Things to Consider Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant for Your Small Business

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant for Your Small Business

Business owners or startups usually do everything themselves, as they have complete control over every aspect of their business. But now that momentum has been gained and all the little things are being added faster than expected, it’s time to ask for help.

Today, it is no longer a question of whether or not you should hire a virtual assistant (VA). The Internet, social media, and smartphones have drastically changed people’s lives so much that it has become a necessity to do business online. This is true whether you have a company that spans generations or are just starting your online business. 

Today, we are going to jot down some of the most essential tips (hiring strategies) for small business owners when it comes to working with a VA (virtual assistant) to help you get the apt VA for your small business.

Top Strategies to Know before Hiring a Virtual Assistant

You just need to know how to choose the best virtual assistant for your business. Check out these tips before hiring a virtual assistant for your small business:

  • Work on the Job Details

Before you find and hire a personal virtual assistant, you need to know what tasks you’ll entrust them with. You must specify:

  • How many hours per week does your assistant need to work;
  • What kind of tasks they’ll carry out;
  • What skills do they need to qualify for this job;
  • Equipments needed to do the job efficiently (for example, phone, computer, DSL internet connection);
  • What work values and ethics you expect them to have.
  • Consider Location and Budget

The nice thing about hiring a virtual assistant is that the difference between location and time zone isn’t usually important. However, to get the most out of your work relationship, you should make sure you and your co-workers can still meet online to discuss work every day. It’s also important to have a budget so you don’t waste time talking to candidates at rates you can’t afford right now.

  • Weed Through the Applications

Only respond to candidates that you truly believe are a good fit for your position. In addition to being fluent in your language, these candidates must be able to actually follow the instructions you receive. Evaluate their cover letter, their experience, and check the samples they provide before making a candidate list. 

  • Conduct Interviews

It can be helpful to conduct an interview to get to know potential candidates better. If possible, you can use Skype to chat, make calls, and send files. During the interview, ask questions about anything that could affect your work relationship. This includes the candidate’s work environment, accessibility, experience, skills acquired, and grade desired. List pre-assignment questions and ask follow-up questions based on the candidate’s responses.

  • Discuss the Work and Payment Process

Successful relationships between small business owners and virtual assistants depend heavily on communication and payments. You should make sure all of this is done before the first assignment is given. Typically, businesses create and distribute daily or weekly to-do lists. Appointments can be scheduled at the appointed date and time, and reports and results can be sent via personal email, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

In terms of payment, you and the candidate you choose must decide whether it is hourly or fixed. If it’s a unit of time, you need a time counter. For a fixed price contract, you must negotiate an estimated price and a corresponding amount of work.

  • Start with a Small Project

While virtual assistants sound great during an interview, it’s still best to submit projects one at a time. After you hire a virtual assistant, start with a small project and then add additional workloads based on your performance. Over time, it can turn your assistant into an important part of your business. Otherwise, you can fire your assistant and find a better one.

The Bottom Line

Hiring a virtual assistant can help you succeed more quickly, but it can only waste time and money if you’re not careful. Hire only the best virtual assistants by applying these above-mentioned tips that we’ve shared with you to ensure success.

To learn more about small business tricks and tips, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine. 

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