How to Find a Virtual Assistant Who is Right For You
You’ve heard about virtual assistants and have been wondering if hiring a VA would be right for you. As a matter of fact, one of your colleagues has been noticeably more relaxed and has even started bragging about his golf game again since working with his VA. You’d like to know more about working with a virtual assistant but have been holding back because you’re not sure how to get started or maybe you’re thinking it would be too expensive for you.
If this sounds like you, please take the time to read on. The purpose of my writing this is to help guide you into the wonderful, liberating world of working with a virtual assistant.
Ask yourself what your needs are and make a list of the tasks you need the most help with. What are some of the tasks you absolutely hate doing or don’t have the time for — yet they are a must in order for you to get your job done? Do you need to input data into a spreadsheet, Salesforce, or other CRM platform? Do you have a long list of potential clients that need confirming or even scheduling? Has your boss been after you for that presentation, but you just don’t have the time or are not savvy working with PowerPoint? Whatever your needs are, I can guarantee you that there is a virtual assistant who is an expert in providing those services.
Yes, you too can afford a virtual assistant. In general and depending on location and complexity of the work, most virtual assistants charge between $25 to $75 per hour. This may sound extremely expensive, but remember that you are only paying for the actual time your VA spends working on your tasks. In addition, as experts in our fields, VAs are highly skilled, proficient, and extremely efficient. You would be amazed at how much a VA can get accomplished in one hour. Moreover, many VAs offer packages or monthly retainer rates at great discounts.
I would suggest that you start out with a few contracted hours each month and add more if needed. Or ask your VA if you can “try it out” for a week or two. Most VAs are open to trial runs to see how much work you actually need help with and if the two of you are a good fit for each other.
How do you find a qualified virtual assistant to help you with your business? Many VAs network locally at their Chambers of Commerce and other trade associations. These are great places to meet a VA in person. LinkedIn is another fantastic resource for finding a virtual assistant. As a matter of fact, LinkedIn hosts a number of VA groups where you will find helpful discussions regarding the VA industry. There are several VA directories whereby you can submit an RFP (request for a proposal). Virtual Assistantville, one of the top VA directories on the Web, will direct your request to VAs who are qualified and experienced in your specific industry. And of course, ask around. What better way to find a qualified professional in any field than through a recommendation?
And on that note … I oftentimes meet professionals who will get the “deer-in-the-headlights” look when I say that I’m a virtual assistant. I like to explain that if they are or know a busy executive who does a lot of traveling, then most likely this executive has an assistant in his or her office taking care of business. In most cases because of the great deal of traveling, these executives are not in their office all of the time. They communicate and work with their assistants via email, phone, or fax. These assistants are supporting their busy, traveling executives virtually! And this is what I like to call the “aha” moment.
I hope this article has encouraged you to ease your workload by hiring a VA so that you too can become more relaxed and maybe start bragging about your golf game again. Please stay tuned for next month’s topic, I’m finally hiring a virtual assistant: Tips on getting the most out of your VA.
Patty Juan is the professional virtual assistant behind eXPERT Support Services, a full-service bilingual virtual assistance firm based in South Florida. Patty offers English and Spanish transcription, in addition to a wide range of specialized administrative support services. With her vast experience working as a corporate executive supporting several industries, Patty enjoys working with clients in academia, government/law enforcement, insurance, investigations, market research, media, and medicine. Read more of what Patty has to say at her company blog, It’s Your Business. Insist on an Expert!