What is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur that provides professional services from a remote location. Virtual assistant (VA) companies are one of the fastest growing types of businesses in the world. With so many companies downsizing, people are trying to find alternative ways to generate income. A lot of small business owners are leery of outsourcing. In their minds, there are so many things that could go wrong. Small business owners may find themselves asking:
“What if my company information is sold or falls into the wrong hands?”
“How will I know that the work is getting done?”
“Can I trust them to not steal my ideas?”
The fact of the matter is that this whole virtual thing isn’t new. It’s said that virtual assistants have been around since the 50s, only back then it was known as secretarial services. Today virtual assistants come in all shapes and forms, many providing much more than general administrative or secretary type services. Today’s virtual assistants may also specialize in website design, bookkeeping and marketing services just to name a few.
Like any other industry, you are definitely going to have the good, the bad and the ugly. It is sad, but true to say that not every virtual assistant company is created equal. The upside is that if you do your homework, your chances of running into a virtual nightmare are less likely. There is an art to finding the right virtual assistant for you. To keep it simple, here are a few things to consider.
- Are you looking for a single or multi-VA company? A multi-VA company generally insures a solid back up plan in the event that your particular VA is ill or out on vacation.
- Would you prefer someone local? This is one that may or may not be important to you. A lot of times even with a local VA, it doesn’t ensure that you will ever see him or her. But if you would like occasional face to face meetings with your VA, make sure this is possible with the one you select.
- Are the tasks that you will be delegating industry specific? Example: If you are a realtor and you need your virtual assistant to handle listing co-ordinations or drip email marketing, you may want to hire a virtual assistant company that has experience or caters to real estate companies.
- Ensure that there is good rapport with you and your virtual assistant. After all you will be working with this person on a regular basis so it’s important that it’s someone you feel comfortable with.
- Check out their website (Does it look professional? Do they offer the services that you need? Do they have testimonials?)
- What type of background do they have? Did they attend college or other training courses?
These are just a few tips for finding the right virtual assistant. Ultimately you have to decide what’s right for your business but if hiring an onsite employee isn’t in your budget, a VA is an option. Too many business owners try to be do it yourselfers (nothing wrong with that) but at some point you have to realize that you can’t be in all places at once. If you’re doing administrative tasks, who is marketing your business? If you’re out networking, who’s handling the online marketing? Everyone wants their business to grow but are you realistically ready for it. Do you have people in place to handle the extra work? If not, it may be time to develop a game plan.
Apex Bizness Solutions is available for free consultations Mondays thru Fridays between the hours of 9:30 am and 3:00 pm. Call us today at 866-926-7362 or complete our online form and have a representative contact you. Our consultation will help you decide if a virtual assistant is right for your business.