If you’re at a place in your professional life where you can’t go another day without having some help, or if you’ve discovered aspects of your day that you just loathe doing, read on.
The first step is denial, as they say. The next is acceptance.
I have a handy worksheet that you can find and download here. It will help you to figure out what you can delegate (some people have a difficult time with this part).
Once you know what to delegate, and you’ve found a VA you think you might like to work with, it’s time to get some questions answered:
Just before we get to that, make sure you understand that a VA is virtual. I have been asked to go into someone’s office to work on tasks. Some VAs do this, but keep in mind, most don’t.
What is your availability/time zone?
Not every VA works 9-5. Some have kids at home and can only work when their children are asleep or at school. This is the most important question to ask. Time zones affect when you will be able to contact one another.
What are your core services?
If you’ve been referred to a “fantastic VA”, but they focus on bookkeeping, and you need social media work done, you need to know this up front. Not all VAs have the same skills, in fact, many have specialty skills or a niche. If the VA you’re talking to doesn’t work with your type of need, they might be able to refer you to someone who can help.
How do you handle situations where you don’t know how to complete a task?
The greatest thing about being a VA is the constant ability to learn new things. A great VA will get as far as they can independently before coming back to you. Aside from this, terrific communication on both sides of the equation are also essential.
What are your preferred methods of communication?
If you’re an email type of person, then a VA who also prefers email is a good match. But, even if your communication styles are different, it’s better to know before going in, and see if adjustments can be made.
How have you handled situations in the past where various communication styles have been a factor?
This is a good question to gauge the experience level of your potential VA. A VA who has had previous experience in an office setting should be comfortable with many methods (but a VA having a preferred method shouldn’t rule them out).
How do you prioritize an inbox full of messages?
This will determine if your VA has what it takes to figure out which tasks are time-sensitive, and which ones can wait. Having said that, make sure to attach a time frame to any task requests you send to your VA.
How do you deal with a client who is having a hard time conveying to you what they need?
The clear answer here is communication. After a conversation, a good VA should be perceptive enough to figure out what you need. Bonus points if the assistant asks a lot of questions.
What happens if your computer crashes in the middle of time-sensitive work being completed?
You want to know if your potential virtual assistant has another option to work with (switching to another computer or a tablet), and has a reliable backup for saving their work.
Of course, this is just a general outline. Feel free to ask your potential VA specific questions that might pertain to your business!
Questions or comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk!