The ability to call on someone whenever you need odd jobs carried out – often small jobs that are not highly skilled such as admin, phone calls, emails, typing, etc – can help you to focus on other more important aspects of your business.
All those time-consuming jobs are essential, but sometimes it is easy to feel like you could be spending your time so much more productively, and this is where a VA can help. Here are a few things to consider when you hire one.
Look Far and Wide
If you are working abroad, you may have clients in different countries so you already know all about working across borders. Take a global perspective when you look for a VA. You may be able to get a better rate by searching further afield, so it is always worth looking.
If you hire someone who does not have English as their first language, for many tasks this will be fine. However, be careful about the type of work you need. If you require writing, a native English speaker is nearly always better. You should also be able to communicate clearly whatever the language so that nothing gets lost in translation.
One thing you must think carefully about is the time difference. A few hours is fine, but 12 hours may not be, so it may be best to find someone who works similar hours to you.
Having said that, it could be useful to have someone you can call on at the end of your working day to carry out tasks that will be ready when you wake up, so this is something else to consider.
Even if you are only hiring a VA on a casual basis for a few hours here and there, you should still make the effort to hire someone who will hopefully turn into a long-term partner.
You do not need a formal interview, but you should seriously consider holding a video chat because you can often tell a lot more about someone this way.
In the end, it is the service they provide that will help you decide whether to keep them or not, but an interview can be a good way to narrow down your options.
Start with Basic Tasks
Before you hire a VA for complex tasks, start with the basics. This gives you an opportunity to see how well they work before you give them more important tasks to work on. After a while, you may even want to train them up in specific tasks that they may not have experience with, such as jobs that are unique to your business.
Hire More than One
There is no rule that says you must only hire one. You may find one VA who is great at one task, and another who specialises in others. It can also be useful to have more than one in case one is not available for whatever reason.
Take Your VA Wherever You Go
Travelling abroad and setting up an office in a new country can be hard work. By hiring a VA, you have an assistant wherever you are in the world so you can move about as you please and always have someone ready to do the little tasks you don’t have time for. Is it time you hired one yourself?