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Overcome Barriers To Hire A Virtual Assistant

by Steph Oszczyk

You don’t have to look far to find an article about the benefits of outsourcing. But do you often find yourself thinking you want to hire a virtual assistant, then immediately put up barriers to doing so? Let’s look at the factors that hinder us from finding external support for our businesses.

I Don’t Know What To Outsource…

As with most things in life, you don’t need to know everything straight away, as any good virtual assistant service will let you evolve your requirements over time. Incidentally, we believe this is actually the best approach as it gives you opportunity to suss out how your virtual assistant operates (turnaround time, work quality etc) plus it gives them time to get to know your business, your team, and your client’s needs along the way, making picking up additional tasks as your relationship evolves all that more fluid.

No matter what industry you’re in, chances are there are some admin tasks that you’d love to handover.

any industry has business admin

A good starting point is to consider the tasks you hate, the tasks that take you a long time to complete, and the tasks you don’t feel confident taking on.List a few of each on a notepad and add the estimated time you think these tasks take you on a weekly basis. If you’re not sure, put down a time you’d be happy to invest in these areas per week.

Your virtual assistant should be experienced at working to an hours budget and communicating where more time spent could be beneficial to you.

I Don’t Know If I Can Trust Them…

This is a very fair and common worry with any kind of outsourcing – from finding a kitchen fitter, to enlisting a company to transform your website’s search engine results. If you’re going to invest in a service provider, you don’t want to find out down the line that your time and money has been wasted (or created you worse problems).

It is always essential to background check the entity you are looking to do business with. How long have they been operating, are they registered on Companies House, do they have the appropriate qualifications and accreditations, can they provide references or reviews…?

These are all things that you can check prior to an initial consultation, but there are also some questions worth asking in person to help you decide if they are a good fit, such as:

  • how big is the team
  • how do they manage internal training (specifically around the tasks they’ll be completing for you)
  • what’s their contingency plan for sickness and holiday
  • how do they communicate that they are unable to deliver a particular task should this instance arrive (e.g. not their area of expertise, or they don’t have the capacity)…

Flexible Working No Gameface Needed

Another important consideration is the contract tie-in. Can you start with a small number of hours one month and add to this over time? Can you walk away after the first month if things aren’t going well? Do you have to pay upfront or in arrears? If you are able to, it would be worth having an independent legal expert look over the contract/terms to highlight any potential areas of risk.

I Don’t Know How To Give My VA Access To My Work…

Generally speaking, this is the technical aspect of the service that you would expect the virtual assistant to advise you on, so in essence you don’t need to know (although a little online research may help you feel at ease that their suggestions match reality).

That’s not to say that every virtual assistant knows everything and will instantly solve any question you throw at them. However, a social media specialist should know and advise on how they can work with your social media accounts, a VA offering email inbox management should be able to guide you through setting up delegate access to your emails, and so on.

There should be a high security focus here too – an external service provider should not simply have your login details, which means you may need additional accounts (depending on the type of account), so remember to factor this in when considering the tasks to outsource.

Flexible Working Save Office Space

Only give the permissions required to do the job (your virtual assistant should be able to advise on this), for instance if they will only be adding blog posts to your website, you can provide them with an account that has content access, whereas if you want them to report back to you on website analytics, you’ll need to give them higher admin privileges.

Also, where accounts offer multi factor authentication, ensure your virtual assistant uses it.

I Can’t Afford To Hire A Virtual Assistant…

We’re not financial advisors and would never make the blanket statement of ‘yes you can’, because of course affordability may well be a valid issue for some businesses, particularly those starting out. But it is worth considering how much of your time is spent on doing the tasks you are wanting to outsource, and then realistically how many of these saved hours could be converted into income.

An experienced virtual assistant will likely achieve the same work within significantly less time, and suggest ways to improve your day to day processes, further increasing your time saving.This is similar to the calculations we suggest working out when looking into software solutions

A lot of businesses choose to hire a virtual assistant over employing someone because of the savings on related expenses, such as recruitment costs, holiday and sick pay, computer equipment etc.

Additional pros include the expertise that they provide rather than an internal training commitment, and the flexibility around keeping them onboard.

Hire a team

What If I Don’t Like Their Work…?

Flexible Working Work From Home

Communication plays such an important role in any working relationship. What is it you don’t like? If something hasn’t been completed as expected or to a required standard, consider whether the initial instructions were thorough enough.

Arrange a catch up sooner than later and talk through what worked well and what needs to be changed. Your virtual assistant should appreciate the feedback and relish the opportunity to provide you with the service you were expecting.

These valuable conversations may also be a chance to brainstorm together ways to improve the task in question. Often someone external can pick up things you hadn’t considered and can use their experience to recommend time saving/quality improving solutions.

That being said, if your gut tells you that it simply isn’t right, or if a major irreparable mistake has been made, utilise that flexibility we mentioned earlier and don’t be afraid to part ways if it is the right thing for you and your business. Essentially a virtual assistant should enhance your operations and make your life easier!

If you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant get in touch and we can talk about your requirements

  • Obligation free initial consultations
  • Flexible service with no monthly commitment
  • Efficiency focused

Thank you for reading!

The contents of our articles are the opinions of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Business Efficient. Neither Your Business Efficient or our employees are acting as licensed professionals and any information contained within our blog posts, or our site in general, should not be construed as legal or financial advice.

We always recommend that you conduct your own appropriate research or consult with any relevant licensed professionals before making any decisions that affect your business.


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