I had two choices : expect for another administrative adjunct nearer to my new home office, or delve into the populace of “ virtual assistants. ” A virtual adjunct does not come to your function. alternatively he or she works from their own office and assists you via call, internet, fax, and e-mail .
When I looked through the list of all the tasks I wanted an assistant to perform, there was no reason why this person couldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be located anywhere in the worldly concern. After careful inquiry I hired an assistant who lives 2,500 miles away, and although we ’ ve never met in person, we ’ ve formed a firm foundation which helps my business run smoothly .
The Benefits of Using a Virtual Assistant
There are many benefits of using a “ virtual ” adjunct versus bringing an adjunct into your home function.
Reading: How to Choose a Virtual Assistant
- You don’t have to share your computer, or set up a second computer, for the assistant to use. A VA uses his own equipment and computers. In addition, you don’t have to set up an extra desk in your office for an assistant.
- Instead of having a fixed schedule of hours each week, with a VA you only pay for the hours you use.
- You can hire a VA to work a specific numbers of hours per month on a retainer which guarantees availability. Some VAs work on a per-project or per-hour basis as well.
- You can find VAs with specific skill sets, from certified QuickBooks specialists to those with graphic, internet, marketing, or technical skills.
- VAs own their own business, so they know what it’s like to be self-employed.
- A VA works as a consultant, not as an employee. Therefore, you won’t have to pay employment taxes or benefits for your VA. (It’s critical that you understand the government rules about employees versus sub-contractors; in the USA, check out the IRS website for the rules www.irs.gov).
Some of the Drawbacks of Hiring a VA
not all VAs are created equal and you don ’ thymine want to be paying person to learn on the job. Some are new to the assistant diligence and have a draw to learn about helping a freelance minor business owner. Some have excellent technical foul skills while others labor with using a computer or the internet. Some have great customer avail skills while others struggle to keep in touch with you about the status of your projects. Some work part-time and are only available for limit hours per week. We ’ ll talk further about selecting a VA below, but be aware that it ’ s up to you to consultation the VA and determine if his skills match your needs .
Some VAs are taught that they should be a “ spouse ” with you in your business. On the coat, this sounds big. however, I have heard excessively many repugnance stories about VAs who did things without asking permission, from modifying web site textbook to changing established class titles. Make indisputable you are clear about the boundaries of what your virginia can do without your permission. I prefer that my VA takes the excess time to ask my permission, preferably than taking it upon herself to do something that might negatively impact my business. many freelance people are not looking for person to “ take over ” running their ship’s company ; rather they want a master who can assist them with specific tasks and projects .
When Is It Time To Hire A VA?
It ’ s a rare entrepreneur who doesn ’ t feel overwhelmed wearing all the hats and doing all the tasks alone. But when is the mighty time to hire a VA ?
First, expression at your tax list and specify which tasks should be delegated. Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate fall into the ambush of think, “ I can do this so a lot faster and better, I won ’ t delegate this task. ” The question international relations and security network ’ t whether you can do a undertaking ; the question is whether you should be the one to do the undertaking. Think how you will use all the time you free up from administrative tasks to create more income for your business .
second, look at your budget. How much can you afford to spend ? Remember to add into your budget calculations the fact that you ’ ll be able to generate more income, and purpose more products and services, with the prison term that is freed up by hiring a VA .
What Should You Consider When Hiring A VA?
- Click. I interviewed many self-employed people about how they chose their VA. Almost every single person said that the first thing they looked at was the VA’s personality: was there a “click” between the VA and the entrepreneur? You want someone who is friendly, enthusiastic, and detail-oriented, with extraordinary customer service and follow-up skills. He should be confident without being arrogant, articulate, a good listener, and comfortable to speak with.
- Professionalism. Does the VA answer her voicemails and emails in a timely manner? Does she answer her phone professionally? Does she put you on hold to take another call? If she promises to send you something, does she follow-up quickly? Does she treat you with respect? If she treats you well in your initial conversations, then it’s likely she’ll treat your customers well, too. (After you hire a VA, it never hurts to follow up with customers and ask them how your VA treated them.)
