Guest Post by: Karen Wessels, co-founder and COO of VA Connect
When you think of a successful entrepreneur or business person, you more than likely envision someone who has a great support team behind them. You think of someone who has it together, who is confident, has vision, and is going to change the world.
What you more than likely don’t think of is someone who has a long to-do list each and every day, and how they’re practically going to go about delegating these tasks.
The reality is that behind every successful entrepreneur is one person who takes care of these must-do’s for them. And, a Virtual Assistant is the perfect solution.
So, if all of this is sounding familiar to you, you may be sat there wondering how to go about finding this perfect Virtual Assistant for yourself, in order to free yourself up to concentrate on building your business?
Here are some tips to consider when looking for a VA:
1. Get the right kind of help
Are you looking for someone who has a particular skillset, has professional experience, or has work maturity and is reliable?
You will need to hand over tasks with ease and without that sense of wanting to control everything. Now is the time to identify tasks that you absolutely need to do yourself, and delegate the rest.
Your VA is already a trained admin professional. However, you will need to take the time to train that person to meet your specific way of doing things. If it is a particularly complex process, then why not consider recording the training either via Skype or video, so that the VA can refer to notes when necessary. A tool like Snagit could prove to be quite handy in this instance.
You will have certain processes in place, for example you may want your VA to call you every morning at 8am to go through the day’s tasks. Or perhaps you want your documentation to be typed in a certain font and style and saved in Dropbox, not emailed to you. These processes will be refined as you develop your working relationship with your Virtual Assistant.
5. Try a matching service
Here you speak with an intermediary of the matching company who can assist in finding the best suited virtual assistant to meet your needs, depending on the nature of the tasks. Directories like VA Directory are a great place to start.
6. Join online entrepreneur groups
There are loads of these on LinkedIn and Facebook. By relying on referrals from fellow business owners that you interact with regularly, the chances are they will refer you to a stellar Virtual Assistant.
7. Don’t just look at qualifications
Remember that when you work with a Virtual Assistant, you are actually working with another business owner. Therefore, make sure that you chat about working style, hours and what online systems they use. A good sign is that if you feel that you can see yourself having coffee with this VA, then you are off to a good start.
8. Respect their rates
As a fellow business owner, Virtual Assistants will often at times incur the same expenses that you do. Plus, they are already trained professionals and bring a ton of skills and experience to the table.
9. Remember the contract
A professional Virtual Assistant will have their documentation in order, including a non-disclosure agreement for all those passwords and other private information you’re about to hand over to her.
Feel free to ask your Virtual Assistant for a list of people whom you can contact to confirm that they are the perfect VA for you.
Deciding on a Virtual Assistant and outsourcing to one is a lot more complex than you may think initially. However, once you’ve handed over those tasks and lightened your work load, you will realise that it is the best thing you’ve ever done!
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support. Prior to establishing VA Connect, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. Having worked with MDs, SMEs and professionals, she is very familiar with managing different workloads within tight deadlines. This has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run a successful VA business. Follow Karen on Twitter | Facebook | Google+