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A Virtual Assistant can be crucial for your business, giving you back time, and saving money.

1. Consider Your Why?

  • Tasks. Decide which tasks are your most time consuming and can they be outsourced?
  • Frequency. Do you need help with ad-hoc tasks or regular help over a period of time?
  • Skills. Not all VA’s have the same skillset. Be specific of your requirements.

2. Tools and Training

  • Equipment. Will your VA use your systems or their own software?
  • Online platforms. My favourite for collaborating and managing task is todoist. Other popular platforms are Asana and Trello.
  • Sharing Work. I love Google so my recommendation is GDrive. Other popular ways to transfer/share work is via SharePoint, Dropbox etc.
  • Company Emails. Will your VA be given their own email address for your company? This can help make your business look bigger to your clients.
  • Time Tracking. I use the free version of Toggl. This enables me to provide clients with a detailed or summary report with my invoice. Some VA’s prefer to log their hours on an Excel spreadsheet.

3. Building Trust and Communicating

  • Confidentiality. You may allow your VA access to commercially sensitive information about your business including clients, marketing plans etc. It is wise to ask your VA to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in advance of commencing any work.
  • Effective Communication. Will you require daily/weekly updates? Will this be via email, phone calls, messages, Skype etc?
  • Location. Is it important to work with a local VA or not? Some VA’s are happy to work onsite as well as being virtual.
  • Payment. Discuss and agree on the terms with your VA beforehand.
  • Hours of work. Will you be paying hourly or would a retainer suit you better?
  • Availability. Full or part-time? Evenings and/or weekends? Establish your VA’s availability from the start as VA’s often work with multiple clients.
  • Build Trust. Communicate what your VA can do within your company, with or without your permission.
  • Start small. Start with small projects and add more work based on performance.
  • GDPR. Ensure your VA is compliant to minimise any data breach. Ask your VA for a copy of their data processing agreement.

Be realistic! Give your VA chance to get to know your business, your ethos and values, your writing style and your expectations. As time passes you will find your Virtual Assistant becomes a very important part of your business and you will wonder how you ever managed your working life without one.