- Project Management. It also helps if the VA has good project management skills. Over time, you are going to be giving her a huge number of tasks and you need to know that she can juggle all these tasks, understanding priorities and deadlines, while also juggling her other clients’ needs.
- Skill Set. There are many, many tasks that you can delegate to your VA. It helps if you have a list of tasks you want your VA to perform, and make sure during the interview process that you review that list with a potential VA to determine if she can do all those tasks. Does she have the skills you need to do the work required?
- Technology Skills. Most self-employed people rely upon technology to help run their business, from QuickBooks, to websites, to Microsoft Word. Using technology can help your office run efficiently and save time and money. With this in mind, it’s critical that your new VA have excellent technical skills. Ask him what software products he knows how to use, and how well he knows them. Make sure your new VA uses the same software that you are using, so that you can share files. If you have a website, ask the VA if he knows how to do website maintenance (and ask how many websites he currently maintains). If you have technology associated with your website, like an online shopping cart, ask the VA if he knows how to maintain your specific shopping cart. Finally, if your VA needs new software to be compatible with your own systems, determine who is responsible for paying for this specialized software.
- Image. Take a look at the VA’s website. Are all the words spelled correctly? Is the grammar acceptable? Does it have a consistent and neat look? A VA who doesn’t pay attention to her own website probably won’t pay attention to your work either.
- Availability. Does the VA work full-time or part-time? Is he available evenings and weekends (if that’s when you work)? What time zone is the VA located in? While I have nothing against part-time VAs, I found I needed someone who was available during my full-time working hours.
- Experience. It’s important to determine how long the VA has been doing this type of work. While it’s helpful to know how long she has been a VA or an administrative assistant, it’s more important to learn how long she has done the tasks that you want her to do. She may have done them for a previous employer for many years. There’s always a bit of a learning curve as a VA learns your particular business, but you shouldn’t be paying for her to learn new skills unless they’re unique to you and your business.
- References. Can the VA give you a list of people whom you can contact who will tell you about working with him?
How Much Should You Pay For A VA?
virtual assistants have a wide-eyed rate of fee structures. Some charge by the hour, some work on a monthly retainer footing ( a certain number of guarantee hours per calendar month ). Some charge a sliding scale : a lower hourly rate for park administrative cultivate and a higher hourly rate for high-end skills, like web site sustenance or database management.
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In my research, I ’ ve found the range to be from $ 20 – $ 80 per hour, depending on have and skill. This is one field where you get what you pay for, so if you need a highly skilled VA, pay the money, and get the best. I can ’ thymine emphasize this strongly enough .
A virtual assistant who prices herself besides cheaply may be a sign of lower skill set, miss of self worth, or just plain poor people commercial enterprise strategy. When a business owner prices her services excessively low, she automatically sets herself up for cash flow problems, the leading cause of businesses failing in the USA. You want to make sure your virginia is around for a long time to serve you. This is a person who will save you time so that you can spend that time making more income for yourself .
besides consider that you might hire multiple VAs with particular skill sets. For case, hire one who focuses on your bookkeeping and another who focuses on implementing your commercialize campaigns .
How to Find a VA
While you can use on on-line referral or directory to find a VA, I would recommend you foremost ask for referrals from other small business owners. Hiring a VA is a very personal decision and it ’ s good to have person to talk with, who can tell you about a particular VA ’ randomness strengths and weaknesses before you call to interview the VA .
In addition to personal referrals, there are respective on-line referral services to help you find a virtual adjunct :
Finding the right virtual assistant for you is an important undertaking ; give it the time and attention it deserves. Whether you ultimately choose to hire one VA to do all your tasks, or multiple VAs with limited skill sets, make certain you get it in writing : how much you ’ ll pay, how many hours a week or month the VA will work, how much you ’ ll be invoiced, confidentiality agreement, etc .
then start delegating those tasks !