they’re located to your home office. Even if a virtual assistant is living 10,000 miles away from your city, they can easily be of huge business help.

The trend of hiring people who can work from their own home is fast catching up due to a wide range of benefits.

Virtual Assistants

A virtual assistant works with their own equipment and computer, needs to be paid only for the number of hours they work and makes you headache-free about things like employment taxes and benefits.

But the big question is how you’ll find a virtual assistant that’s a good fit for your business and helps you grow.

Use these practical tips –

Select the Tasks You’d Like to Delegate

Since virtual assistants can do a wide range of things and there are both generalists and specialists, you need to know why exactly you want to hire them. Start by having a closer look at all the tasks that you do on a day-to-day basis and then find out which of the tasks can be delegated so that you can focus more on the income-generation part. It’s advisable to outsource those tasks that are tedious and energy draining.

If you aren’t exactly sure, here are some of the tasks you can assign to a virtual assistant or VA –

Internet Research
Database Entries
Data Presentation
Email Management
Scheduling
Client Calendar Management
Travel Bookings
Blog Management
Writing/Editing/Proofreading
Bookkeeping
Website Designing
Video Editing
Search Engine Optimization
Digital marketing

Regardless of the industry or niche, the list of work responsibilities virtual assistants can handle is simply endless. Once you’ve decided what exactly you want your virtual assistants to do, you should come up with an elaborate job description which should include the skills you’re looking for, specific roles/responsibilities, educational qualification, specialties (if any) and availability in hours per day of the week among others.

Decide the Budget

If you’re a fresh start-up or a business that’s still trying to find its legs, budget should be an important concern. Since virtual assistants or freelancers are available from $15 per hour to $200 per hour or more, it’s crucial to decide how much you can actually afford to spend. At the same time, you should also bear in the mind that hiring one or more virtual assistants will enable you to grow your business and generate more income.

Start the Hunt

Now that you have full clarity both in terms of job description and budgetary requirements, it’s time to start the search. Remember to cast the net as wide as possible so as not to restrict yourself only to a couple of options and feel helpless.

A couple of sources you can use or go to include –

Online classifieds
Virtual Assistants Service Providers
Personal Networks or Referrals
Social Media Websites

The more people your reach out to, the easier it will become to find a virtual assistant that’s a right match for your business.

Filter the Applicants

Sifting through applications or responses to find the most suitable virtual assistants for your business isn’t an easy job. You’ll come across with freelancing professionals of different levels, skills and experiences. There are virtual assistants who are still learning to walk the rope while there are others who are extremely proficient technically. There are also those who work only part time and have availability issues.

When narrowing down the list of candidates, you should consider –

Qualification
Skill sets
Availability
Industry Reputation
Working experience
References

Take your time before deciding who you’d like to take onboard so that you can avoid any kind of discrepancies in future.

Go for a Paid Trial

It’s always recommended to take it slowly. Unless the virtual assistant is truly a highly reputable professional or a friend of your friend, you should avoid entering into a long-term contract like a shot. Start with the virtual assistant you’ve decided to work with on a trial basis.

Give them some acclimatization time. See and analyze their performance for the first couple of weeks.

Seal the Deal

Finally, get the long-term contract signed up once you’re extremely confident that you’ve found the desired virtual assistant.

It takes time to find virtual assistants that are best for your specific requirements. Make sure you give it the attention it deserves because it’s ultimately about the growth of your business. If you follow the steps mentioned above, set the tone right from day one and have every detail of the job in writing including the payment terms, you’ll certainly be on your path to business success.

Have you ever worked with a virtual assistant? Please share your experiences in comments below.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Raluc Vicovan September 16, 2016, 8:55 am

    When hiring virtual staffs, it is normal to be skeptical at first. Businesses that hire virtual staffs for the first time might have a problem at first if they do not have a concrete plan before they hire. It is better if you already have plans and process before you look for a staff who can work on those.

    Look for agencies or service providers that offer part-time or trial at first. So you can easily check and review how your staffs work. This will make it easier for you to decide whether you’ll continue with the service or not. And you may have saved more money and time.

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