Picking the Right VA: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
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Picking the Right VA: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistants are not only hired to help out larger companies, they also help out the smaller companies and independent start ups that ask for the help.

A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who works from a home office, they offer assistant services and reception services that would normally be done from an employee.  Virtual assistants are used to cut costs with companies that have no need for a regularly hourly or salaried employee, but needs work done every so often by someone who has the expertise to assist.  Virtual assistants are growing in these days of high technology.  Though some companies are worried about choosing "the right" person for the job.

I know that when you first started your own business you were sure you'd love working from home and you were positive you would have unlimited time for your family. While that is true in some cases, in most cases that time is not unlimited and becomes scarce. Once you start your own business that becomes successful and starts to blossom, there are so many important business tasks that go along with it. Sometimes it gets too overwhelming for just one person or a couple of employees to handle. To save business costs, most companies or businesses hire a virtual assistant to telecommute from home and still assist them with their tasks that they cannot. Free yourself time and save some money by utilizing the help of a VA. But how do you choose a VA from all of the profiles out there?

  • There are many different types of Virtual Assistants that specialize in different tasks or even different types of companies. It's important to do your homework and read over especially what that Virtual Assistant offers and what he/she can do for you. If you see a few of the tasks you're looking for listed on their services but not all of what you need, in most cases you can e-mail the VA and inquire. They may be able to help you with all of what you need done or they may be able to refer you to a VA in their network.
  • Set your budget and find out the payment policies for the Virtual Assistant. Some VA's charge a small fee up front while some ask for no payment until the task is completed. Others may charge half of the fee up front and some do ask for the entire fee before the task is completed. Most assistants will negotiate their fees and will negotiate what the want up front versus what you plan to give up front. There is also no harm in asking if you are able to get a deal or discount if you use more than one of their services. For example: If a company uses two of my services, I will give them a 10% discount off the total. It doesn't hurt to contact the Virtual Assistant to ask.
  • Schedule a meeting with one (or more) Virtual Assistants before hiring them. You want to make sure that you and the VA are on the same page with what needs to be done. It's important that you feel that you and the VA can communicate well. Make sure that they listen to your ideas and what you want done. Being a Virtual Assistant, it is important to take what the client says and work with that straight away. Virtual Assistants can lend their ideas as well, but you are in control.
  • Take a look at some of the freelance bidding sites such as Elance.com. Since freelancers bid for jobs, you can hire a Virtual Assistant for some very good and competitive rates. Different sites allow Virtual Assistants to upload their portfolio and resume right to the site, along with a link to their business site. This helps the company find everything in one place. Those sites are also great due to the fact that you can narrow down your search results further and find someone who specializes in exactly what you're looking for.

The most important tip is to use your own personal instinct when hiring a virtual assistant. If you speak at length and you feel that you are on the same page, definitely go ahead. Don't just quickly hire a Virtual Assistant because you need one quick; it's better to take your time and go over your choices before you jump on a decision. Remember, it's your business.

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