Virtual AssistantHaving the right Virtual assistant is the first step to a good partnership. I say partnership because as you work together to grow your business, it will start to feel like you have a partner, someone who wants to see your business succeed as much as you do.  As a Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager, I prefer to create that business partnership with my clients.

With so many virtual assistants to choose from, finding the right one is not always easy. Many times, business owners wait until they are desperate before they start looking for help. They end up hiring the first virtual assistant they find, normally based on the cheapest price but can also be on location and skills. While selecting an assistant this way can work, it can also lead to the business owner hopping from one assistant to the next and getting frustrated with the process and finding that a virtual assistant is not the right fit for them.

There’s a better method to finding the right Virtual assistant and it requires a bit of research and thought. Here are some things to consider before searching for a virtual assistant.

What skills are required of the Virtual Assistant

Before you begin your search, have an idea of what kind of assistant you need. Make a list of the tasks you want to outsource to the virtual assistant. What skills or knowledge should the VA have to complete those tasks? Do the tasks require special software or equipment?

In most cases, you will want the Virtual Assistant to have everything he or she needs to complete the work and if they are a viable business, they should have the basics set up already unless you have a specific software that you use.  In this case, it might be more beneficial to train your current virtual assistant on how to do these tasks.

Depending on the tasks, it can also be helpful if the Virtual Assistant has experience in the industry that you work in or already offers the services that you require to other businesses.

Characteristics

What characteristics would you like to see in your assistant? Which are most important to you? Here are a few to get you started:

  • Forward Thinker. They see the whole picture & offer ideas to help you reach your goals.
  • Self-Motivated. They are go-getters. They don’t wait until the last minute to start a project.
  • Takes Initiative. If they see something needs to be done, they do it.
  • Resourceful. If they don’t know an answer, they know how to find it
  • Organised. Disorganisation leads to frustration and potential mistakes
  • Good Communicator. Good communication reduces confusion and errors
  • Professional. They conduct themselves in a professional, self-confident way
  • Dependable. They complete work as requested without having to be monitored
  • Trustworthy. If they cannot be trusted, the contract should be cancelled

You may not find someone who possesses every characteristic on your list or you may just want to make sure the important ones are covered and then you can work with the rest.

Susan Wilkin
Online Business Manager

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