It is well-known that many small business owners and even those who run flourishing enterprises hire virtual assistants for their convenience. Also known as VAs, they are basically Internet-based personal assistants who can do various administrative tasks for you, and many other things within the scope of their capabilities.
Unfortunately, the fact that virtual assistants often do administrative tasks makes many ask: What good then, are VAs if they are primarily meant to do work that you can perform yourself? The answer literally lies within that question. The fact that you hand over administrative work to your VA means that you don’t need to do the trivial, though time-consuming work yourself, allowing you to focus more on your business, or other things that you do best.
That very reason may have convinced you to hire a VA. Nevertheless, if you are looking into hiring the services of an online personal assistant, you should expect the following:
- VAs charge differently. Rates among people and companies who offer virtual assistance vary a lot. This is because VAs also offer different ranges of service, and the rates vary according to the complexity of service that they offer. In addition to this, VAs come from different countries with different employment laws and economies, so it’s understandable that VAs from developing countries like the Philippines cost less than those that work from the US.
- You did not buy an all-in-one service. The Web-based personal assistant that you’ve just hired is not a one-stop-shop sitting in front of a computer. While it’s certain that they can do any administrative task that you give them, most of them are no jacks-of-all-trades. Don’t expect them to do graphic design on top of Web development, and so on and so forth. As such, it is important that you know what your VA can do and use it to your advantage. Better yet, you should first identify your needs and know what type of VA fits them before you hire one’s services.
- Communication is important. In fact, communication is everything if you want to work effectively with your virtual assistant. VAs will need clear instructions to work properly and may ask you questions at random times. As such, it is important that you keep in touch with your VA as this ensures not only effective communication but also productivity.
- Your VA is officially unavailable after the agreed work hours. Bear that in mind and understand that VAs are professionals like you and will only work on the schedule you have both agreed upon, no more and no less. Fortunately, you can always negotiate with them to work during irregular hours, although you should expect some extra charge for that.
- VAs are human beings, just like you and me. They are no super assistants that can endure unreasonable tasks, heavy workloads and abuse. That’s not saying that they need to be pampered either – just be a good boss to a hard-working employee.
It surely is a good thing that you should first understand virtual assistants before you decide that you need to hire one. Knowing what you should expect from them is perhaps one of the best ways to do so.