A Virtual Assistant can be a valuable partner in helping a business person to grow their company; if you are looking to use the services of a Virtual Assistant, then this article will explain what you need to do to make sure you have the right fit for your business.

Finding a Virtual Assistant

First of all, you need to know the best way to find a Virtual Assistant. There are several methods of finding an assistant quickly and easily. You can look online and search for Virtual Assistants, advertise on one of the many, virtual assistant association sites, or ask friends and colleagues if they can recommend anybody.

You’ll also need to be extremely specific about what you want and how you want the Virtual Assistant to help you. This will enable you to get the right assistant for your needs.

However, before you do this, you must think about how you can best work with your new Virtual Assistant.

Detailed below are some of the key elements you’ll want to address.

1. Probing your to be VA

The first thing to decide is how you’ll conduct a Skype or phone session. Are you happy to partner with somebody based on the information on their website or on their portfolio on a freelance site, or do you want to find out more about them to get an idea of how they work?

If this is the case, then you might want to consider meeting with them over Skype, phone or if locally sometimes over coffee so you can get a better idea about the person you’re considering working with.

Show and not tell is also a great strategy. Most VA’s would offer a reduced fee for a trial time period. 

2. Giving instructions

You’ll need to decide how you will give instructions to your new Virtual Assistant. Will you give them the information over Skype or will you send the details via email so that you have a written record of what you need? Virtual Assistants have different methods of communicating so finding the one thats right for you should be one that fits your business needs.

Will you require your new assistant to manage your calls and take instruction throughout the day, and if you do will they use their own phone or will you supply it?

3. Questions to ask

One of the first things you’ll want to ask is about the experience your Virtual Assistant has. You also need to make sure that they have experience in your particular field as this makes working with them much easier.

Although the majority of Virtual Assistants like other business owners, have a set hour of work.  You will also need to check what their work hours are. For example, some people just aren’t able to work weekends while others won’t be available in the early evenings.

You might also need to ask if your Virtual Assistant is happy to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and you might want to check if your new assistant is happy to sign a contract. Most VA’s already set up, have their own agreements that both party has to sign before the start of any project.

4. How will you educate your new assistant?

Sometimes, a business owner will want a Virtual Assistant to manage their calendar and emails for them. However, this can sometimes be quite a challenging task if your new Virtual Assistant is not sure how to respond to some tasks.

To avoid this, draw up a list of common scenarios that occur in your business. For instance, you might have to regularly send out items in the post and sometimes a parcel might go missing. Your Virtual Assistant will need to know how to respond if this happens. Otherwise, this would simply mean passing the query on to you to handle and it won’t help to lower your workload.

To find and utilize a VA is one aspect but do you have the right information for them to work with? Most Virtual Assistants are proactive and are able to ask you about the culture of your business and the do and don’t’s. If you find one that knows and acts on this basic step, you can be rest assured, that they would be a good fit for your business.