Hiring a virtual assistant is one of the first, yet most important hires that you can make as an entrepreneur. Outsourcing some of your tasks to a VA will help you be more productive and create more time to focus on things you are good at, which in return, will help you bring more business in.

Before hiring a virtual assistant, employers need to determine what tasks a VA should focus on, how and where to hire, and how to manage their success. This post will provide with some useful tips on how to find, train and integrate a virtual assistant that will help your business succeed.

Step 1: Figure out what tasks you need help with. Virtual assistants come in all shapes and sizes, their skill sets, and specialities can vary depending on their experience. You need to have a good idea of what you want done before looking. By spending some time to analyse your own work, you will see how a VA can help, what type of VA you need, and that you have enough tasks on a regular basis that warrants a VA working for you.

Step 2: Establish your budget. You may have many tasks that you could potentially hand over to a VA, but this would likely be too expensive. To start, just focus on a few tasks – perhaps the most monotonous or maybe those you struggle with. To determine how many tasks, you can afford to assign, you’ll need to know how much a virtual assistant will cost.

Step 3: Establish what skills are necessary for this position. For example, should you hire a generalist who can perform a wide range of administrative tasks or is it best to look for candidates with expertise in tasks like bookkeeping or online research?

Step 4. Find your virtual assistant. There are tons of virtual assistants out there and multiple different ways to find them. Here are some good places to start:

• Network referrals
• A marketplace for virtual workers
• Run a Google search
• Use a specialist company
• The Society of Virtual Assistants

Step 5. Establish a working relationship with your virtual assistant. Communication in this working relationship is key, use emails, WhatsApp, voice notes or weekly meetings. Be mindful that the virtual assistant is not in your office and is unable to come into your office and speak to you face to face, should the need arise. When giving instructions to your virtual assistant, be sure to provide all the resources that might be needed for the task at hand, together with all the relevant timelines and goals that you as an employer will expect.

Final thoughts…
Whether you hire a single virtual assistant, or you build an entire team of virtual staff, outsourcing to remote team members can have a significant impact on your productivity and the growth of your business. Hiring a virtual assistant is one of the first, yet most important hires that you can make as an entrepreneur.