So first things first, what exactly is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?!
The definitions of a VA can vary substantially but for our purposes; a VA is an administration superstar that works from the comfort of their own home (or anywhere they want to).
And what exactly do they do?….
Anything and everything! But to put that in context they complete the majority of the tasks a personal assistant or administrator does…they’re just never in your office. Whether its invoicing, replying to emails, data entry or booking travel…they really are a “jack of all trades”!
With the astounding leaps that technology so frequently takes, it really isn’t essential to have a bum on a seat in your office these days. (Although some people prefer it, and that’s totally fine!) If you are open to developing a relationship with a VA however, once you get used to the virtual style of working the sky is the limit for what they can do for you.
It goes without saying that I am a little biased towards the pros of using a VA, but there are understandably concerns that commonly come along with the process. In working on both sides of the VA fence I can say that without doubt the most frequent concern is trust. When a staff member isn’t physically in front of you how do you know what they are doing with your company’s information?
My response to that would be to say that any responsible and reliable VA should ALWAYS provide you with a Confidentiality Agreement. You should always be assured that your companies details (that you have worked so hard to develop) are suitably protected. If you don’t get this….stop what you are doing and back away – quickly!!!
There are a multitude of available options for you when you are considering taking on a VA…offshore, their responsibilities, availability etc. My one piece of advice would be to seriously consider hiring a VA who is comfortable and fluent in your native language, and who has the ability to understand your business.
Whilst there many fantastic options available you just can’t surpass the value add of a staff member who can understand you straight away, and run with it. This ultimately will result in saving you time and reducing the risk of errors due to miscommunication.
So really what have you got to lose? Most independent VA’s will work on a pre paid time allocation, so what’s the harm in giving it a go for a few hours….you never know it might just revolutionise the way you work!