Finding the Right VA for Your Business
There are a lot of benefits to hiring a virtual assistant but finding the right VA for your business may feel like a daunting task. How will you know who the right fit for your business is? Making a good hire can save you time and money in the long run, so you want to make sure you take your time in this process. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure you pick someone who is the right fit for you and your business.
List out the needed skills.
Start by figuring out exactly what you want to offload. What skills and experience are needed to do the tasks on your list? Creating a list of tasks and skills will help you write out the job description and attract the right VA. On top of that, it will help you weed out those who don’t have the skills you need. It is also a good idea to think about what skills you can teach, and what skills are a must-have in your ideal VA.
Invest in a VA to help you grow.
Hiring someone to help you grow your business in an investment, and it isn’t necessarily cheap. People hear the term VA and they instantly think of the overseas $5/hour type of relationship. And although that type of outsourcing has its place, it isn’t actually the most common. A virtual assistant is a separate business to yours, so they can set their own price. With some job postings, you can put what you need and they can bid on it. Some you can even put what you would like to pay and they apply. All of this is fine, but in the end, just remember that they are a contractor to your business and can set their rates.
Depending on what you are outsourcing be prepared to see prices from $25/hour to $125/hour. Don’t let the price tag of someone amazing scare you. I know it can initially feel like a lot. The real investment is what you are going to do with the time you used to spend on the tasks that you offload. The real ROI from any VA comes from where you invest your time. You are the money maker and the reason people come to your business. The more time you can do the money-making tasks, the more valuable your VA is.
Compare what is important to you.
When looking at what virtual assistants are offering, you will notice that price varies based on location, experience, and more.
Before you dive into a working relationship with someone, it is important to also look at the cons that go along with the pros. Time zones can play a huge role in your happiness. Your day may start as theirs is coming to an end, which means there would be a delay in most communications. There would be no quick questions and setting up calls would be difficult. Is that something that is ok with you?
When looking at how good you are at communicating what you need, you will want to consider if a language barrier will impact your ability to get what you want done. If you aren’t someone who can write out exactly what you are looking for, this might make the relationship even more difficult.
There are many little things (where they work, how they communicate, when they are available etc.) about how a person works that might not mesh with you. It doesn’t mean they aren’t great at what they do; they just aren’t the right match for you. Think about things that would make you uncomfortable or question anything in the relationship and make sure you weigh that in your selection.
When you have weighed all your options, start making a list of who fits what you are looking for. While your future VA does not need to have all the skills you are looking for, it is important to think about what you are okay with training and what you need them to know from the start. Look at each candidate carefully and narrow it down.
Once you have narrowed it down to your shortlist, start reaching out to make contact with them. They all will each likely have their own kind of discovery call or kick off call to make sure you are a good fit for them as well. This is a good thing. You can ask for samples of the kind of work you need to be done. You can also ask for references or testimonials to get an idea of work history. Some you can even do a small “test” project with to see how it goes. But I want to give a strong warning here. There are a few things I don’t like about tests.
There must be a balance between you just wanting to make sure you are picking a good person for the job and starting a relationship off with trust issues. You want to be selective but trusting. A good VA relationship has to have trust, on both sides. If you give a test and don’t like something and move on right away, you may be missing out on a great VA. It takes time for a VA to learn your business, your style, and what you like. A “test” project usually isn’t enough work to build a relationship and learn to work together. Plus it starts the relationship out with the VA having to “prove” something to you, which isn’t good for the relationship.
The Final Decision
By now, you have a good feel for your shortlist professionally and maybe even a little personally. You want to make sure you have a good connection because this person will start to play a big role in your day-to-day business. It’s important that you can work well together and communicate efficiently. Neither of you will be perfect, but you should enjoy one another.
There is likely one person that is standing out to you among the rest and you are feeling more comfortable with. This gut feeling of who you enjoy and know can do the work should outweigh any considerations of cost. Working with someone you don’t enjoy versus someone more expensive will end up costing your more in the long run. Having to constantly check work, the mental stress of the relationship, and other factors make the investment of someone you enjoy worth it.
When first getting started, explain the standards you expect from their work and communicate clearly exactly what you need. Designing step-by-step processes for the key tasks you want your VA to handle is a great idea because they can always return to them later for help. Go through each task and write down how you are completing them now and lay this out in a document. Even if this is something you VA does with others, your business and tasks are unique. If you want them done the way you do it, you will have to train them.
Keep in mind that finding, hiring, and training a VA is a process. Things don’t always go to plan and sometimes problems arise.
If you want to learn how to hire and work with a VA stress-free, check out my full course.
It covers all the steps from beginning to end, so by the end, you are ready to hire your first VA.