Sarah Shaw of The Entreprenette Gazette recently asked a number of business owners what their virtual assistants do for them and how they found them, and we’re very proud that the Golden Horseshoe Virtual Assistants Group was mentioned as one of the places to find great VAs!
There are a number of questions you should ask when looking for the virtual assistant that’s right for your business.
Many of your questions will probably relate to your specific needs, such as “What experience do you have working with [a particular software program, online service, or industry]?” You may also want to ask how their past work experience and training relates to the needs of your business.
If you’re going to need same-day turnaround, or if you want to be able to contact your VA by phone or instant messenger without scheduling something in advance, ask if he or she will be able to accommodate that.
If you want someone to come to your office on occasion, don’t assume that they will, just because they’re in your area. Ask whether they do that, and if they do, ask whether there’s an extra charge or a travel fee.
Speaking of fees, you need to ask not just how much they charge, but how it is calculated. Is it by the minute, or in 15 minute increments? Is there a minimum charge? Do they require a monthly retainer? Do you have to pay in advance? Are there different packages available? Do they charge extra for rush jobs? If so, how much is it, and what’s considered a rush?
It’s okay to ask to see work samples or to ask permission to speak to some of their other clients, but keep in mind that it’s not a job interview, but a consultation to see whether the two of you are a good match.
Someone might have the best qualifications in the world, but if your communication and work styles aren’t compatible, it may be difficult for you to work together.