Sometimes it feels like every second of your day is filled with tasks and chores; making phone calls, arranging paperwork, chasing suppliers up, handling finances, organising travel arrangements and everything else in between. But what if you’re spending so much time on these tasks, you’re not left with enough time for the important stuff?

 

One way to free up your time it to bring a virtual assistant on board – an extra set of hands to help with whichever tasks you assign them. This blog post is designed to help you work out if a VA could be the answer to your prayers, and if so how to find a virtual assistant to fit your needs.

 

Step 1: Choosing between a personal assistant (PA) and a virtual assistant (VA)

 

  • What type of tasks do you need help with?

If it’s help with packing up items for shipment or running local errands, a personal assistant will be a good fit. If you need help with sending emails, managing your diary, sending and chasing invoices or arranging travel, a virtual assistant will be perfect for the job.

 

  •  What is your preferred form of communication?

If you’re comfortable communicating via WhatsApp, text message, email, Slack and/or phone or video call, then a VA will work perfectly for you. If you prefer face-to-face communication to explain tasks, you might be better suited to a PA.

 

  •  What is availability in your area?

In some areas you might struggle to find a personal assistant with the skills you need. A virtual assistant can be located anywhere, giving you access to a much wider pool of resources

Step 2: Working out a role description 

Once you’ve established that a VA is what you’re looking for, it’s important that you’re clear on what you’re going to need from them. What tasks do you need them to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? Will you want ad hoc support or the same chores on a regular, scheduled basis? Try and think about what parts of your workflow can be delegated to maximise the time being freed up.

 

Step 3: Identifying your perfect virtual assistant attributes and skills.

 

Think about what your ideal VA brings to the table. Your “must-haves” could include strong communication, being process-oriented or possessing the ability to work autonomously.  Then layer in some “nice-to-haves” like experience with certain tools and systems. Try to establish how many hours a week you’re looking for (this only needs to be a rough estimate, as your VA will be able to help you calculate this when they know more about your requirements). Some other pointers for qualities to look out for include:

  • Understanding of your business and/or your target audience

You’ll likely want to know that your VA will be able to acquire a sound understanding of your business, your strategy, your plan and your objectives. Furthermore, if your VA will be communicating with your clients, it can be reassuring to know that your VA will develop a good understanding of your target audience and what they’re looking for.

  • Being a self-starter

A VA who is great at following direction is good, but you might prefer one who can also make suggestions, for instance giving recommendations about improving systems and processes which could benefit you and your business.

  •  Keeping you updated

Working remotely, it’s even more important that a VA keeps you up-to-date on projects, tasks and deliverables so you feel informed and in control of the workstreams they’re looking after.

 

Get references

 

Make sure you’ve spent a good amount of time talking to your preferred candidate and feel like you have the beginnings of a sound working partnership. Once you’ve identified your perfect VA, before you dive into a professional relationship, take some time to get references and testimonials from past employers.

 

Still stuck?

 

If after all this you’re still not sure about how to find a virtual assistant, all is not lost!

 

Drop me an email at martha@mnvirtualassistant.co.uk, and let’s have a chat about your productivity issues, what you need help with and how I might be able to step in and help you out. I’m waiting for your message!