Are you ready for a virtual assistant (VA)?
Here are some questions to ask yourself, or find answers to before you start looking and interviewing them. Save yourself and them time by getting clear on these first. I’ve ordered the questions into a logical progression. The answer to one should help with the next question.
Know the answers to the following…
1. What are your pain spots/challenge(s)?
What is the problem for you and/or your business? (e.g., not enough time to do your billable work, you’re not artsy and you hate design, you HATE bookkeeping, not enough time with family, etc.)
Do you know how can this be solved? (e.g., delegate!)
2. From this, what exactly do you need help with?
Know the specific tasks/projects you need to get done. Have a plan/rough timeline to guide you.
From these tasks, can they grouped into a type? Technical? Admin? Creative?
3. Do you need someone who’s more of a generalist? or one or more specialist VAs? or a specialist altogether?
e.g., WordPress VA, General VA, Infusionsoft VA vs. copywriter, bookkeeper, SEO consultant
4. Does location or time zone matter? If so, what do you need?
e.g., perhaps for client care or tasks where being able to work a certain time matters; or do you need them to work at your physical office, perhaps? Or consider how taxes or exchange rates help/hurt you
5. How much support do you need?
Ongoing regular help vs. an as-needed/project-basis
Repetitive tasks that need to be done in regular intervals (e.g., social media on a weekly basis) vs. Large infrequent project (e.g., design a website)
How many hours do you predict per week or per month?
6. Do you have, and what is your budget?
How much money are you able to invest into a VA? e.g., monthly
Knowing this also may help decide who or how you hire.
7. Your work style/their work style
We all work differently, have different personalities and styles. VAs are independent contractors running their business by their own rules. So knowing who you are, what you’re like to work with, and what you’re looking for from your VA can help you find a best fit in your search. Working with a virtual assistant is very much about fit and relationship. They’re supporting you with managing and building your business and so needing to be clear on what your focus is, will help you find and keep a healthy and positive working relationship with your VA.
Basically, the biggest problem I see with prospective clients is a lack of clarity of what they need/want from a VA – and if you don’t know, we certainly can’t tell you! Clarity helps you get very specific. The more specific you are, the better chance of a happy client-VA relationship; plus this helps you with your business overall.
I hope this helps you on your VA search!
Updated: I’m no longer a VA now, but am still familiar with the industry and know a few in my network, so do let me know if you have any questions!