VA "Wish List" - The Most Important Things To Look For In A Virtual Assistant
Once you get to the point where you (your Association, small business or non-profit) could benefit from professional administrative support, the next step is to figure out what you're looking for in a VA. Not every Association or group is going to need the same type and level of support, so it's important to know what you need and prioritize your requirements. Whatever those are, the basics remain the same. These should be on anyone's "Wish List for An Ideal Virtual Assistant":
By working with a Virtual Assistant, you will save on the expense of hiring a full-time employee. This includes the amount of time and money spent on interviewing and training a new employee. This also includes the cost of employee benefits such as health insurance, employee-related benefits, and tax savings. As independent contractors, Virtual Assistants are responsible for their own bookkeeping and taxes. You will not have to worry about incurring such costs, and can even write off the business expense at the end of the year! As such, you'll want to make sure your VA is physically equipped to support the logistics of off-site work. This means the right equipment, such as:
• Laptop: Up-to-date, with adequate anti-virus software, and compatible with YOUR preferred OS (operating system).
• Production software: Whether it's Microsoft Office products, or Google Business, or other open software, make sure you're both able to open, edit, and share each other's documents.
• Messaging platform: Again, it can be one of the dozens out there, but make sure your VA is accessible on the instant messaging platform of your choice (Facebook Messenger, Google Chat, Skype, etc.).
• Mobile Phone: Your VA is responsible for the cost of their mobile phone(s), so you'll want to confirm that they have an adequate plan AND one that functions easily in your preferred country network.
• Work space: As an independent contractor, your VA should have dedicated, professional work space. This includes an office with a door, a proper desk, and the ability to reduce outside noise, if possible.
The bulk of the collaboration between you and your VA will be done digitally, which means they need to be well-versed in cloud-based tools. They don't necessarily have to have years of experience in any one program, but they need to understand the basic concepts:
• Know how to create accounts and profiles
o For themselves
o For YOU
• Know the basic elements for online profiles/accounts
o Company name
o Contact name
o Contact info
o Logo (high-res, transparent background)
o Contact person bio
• Know how to use online time tracking programs
• Know how to use team project management programs
• Other web-based, collaboration tools
This is probably the most important item on your wish list. Above all, you want to know that that you can count on your VA, and that they're eager and able to make your wishes come true! A good, positive attitude is usually the result of:
• Experience. They've done this before, encountered that before. Your VA will have an upbeat, confident attitude because they know there's a solution, and will help you both find it.
• Education. Formal or not, your ideal VA is well-versed in the tasks YOUR industry requires, whatever those tasks may be. Finding the right background and fit here is key.
• Maturity. Not necessarily in age, but in mental acuity and agility. Your VA should be able to stay calm in stressful situations, be an excellent communicator, and know how to ask for help when needed. In other words, as drama-free and professional as you deserve!
So there you have it - your VA wish list for 2018.
Feel free to add to this and contact us, or chat with us on Facebook!