virtual assistantA virtual assistant carries out the same role as a traditional administration assistant; however the person fulfilling the role no longer has to be physically present in the office (or home, if you’re a working from home type).

Employing a virtual assistant (VA) is ideal for when you need administration tasks to be carried out and don’t have the time (or patience) to do them yourself, for example responding to enquiries, updating social media or keeping on top of your website.

Administration tasks can be time-consuming and can take you away from your day-to-day business, which is where the money is made.

VAs specialise in an endless list of tasks relating to business management , such as:

  • Maintaining your website
  • Updating social network profiles
  • Responding to enquiries
  • Managing your diary
  • Sending out invoices
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Writing and sending out correspondence
  • Carrying out research
  • Filing digital folders
  • Collecting contact details
  • And much more….

You might never meet your VA face-to-face so it is important you trust in their capabilities, therefore one of the best ways to find a good VA is to go through personal recommendations or small business forums. It is important to find someone who understands your business and that you can get on with.  Be clear of what tasks you need your VA to fulfil and the budget you are looking to set, the skills and fees of VAs vary greatly.

Do some research about the recommended VAs and their past work in order to narrow your options down to a shortlist of candidates. Once you have this shortlist you can arrange Skype interviews to get to know the person better. It is fine to take this opportunity to ask for samples of work and referrals.

Once you have found your VA it is perfectly acceptable to set up a trial period of working to see how the arrangement suits you both. You might find that there is more work than you anticipated that you can pass on to the VA or alternatively you might find that this method of working does not suit you.

Now that you have your VA in place make sure you are clear about your expectations, deadlines and deliverables. Remember – you’re a client now, and you don’t want to be a terrible client, do you?