A practical Guide to hiring a Virtual Assistant

Posted on 19th April 2021

As a business owner, the more time you spend on your back-office operations, the less time you're spending on billable work. 

Suppose you could get those back-office tasks done by a professional virtual assistant in a flexible, cost-effective manner. Wouldn't it make more sense?

A virtual assistant can provide this support where and when you need it, allowing you to manage your overheads carefully with little or no ongoing commitment if you prefer.

However, you need to make sure you hire the VA who's the best fit for you and your business.

I always suggest the first step should be to identify the tasks in your business that only you can do. Next, identify those that may be delegated quite easily and make these top priority. Finally, think about those that sit somewhere in the middle - once you've built up the trust and rapport with your VA, these could be offloaded as well.

Now you know whether you're looking for a traditional-style virtual PA, a techie VA, or someone with specialist skills.

See if you can identify roughly how long these tasks might take to complete. This will help you identify the level of support you're looking for and will help your potential VA establish whether they have the capacity to provide the quantity and quality of service you both expect.

Give some thought to whether you'd prefer to retain these hours per month or work with your virtual assistant on an ad-hoc basis.

Once you've found a potential candidate, ask for a meeting. Most VAs will provide a one-hour virtual discovery call free of charge and without any obligation. Chat with the VA. Find out what makes them tick, their background, how long they've been in business, what capacity and other responsibilities they have, and establish whether you'd be a good fit for each other.

Importantly, you should do your due diligence and ensure your virtual assistant:

✔ Has an encrypted hard drive
✔ Has professional standard anti-virus
✔ Has off-site back ups running several times daily
✔ Has an IT support agreement
✔ Has professional indemnity insurance
✔ Is registered with the ICO and complies with data protection obligations

Don't be afraid to ask for evidence and to read their privacy policy. Take a look at testimonials from current and former clients.

If you're working flat out and recognise the benefits of outsourcing some of your back-office operations, please feel free to contact me. I'd love to have a chat and see where it takes us!

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