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  • Joanne Butcher

8 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE WORKING WITH A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

If you are reading this you most likely have reached that significant point in your business where you recognise the need for outsourcing. You may be considering working with a Virtual Assistant (VA) to help relieve your workload and stress levels.


Understandably, you may be nervous and apprehensive about handing over parts of your cherished business and confidential details to a total stranger. If you haven’t delegated tasks before, losing control may seem like a big problem. You have worked hard to build up your business to where it is now. If you hand over some of the responsibilities to someone else, you may feel as though you will lose control.


Remind yourself that working with the right person and outsourcing the tasks that you personally don’t need to be spending your valuable time on will help you and your business in the following ways.

  • Reduce overwhelm

  • Let you focus on what you do best

  • Productivity will increase

  • The workflow will improve

  • Is necessary for the growth of your business

Before you jump headfirst into the hiring process, it is important that you are in a good position to take on a VA. After all, you don’t want to be wasting any of your precious time if you are not completely prepared.


So, if this is the first time you are going to be working with a virtual assistant, here are 8 things to consider.


1. Which tasks to outsource?

Ensure you are really prepared to outsource and have a clear understanding of the sort of tasks you want to hand over. If you are not sure which tasks you could give to a VA then take a look at my blog on how to delegate tasks efficiently, which goes into more detail on how to figure out which tasks you can start to outsource straight away.


2. What is your desired outcome?

Think about what your desired outcome will be by hiring additional help in your business. What are your plans for your business and how can a Virtual Assistant help you achieve these? This will also help you to decide which tasks to give your VA and ensure that the money you spend on working with them is bringing you closer to achieving your business goals.


3. Short-term / Long-term business goals

How do you intend to spend the time freed up from outsourcing those time-consuming tasks? Again, having a clear idea of what you will be doing once you have freed up your time will also ensure that you are moving towards your business goals. This is definitely a time to write down your short-term and long-term goals if you haven’t already done so.


4. Allow time for handover/training

Depending on the project, you should be prepared to allocate some time for training or guidance on a specific system or program that your VA may not be familiar with or otherwise have access to. Many VA’s are very quick to pick up new systems or will have worked with something very similar in the past. Always check which systems they can use and factor in possible learning curves if necessary.


5. What is your budget?

Make sure a VA fits within your budget. As a quick guide, general administrative VA rates typically start from around £25 per hour for those based in the UK. VA’s offering specialised services such as social media management or website development normally come at a higher cost.


6. Working with more than one VA

Keep in mind that a large number of VA’s offer general administrative services to a particular niche or offer a specialised service. Just like any other business owner, their skill set will not cover absolutely everything and you may need to consider working with more than one person in order that all areas you need help with are covered.


7. Check the hours they work

Not all VA’s work the typical 9-5. They work on their own schedule, and sometimes at odd hours. It is best to keep in mind whether the hours they work will fit in with when you will need them.



8. Clear communication

It is important to remember VA’s offer a business partnership and are not full-time employees. They are usually working with multiple clients and have to prioritise their workloads as such. Be clear about what you would like done and when you'd like it completed. This will help your VA manage their time effectively and ensure all deadlines are met.



After you have shortlisted a few VA’s that pique your interest and seem like they would be a good match, it’s time to jump on a video or phone call to learn more about them and the type of services they offer.


 

I know how difficult it can be to put your trust in someone you don’t know very well, which is why I offer a complimentary 20-minute call to all of my prospective clients. The call will help you find out more about me, what I can do for your business, and if we will work well together.


If you have an ever-growing to-do list and would like to chat with me about taking care of some of your admin, either on a regular or ad-hoc basis, go here to arrange a call. I'd love to hear from you!





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