Are you a business owner or entrepreneur who's feeling overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with low-level tasks? Or do you find yourself spending too much time on administrative work when you should be focusing on growing your business? If so, it might be time to consider hiring a Virtual Assistant.
Before you start your search, it's important to understand that there are many different types of Virtual Assistants. One consideration is whether to hire a local or international assistant. A local VA lives and works in the same location as you, while an international VA works remotely from a different part of the world. Both options have their pros and cons, so it's important to consider your needs and preferences when deciding which one to hire.
Local VAs can be more expensive, but they're in the same time zone and share the same language and cultural context, which can be helpful for certain tasks. On the other hand, international VAs are often cheaper, but they require clear instructions and management due to language and time zone differences. You can learn more about the differences here.
Another important consideration is whether to hire a contractor or a VA employed by a VA company/agency. A contractor or freelance VA works on their own, without the backing of a VA agency or team. They may be more affordable, charging around $30-60 NZD an hour, but they will be limited by their individual skills and experience.
In contrast, a VA agency will cost more, around $65-150 NZD an hour, but they will have a team of experts that can help with any task you require. Additionally, an agency will ensure continuity of service if your VA is on leave or leaves the company completely. It's important to consider your specific needs and budget when deciding between a contractor and an agency-employed VA. Learn more about this here.
When searching for a virtual assistant online, it's important to do your research and not simply choose the first result that appears on a search engine. Look for VA agencies or freelancers with good reviews and ratings from current clients. Consider their experience, skill set, and availability before making a decision.
It's also a good idea to have a clear idea of what tasks you need help with and what level of support you require before reaching out to a VA. Don't hesitate to ask for references or samples of previous work to ensure the VA is the right fit for your business.
Once you've decided to hire a VA, the next step is to contact them and schedule a meeting. This can be done over the phone, via Zoom, or in some cases even in person over coffee. During the meeting, you'll discuss your business needs, pain points, and areas where you require support. Based on your conversation, they'll recommend a plan that fits your needs. This can be a one-off project, occasional help, or daily ongoing support.
If you're working with a virtual assistant agency, the agency will assign a virtual assistant to you. They'll match you with someone who has the necessary skills and personality traits to work effectively with you. Your virtual assistant will be your one point of contact and will project manage and ensure all your tasks are completed on time.
Before you start working together, you'll have an initial handover session, either face-to-face or via Zoom, where you'll define the initial tasks to undertake. It's okay if you're not sure what to hand over initially. You can start with a few simple tasks like managing your inbox or reconciling your accounts. As trust builds and you become more comfortable with your virtual assistant, you can gradually hand over more tasks.
As you work together, your VA will learn more about your business operations and will be able to recommend apps and tools to streamline your workflow.
For ongoing success with your virtual assistant, there are certain things that you should keep in mind. We cover these in How do I Delegate My To-Do List? and How Do I Set Myself Up For Success With A Virtual Assistant?
Finally, keep in mind that hiring a virtual assistant is a long-term strategy that requires patience and communication. Ready to take the plunge? Book a discovery call with us to chat about how one of our award-winning virtual assistants could help you!