Researching your Virtual Assistant
One of the questions I was recently asked when I gave a presentation about being a Virtual Assistant, and how we help business owners, was how a business owner who doesn’t know me from Adam (or Eve) knows they can trust me.
Whilst I met many of my clients at networking events numerous times before I began working with them, they had not worked with me before.
So how do you know if you can trust your chosen Virtual Assistant – especially if they are not local to you and perhaps you have never met them? The bottom line is you don’t, but there are steps that you can take to inform your decision that they are the right person to trust with your business.
A good place to start is the VA’s website and social media channels. This will give you a good indication of their communication skills and of course, their social media skills if this is something that you may be asking them to do for you. It’s also a good place to check out their language skills – if they have blog posts a quick scan will give you an idea of their use of the English language (grammar and spelling) which is also useful if they will be representing you in front of clients, on social media, or via email for example.
Check out the testimonials from previous clients. These may be on the VA’s social media (LinkedIn for example) or on their website. Don’t be afraid to ask whether they have done similar work for someone else and whether they have worked for anyone in the same line of business as you.
Some VAs may be willing to put you in touch with a previous client for a verbal reference. Don’t be afraid to ask if you might find this helpful.
If you are looking for a Virtual Assistant to work 1:1 with you in your place of work, do they have public liability insurance? Do they have professional indemnity insurance? Are they registered with the Information Commissioners Office? All these things show the credibility of the Virtual Assistant as a serious business owner.
FACT: The 2016 annual survey from the Society of Virtual Assistants identified that 30% of Virtual Assistants DON’T have Professional Indemnity Insurance and over half are NOT registered with the Information Commissioners Office!
It is also good to check out whether the VA has won or been nominated for any awards. This gives external validation but remember that this may not be an indicator of the quality of the work of the VA – you should check out their testimonials for that.
Trust Your Instincts
There is a lot to be said for instinct, if you feel you could work with this person, you are half way there. If there is any doubt in your mind whether the VA has the skills to do what you need, or that there may be communication issues then keep on looking!
I hope this helps provide some assurance and I wish you well in finding a Virtual Assistant that can add value to your business. However, if you still have reservations about handing over work to a Virtual Assistant – my next blog may help
If you know someone with a small business that may need help, please pass on my details as I may be able to help.