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Hiring a VA…

I want to hire a VA, but how do I go about it?

One way to find a good VA is to check with Expert VA Training at http://expertvatraining.com/find-an-expert-assistant. Each Virtual Assistant listed there has successfully completed extensive training. They have specialized skills in their areas of expertise. They are ready to take the administrative, technical or writing projects off your plate so you can focus on the income producing aspects of your business.

Things to consider when hiring a VA are:

  • Ability to work on flexible hours. A virtual assistant should be able to work the hours that your project requires without too many restrictions. That he is working halfway around the globe and should therefore be asleep when you are working is not an excuse. It comes with the territory, so to speak. If he imposes a lot of conditions or restrictions, you will be better off shopping around for other virtual assistants.
  • Willingness to accept various payment systems. A virtual assistant should not force you into a straightjacket arrangement when it comes to payment system. There are various arrangements that can be made depending on the nature of the task or project being outsourced, such as subscription, hourly or per project packages. A virtual assistant should be able to live with free-lance rates to be able to compete with company employees and be able to accept various methods of payment to suit your needs. Inflexibility in this area should tip you off that the virtual assistant may not be the best choice for you.
  • Ability to provide his own equipment and space. One of the main benefits that a virtual assistant can offer you is the fact that he provides his own working space and equipment. If his fees seem like he is charging you the cost of his equipment or the rent for his office space then maybe he is not the professional virtual assistant for you.
  • Ability to communicate in various modes. Since a virtual assistant does not share an office with you various modes of communication are vital. In order for your working relationship to operate in the virtual world you need to be able to reach him when you need to so you should not be tied down to only one or two communication options. A lack of communication is the number one reason why business relationships and projects fail, so make sure that your virtual assistant provides you with multiple contact options, including telephone, fax, email, and multiple instant message clients.
  • Possession of desired skills and expertise. It is not being unfair to ask for proofs of what he can do like a sample of his works. If she is unable or unwilling to offer you any proof of her work, look for another virtual assistant. Bear in mind, that certain examples of work will be confidential such as financial reports. In that case an offer of a letter of reference would be an acceptable alternative.
  • Computer and Internet literate. Computer and Internet literacy is be a must. This should be obvious from the outset. If not, move on.
  • Realistic claims. Virtual assistance is not for everyone. There are companies that are overstaffed and the employer is just looking for tasks that can be assigned to their staff. The slightest indication that she has been less truthful should push you to move on in your search.
  • Honesty and integrity. Even after you have already hired a virtual assistant, always be on the lookout for copied works. You do not want to have problems with patents and copyrights. The first sign of plagiarism or directly downloaded materials (unless you requested same), start looking for a new virtual assistant.
  • Punctuality. Agree on realistic deadlines and stick to them. Barring unusual or unforeseen circumstances or complications, if your virtual assistant is asking for frequent extensions, she is not very professional and start looking for a new virtual assistant.

What can I expect to pay a VA?

Virtual Assistance is not the type of service you want to shop solely by price. Certainly, we all are interested in getting the best value we can. You will find Virtual Assistants who charge very little—so little, in fact, that they can’t possibly be running a profitable, sustainable practice, one that’s going to be around long enough for you to depend on. Inappropriately low rates also signal a lack of business sense, which most often translates to poor quality, and lack of skill and experience. The consequence of hiring a Virtual Assistant who falls in this category is that your investment in her is unstable.

Typical rates are between $40 and $60 per hour depending on service, length of contract, expertise required and relationship with the VA. We all tend to give our long time clients better deals. You should also ask if your VA offers per project rates. It is wise to ask if she charges  overtime for after-hours or holiday work if you often need services during non-typical times.  VA’s are usually 1099 contractors, so the VA is responsible for any taxes which makes your bookkeeping much easier (and cheaper)!’

Contact us for a free 20 minute telephone consultation!