A Virtual Assistant or VA is someone who you can engage to provide support in a variety of roles or positions within your business. They are a generally a small business owner just like you and as such, you may find that they have more than one client.
I often see many people posting on various groups about wanting to engage a VA and how it works, so today I am sharing my top three tips on engaging a VA.
What is a VA?
A VA (Virtual Assistant) or OBM (Online Business Manager) can perform many many different tasks within your business (check out my list here!).
Before engaging or asking on a Facebook group and being bombarded with lots of choice, I always recommend starting with writing down a list of tasks or jobs that you want your VA to do. That way, when you post, you can be quite specific to the tasks you want them to perform.
If you are not sure what tasks to outsource, write down all the tasks you do within a day and/or week and then rate them according to how much you like doing that particular task and also how proficient you are at doing it.
What’s your pricing?
VA’s will price themselves according to their skills and business requirements.
In Australia, business owners also have to consider items such as Insurance eg: Public Liability and Professional Indemnity and Cyber, software, hardware, stationery, affiliations/memberships, Superannuation, Taxes and more into their pricing structure or hourly rates. A VA, whilst working remotely from their own home office, also has to factor these costs in. However, if you chose to outsource overseas, then yes, you will be paying a significantly less per hour or project for the work to be completed.
Some VA’s like to list their pricing on their websites, and others don’t…this is really a personal preference. I have an hourly rate for my most common tasks performed on my website, however I always love to have a chat with you to find out if we are going to be a good working fit together and also to work out specifically what you require which enables me to provide you with an affordable rate – be it hourly or packaged.
Be flexible in your approach to how much you want to pay and what an Australian based VA charges. Consider the cost factor of only engaging someone on an as needed basis vs an employee.
If cost is the only factor you are using to engaging a VA (as opposed to ensuring you are a good working fit together), then many VA’s may choose to not work with you…and also remember the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’.
Do you have Branding Guidelines / Processes / Procedures in Place?
Prior to engaging a VA, I would recommend having as many tasks documented as a process or procedure. This makes it easy to hand over the task and your VA to get a handle really quickly on the way that you do things in your business.
I also like to receive branding documents which showcase your logo’s and any variations, your colour codes used in business along with a variety of other information – especially if I am creating documentation and/or social media posts.
I will organise a ZOOM meeting so that we can “meet” and have a general chat as this helps me get a feel for your style which is also important.
Ensure you have branding, processes or procedures in place to help you in the handover phase to your VA. It will enable them to get up to speed quicker on your business.
Essentially a VA is an extension to your business and as such will conduct themselves accordingly.
Whislt engaging a Virtual Assistant can sometimes be similar to an having employee (without all the other employee related stuff required!), a VA should be invested in your business and providing solutions and improving your business processes and your profit.
Ask yourself, how can you make better use of your time in your business so you can focus on what you really need to be doing…and not all the things you don’t want to do or not proficient to do.
“What got you here, won’t get you there”Michael Goldsmith
If you need any support, Call on Jo today!
Until next time!