3 things to consider before hiring a Virtual Assistant

Does delegating scare you?

Let's be transparent. Engaging a Virtual Assistant (VA) for the first time can be a daunting experience.

  • How do I find the right one?
  • What if they do it differently to me?
  • How do I work with someone who's not in my office?
  • How can I trust someone else to look after my business?

These are very legitimate concerns but it doesn’t have to be this way if you know what you’re looking for and you do your homework.

1. Professionalism

There are lots of VA's out there. They come with different levels of education, qualifications and experience. So how do you know which one to work with?

Professional VA's run their own businesses just like you do, or contract to businesses (like us!) meaning there is a second level of 'control' and back up support. They work with you, not for you and are super skilled at what they do. They’ve spent time and energy on training and education and they want your business to succeed. If you aren't happy with their work, we will provide you with new resources no questions asked*.

Sure, skills and experience will vary, so do your homework and due diligence. Research and ask around for referrals. Word of mouth is very powerful.

2. Budget

If you’re spending time doing everything yourself, then it’s a no-brainer. Work out a budget but be realistic. How much would it cost you to hire a full time or part time Assistant in the office? Have you considered all of the costs associated with a full time employee? Recruitment, office space, training, turnover, holidays, superannuation, leave? Decide if it is money you want to save or if it is worth spending. Every business has their own specific needs. Calculate your needs and if you want to save money on hiring an assistant, because hiring a VA will definitely save you thousands (if not hundreds of thousands long term) but a VA is not for everyone.

Some VA's work on hourly rates and some offer packages – packages are based on value and outcomes rather than time keeping. This benefits everyone in the long run.

Hiring the cheapest VA may not get you the results that you want and may cost you more in the long run, so don’t go on price alone. Talking from experience, it’s not worth the heartache.

3. Consider your skill set gaps and goals for the business

Where is your business falling short?

  • What skill set gaps do you have?
  • What do you need to grow?
  • Who do you need to help you achieve them?

Depending on what your short or long terms goals and needs are will depend on what ‘type’ of Virtual Assistant you engage. If you just need tasks completed now, then you may need to engage a generalist VA to help with day-to-day tasks, such as diary management, emails, travel, event management etc. but if your goal is to grow, then you may need someone more specialised to implement marketing strategies and processes to streamline your business.

An example of this is a business who knows their online brand isn't optimal for their market. They know it is important to have an online presence to grow, but they don't have the headcount to have someone dedicated to this as their main role. Right now it's being managed between the marketing team, the sales team and sometimes HR, but no one really has time to dedicate and do it properly. Outsourcing your social media management or digital marketing can be one way to make sure you make an impact in the digital economy and your online brand is a true reflection of your business brand.

"Work out what your priorities are and what you need done. Find a Virtual Assistant that will fit your needs to complete tasks efficiently, allowing you to focus on what you know is important." Rachel - Director VIRTUELLE VA's.

Your business may want to start small (12 hours / month). Take the time to earn trust, do your homework and don’t be afraid to let go and delegate. It’s the only way your business will grow.

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*Play fair - we do!

By Rachel Smith. Founder // Director // VIRTUELLE.