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Online Virtual Assistant: It is Safe to Work with One

As an entrepreneur, you’ll sometimes find yourself with too much work and very little time to get it all done. You’re not yet in a comfortable place as a business to hire a full-time staff but you still need everything done. So what do you do? The perfect solution is to hire an online virtual assistant (VA).

Highly productive people delegate and automate processes for a higher outcome. So if you find yourself in a situation where you have too much to do, it’s time to reduce the backlog by finding someone to get it done right.

While hiring an online virtual assistant is the perfect solution, many entrepreneurs and businesses are still skeptical about hiring one. Many feel that it’s not safe to work with one. This could not be further from the truth.

Even though working with someone virtually comes with a couple of hurdles, it’s completely safe and efficient and most importantly an affordable way of getting things done.

If you’d like to hire a VA but not sure if you really should, my post today will take you through some important tips to consider before hiring an online virtual assistant as well as the pros and cons of working with one.

online virtual assistant

What to Do Before Hiring an Online Virtual Assistant

1. Only Hire a VA when You’re Ready

Have a set and clear idea of what tasks an online virtual assistant will do for your company before hiring one. It will be useless to hire someone to do tasks that someone else in your company is supposed to do. It will also be a waste of resources on your side.

2. Be Thorough with Professional Background Check

When scouting for a virtual assistant, make sure you hire only the best. To get the best, you’ll have to do some homework and go through several resumes to find the right fit.

You can use hiring sites such as Upwork or VA hiring specific sites such as Brainy Girl Virtual Assistant or you can simply run a quick Google search to find individuals who offer expert virtual assistant services. 

3. Go for Professionalism

You can check on the candidate’s professionalism by monitoring how timely they respond to emails and voicemails. You could also test the online virtual assistant with a task and see how they work on it. This will help you assess how committed they are to deadlines and will also give you a look into what skills the particular online virtual assistant has.

4. Put Systems in Place

Delegating some of your duties may be tough because, let’s admit it, if you want something done well, do it yourself. But then again, your business won’t grow as fast as you want it to if you decide to do everything on your own.

Before you hire a virtual assistant, create a system, master that system and then delegate it to the VA. So for instance, if you want someone to run your social media presence, come up with a social media strategy, understand the goals and the tactics, train your VA on what is to be done and the expected outcome, then let them run with it.

This way, if your VA decides to leave at some point, you’ll easily hire another assistant for that same role and use the existing training material, resulting in a much less stressful turnover.

online virtual assistant

Now that you know what to look at when hiring a VA, let’s get into the pros and cons of working with one.

Advantages

  • Flexibility

Online virtual assistants work from all over the world and across time zones. Imagine how good it would feel to wake up to completed projects. This is possible as VAs set their own time aside to work on their tasks regardless of the working hours.

  • Affordability

Hiring a virtual assistant is way cheaper than hiring a full-time staff. Common practice is to pay the VA for work done and not have them on a full-time salary. Because the work remotely you also don’t have to worry about providing them with amenities such as a work space, internet etc. This saves you a couple of bucks!

  • Efficiency

As you sieve through the candidates for an online virtual assistant position, you also go through what they can do best. Finding one that does what your company needs and does it well will make operations efficient.

  • Productivity

Virtual assistants are great because they take away your administrative tasks on your to-do list and give you time to work on the high-value tasks that only you are able to do increasing your productivity thus growing your business.

Cons

  • Language Barrier

Our language is dictated from our cultural and social settings. You may find an individual who speaks English but their cultural and social nuances will play a role in creating different perceptions that the intended ones. If English is a requirement for your online virtual assistant, make sure you stipulate it when you advertise for the job.

  • Management

Online virtual assistants create an added task of people management. They need to be constantly communicated to in order to give tasks and ask questions when need be. Make managing your virtual employees easy through apps such as Asana, Trello, Hivedesk and much more.

  • Data Security

Hiring an online virtual assistant means that confidential information will be passed along to them and you may not really know if the information is passed along to others. This may pose a great risk to your company. This further emphasizes the need for interviews and tests to find out the character of an individual before you employ them.

To cushion yourself from data theft, always have a contract ready and include a NonDisclosure Agreement (NDA) clause to ensure no business information shared and copyright is not infringed upon.

Online virtual assistants can be extremely beneficial to your business. To ensure the working relationship is seamless, employ the above tips, hire a virtual assistant, give them your to-do list and get on with other important business functions!

Do you work with a virtual assistant? How is the experience? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

About the Author Stella Mwangi

I’m Stella, a Freelance Digital Copywriter and expert Virtual Assistant. I write good, simple strategies that get the results you’re looking for. When I'm not working I'm either catching up on the latest episode of...anything, trying to stop pinning natural hair pins or exploring the world :)

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3 comments
heidi williams says August 4, 2016

It isn’t something I am ready to do yet but thanks for the information. It will be great to have when I need to take that step. There are so many people doing it now especially bloggers and its hard to know what to look for.

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Stella Mwangi says August 5, 2016

Hi Heidi, thanks for reading! I hope the info will help in future 🙂

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Hire a Virtual Assistant: Skill Sets that Make for a Great VA | Stella Mwangi says September 7, 2016

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