Hiring a virtual assistant is something you've probably put a lot of thought, research and planning into.
If you're on the verge of taking the plunge but still have some reservations, we're here to help. Let's address some of the common concerns that we hear people have about hiring a VA.
What if I don't like the way my VA works, or things aren't being done right?
Your success with a virtual assistant will largely depend on communication, and communication will be the key to resolving these concerns. Here’s a brief list to start with (Our ‘How do I delegate my to-do list' blog covers a lot of the following solutions in more detail).
- Have you provided adequate training and instructions? Detailed written or video instructions on the tasks that need completing will set your VA up for success from the get-go.
- Have you let them know how, when, and how often you like to be kept up to date with their progress?
- Are you giving them the opportunity to fix and learn from their mistakes? Communicate with your VA when something goes wrong, and offer solutions and guidance, rather than fixing it yourself and not saying anything.
Your virtual assistant wants to do a good job! So communicate with them and let them know how you’re feeling. They probably have no idea you feel that way and will be more than happy to adjust and improve.
What if they tell people my private business?
It's likely your VA will encounter private or commercially sensitive information as they work with you, as any employee would. To ensure that this information stays safe, your VA should be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement provided by you.
Their terms of trade should also include a comprehensive confidentiality policy that you're comfortable with. Many VA companies will also have their team police-checked before hiring them.
This is one of the topics that we cover in our 'security questions to ask a virtual assistant' blog, which is full of helpful information to ensure that you don't have to worry about data leaks.
Let your VA know that you are worried about your privacy so you can get the reassurance you need. Keep in mind that your VA wants to keep you as a client, they won’t do anything intentional to have you want to cancel the arrangement.
How do I know my data is secure?
This is another topic that we cover in our 'security questions to ask a virtual assistant' blog, and it's absolutely something that you should be checking when you engage with a virtual assistant.
What you'll find in most cases is that your VA will have multiple systems in place to keep your data secure. At minimum, you should expect:
- A password storage vault like Lastpass
- 2 factor authentication on all online accounts
- Comprehensive anti-virus software on their computer equipment
- A system like Meraki that allows their computer to be remotely wiped of data if necessary
Is it really worth the cost?
While we cover the cost of a virtual assistant in detail in this blog post, it's a topic worth touching on again here. Keep these key points in mind when considering the price of a virtual assistant:
Depending on your needs, a VA will be cheaper than hiring an employee on an annual basis.
It's important to look at the full picture when considering the cost of an employee vs a virtual assistant. Without the added costs that an employee entails, a virtual assistant can be a smart financial decision.
Your time is valuable.
Can you put a price on the extra hours you'll have to spend on high-level, revenue generating activities as a VA takes tasks off your to-do list?
Are you working with the right type of virtual assistant?
There’s a diverse range of VAs, each with different skills at different levels across the industry. If you need basic data entry or inbox management, you probably don’t need to be paying for a VA on the higher-end of the pay scale. We cover this in detail, including what you can expect from VAs at each pay-grade, here.
How do I know what they're doing with their time?
One of the main benefits of a virtual assistant is that you only pay for the time that your VA actually spends completing your tasks. But how do you know that your VA is being transparent about the time it's taken them?
All virtual assistants should track their time, using a tool like Harvest. This allows for a very clear view on the exact amount of time spent completing your tasks, and means that you aren't paying for any unproductive time or breaks.
Your VA will be able to provide you with a report from their time tracking tool along with your monthly invoice for you to check, should you need it.
What happens if it's not working out?
Despite the best of intentions, sometimes things just don't work out.
If you're working with a virtual assistant company, you might find that switching VAs resolves any problems you might be facing. This would be the case if you found that your working styles just weren't compatible or there was a lack of the right skillset.
Remember, finding the right fit is important, so talk with your VA agency about the problems you're encountering.
You might also find yourself in the situation where you want to stop working with a VA altogether. Depending on the terms of the contract you signed when starting out with your VA, this could be as easy as letting them know that you don't require their services from any given date, or using up your remaining allotted hours before your contract ends.
It's always worth checking when hiring a VA that you aren't being locked into a long term contract.
Ready to talk to us about hiring an award-winning virtual assistant?
We're waiting to hear from you! Book a discovery call with Jaymie or Brenna here.