Almost every entrepreneur or businessperson I know has considered hiring a virtual assistant (aka VA). But a lot of us haven’t quite taken the plunge, for reasons either financial or because we’re not quite sure exactly what we’d have that person do. Below are the things to consider when hiring a virtual assistant:

Know when you need a virtual assistant.
You’re overwhelmed with administrative tasks. You have big ideas for your business but no one to help you implement them. You have exciting projects but no time to do them because you’re too busy running your day to day business. The unread e-mails, subscriptions to pointless newsletters, and junk mail is in a rapid snowball effect and just exponentially growing.

Your heart rate increases from the stress of just thinking of going through all of that e-mail. A virtual assistant can easily sort this for you in just a couple of hours.

Know what exactly you need help with.
Whether you are running your own business or working in one, it can easily feel as though there are never enough hours in the day. The ‘to-do’ list only seems to get longer. You dream of having a magic wand with which you could clear your desk and get things sorted.

What you might need is a top organiser to help you get things on track. A virtual assistant can do just that – taking on administration, social media management and marketing tasks to enable you to get back what you do best.

Using a virtual assistant can shave hours from your workweek, but knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky, whether you’re starting or growing a business. With the number of virtual assistants growing, their expertise now runs the gamut, making it easier to find someone who fits your organisation.

Establish what type of virtual assistant you need.
The term “virtual assistant” has the unfortunate connotation of basic-level skills. This is a misnomer that has caused a lot of issues within the freelance community. While some virtual assistants indeed perform either basic tasks or various tasks at basic levels, others specialize in certain areas and have mid-to expert-level skills in those areas. Virtual assistants are usually broken down into two categories, each with their own types of tasks:

• Common tasks for a general virtual assistant. A general virtual assistant can wear many hats within your business and is valuable for their flexibility and adaptability. This is the type of virtual assistant you need to hire if you have several smaller tasks that you need help with.

• Common tasks for a specialized virtual assistant. A specialized virtual assistant has developed one or more skills to a higher level.

Consider your communication style.
Good communication is essential in any relationship but when your team is virtual it is crucial. We all know that a team is only as good as its’ leader and your communication skills have a major impact on how effective a leader you are.

We all want to maximize the success and productivity of our business. Bad communication resulting in mixed messages, crossed wires and hard feelings are, at best, counterproductive and can scuttle even the best-laid plans. It quite simply is a luxury which no business can afford.

Communicating effectively can have a profound impact on the growth of your business and is sure to help create a more dynamic and positive working environment.

Seek out a compatible personality.
Considering how closely you need to work with your virtual assistant, it is quite crucial to find someone whose personality is compatible with yours. For example, would you feel comfortable working remotely with someone who doesn’t talk at all? You need to have a clear understanding of the interpersonal qualities you are looking for in a person who you won’t meet face to face every day.

In conclusion, hiring a virtual assistant is much like hiring any employee you are looking to add to your team, but with a few tweaks. Once you establish a process that both you and your assistant are clear on, working with a virtual assistant is going to change your business and allow you the time to focus on tasks that will make you money.

Achieve more from your work with the help of a dedicated virtual assistant. Browse our virtual assistant services and pricing plans. Book a call with us today.