You may have made the decision that your business now needs a Virtual Assistant, but do you really understand why?
If you hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) without fully thinking through why you need one, it’s all too easy to end up hiring the wrong person. The obvious consequences can include:
- You waste a lot of your time (which defeats the reason for hiring one in the first place).
- Hiring a Virtual Assistant costs you more money than it needs to.
- They don’t significantly increase productivity (they may even reduce it!).
As an example, you may hire a Virtual Assistant, but you overload them with tasks they may not be equipped to handle, resulting in poor-quality work.
Alternatively, your expectations may be very different to those of your Virtual Assistant, with the result their level of service may not be to the standard you’re looking for. As an example, they may not have the available time to complete tasks as quickly as you need them to, and they miss deadlines.
Knowing why you want to hire a Virtual Assistant is important because it allows you to find someone who perfectly matches the needs of your business.
Here are a few ideas to consider finding your perfect match:
Clarify Your Needs:
Start by identifying the biggest pain points in your business
- What low value tasks get in the way of you focusing on your higher value tasks?
- Are there tasks you are not particularly good at?
- Are there tasks you just simply do not enjoy doing?
What is the ‘end result’ you want from hiring a Virtual Assistant?
- Do you want more time to focus on clients?
- Someone you can work with closely to develop priorities, leading to strategy development?
- Or someone who helps not just you, but other members of your team to make your business more efficient.
Do You Want Them to Be Task Oriented, Or Outcome Oriented?
A task orientated VA will carry out basic tasks such as data entry, invoicing clients, or scheduling social media posts. They are ideal if you just want someone to take one or two repetitive tasks off your hands to free up a few extra hours each week.
On the other hand, an outcome orientated Virtual Assistant handles some of the more ‘involved’ tasks, the ones that keep your business running smoothly behind the scenes. These activities can include:
- Email and diary management
- Arranging meetings and travel coordination
- Managing schedules, preparing reports and Minute taking
In fact, an outcome orientated VA can anticipate issues and be an expert problem solver, handling an ever-growing range of responsibilities to support their client.
What Are Your Objectives?
What are the long-term objectives you want to achieve by hiring a Virtual Assistant?
While the obvious answer is to free up more of your time, what is it you want to do with that time? The possibilities include:
- More focused time working with clients.
- Growing your sales pipeline.
- Developing your products or services.
- Developing your business strategy
- Or, simply to cut down on the time spent working evenings and weekends, to enjoy more quality family time.
Asana have written an article that discusses ’22 Types of Business Objectives to Measure Success’. It covers four areas important to a business; financial, customer-centric, internal, and regulation related, and a Virtual Assistant can have a positive impact in each of these areas.
Understanding your objectives gives you a better idea of what you are gaining by hiring a Virtual Assistant. In other words, what is your ROI?
What Has Personality Got to Do with Anything?
Also, give a little thought into your personality and, if your VA will be working with your team, the characters within your team.
Working with a Virtual Assistant is often on a 1:1 basis, and the biggest success stories for businesses hiring a VA are those where the client and VA build up a great working relationship.
Many professional Virtual Assistants will have the required skills and experience for your role, so use your interviews with potential VAs to get a better idea of their personality, and not just their experience.
A Final Thought...
It’s one thing to believe that your business needs a Virtual Assistant. But the more clearly you recognise why you want to hire a Virtual Assistant, the clearer you will be about the qualities you require from your VA.
Clarifying your needs, recognising if you need a VA who is more task or outcome orientated, and understanding your personal objectives is a significant part of the process to ensure you get it right first time.
If you have any questions about working with a Virtual Assistant, get in touch. We’re always happy to help.