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 VA Delegation Worksheet that you can 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.
Question: What is your availability/time zone?
You and your virtual assistant will work best when everyone knows the set boundaries, and this includes working hours. Some VAs work evenings and weekends, others work strictly during regular business hours. Knowing this ahead of time will be helpful.
Question: What are your core services?
Be sure you know what services your virtual assistant offers. A social media VA won’t likely have the necessary certification to manage your bookkeeping. An executive-level VA likely won’t have the interest in working on image design. Determine what services your VA offers and make a decision based on your specific needs.
Question: How do you handle situations where you don’t know how to complete a task?
You definitely want a virtual assistant who is a good communicator and isn’t afraid to ask questions when necessary. Having said that, it’s wise for a VA to complete a small portion o the work and run it by their client before moving forward, just to be sure they’re on the right track.
Question: What are your preferred methods of communication?
Determine the best ways for the two of you to communicate, whether it’s by phone, email or text. Also, keep each other’s boundaries in mind.
Question: How do you prioritize an inbox full of messages?
This is an interesting question to ask, for both parties. While all clients and all tasks are definitely important, most VAs agree that a retainer client’s tasks are the priority over an hourly-paying client. This is because a retainer client has already paid up front to secure that time, whereas an hourly-paying client has not. In this case, it’s best to consider paying your VA a retainer to guarantee priority service.
After that, it’s usually based on how time-sensitive the request is, or even by the order in which the requests come into a VA’s inbox.
Question: How do you deal with a client who is having a hard time conveying to you what they need?
I find communication is best with a phone or Zoom call. Face-to-face conversations are best for getting clear ideas on expectations. A Zoom call involving a screen share session is even better.
Question: What happens if your computer crashes in the middle of time-sensitive work being completed?
A smart VA will have a backup plan in place, whether it’s a spare computer or access to a library computer. As insurance that the work will go forward, a smart contingency plan is definitely the way to go. I wrote a blog post about this, which you can read here.
Of course, this is just a general outline. Feel free to ask your potential VA specific questions that might pertain to your business!
Book a free consultation call with me and we can address all of your concerns over hiring virtual admin.