Running a business is similar to running a marathon, demanding stamina, resilience, and unwavering concentration on finishing the race. As an entrepreneur, you’re constantly juggling a million duties to meet your company’s standards while remaining one step ahead of the competition. It’s an exhilarating journey that can exhaust even the most experienced entrepreneur.
Meet Mohit- A successful business entrepreneur with over a decade of experience. He was proficient at handling his employees, maintaining client relationships, and staying current on industry changes. However, as his company expanded, so did his workload, and he soon found himself submerged in a pool of emails, meetings, scheduling, and to-do lists. He knew he required someone skilled, but employing a full-time assistant was daunting and expensive.
That’s when he realized the value of virtual assistants. He then hired a proficient full-time virtual assistant as per his needs.
Mohit could now concentrate on the key activities that demanded his attention by assigning chores to his virtual assistant while his assistant managed the rest.
In this article, we’ll dive into the world of full-time virtual assistants and how they work to help entrepreneurs like Mohit grow their businesses.
How to find the Right Full-Time Virtual Assistant?
Hiring a full-time virtual assistant can be the best choice for entrepreneurs who wish to pass on administrative work and focus on essential business operations. But figuring out the ideal virtual assistant may be complex because you must consider various factors like skill set, expertise, interpersonal abilities, and cultural match.
Below are some pointers on how to choose the best full-time virtual assistant for your company:
1. Evaluate your company’s requirements and specifications.
Before seeking a virtual assistant, you must define your company’s demands and requirements. First, prepare a list of all the tasks you need help with, like email handling, social media handling, research booking appointments, data entry, and customer service. This list will help you create your job description for your VA once you know what tasks you need help with.
2. Know your budget
After determining your needs and requirements, figure out your budget and how much you are ready to pay for the services of a virtual assistant.
An award-winning virtual assistant, Cassie Evans, adds, “It’s important to consider the budget, no matter the investment within the business. Key things to consider when identifying a Virtual Assistant budget are:
- Do the potential Virtual Assistants’ prices & packages align with the current budget, and would they meet future budgets if you chose to expand upon the level of support?
- Is the budget realistic concerning the level of support required? For example, having a minimal budget but requiring hours upon hours of support will make finding a suitable Virtual Assistant challenging.”
3. Review the resume and conduct an interview.
Once the job description is ready, head to online marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr, TaskRabbit, and Freelancer to post about the job. If you are looking to outsource project-based work or work for a short period, Upwork and Fiverr work well, as they are cost-friendly.
After getting responses, evaluate all applications, and choose the one with the requisite abilities and experience. Next, hold online interviews with applicants to assess their communication abilities and cultural fit. Finally, inquire about their employment experience, availability, and working hours.
Consider checking our list to learn about the 11 Best Virtual Assistant Sites for Entrepreneurs in 2023.
Abhishek Shah, the founder of Testlify, says, “To find the right virtual assistant, entrepreneurs should define their business needs, create a job description that outlines the responsibilities and qualifications they are looking for, and set clear expectations from the outset. Then, they can use online platforms such as Testlify to find qualified candidates and conduct interviews to assess their skills and experience. It’s also essential to consider factors such as communication skills, availability, and work ethic to ensure that the virtual assistant fits the business”.
4. Discuss the scope of work and communication channels.
Once you’ve decided on a virtual assistant, it’s critical to establish goals and protocols for communication from the start. You should discuss your expectations with your virtual assistant regarding work scope, deadlines, and deliverables. Set ways to communicate, chat, email, or calls via video, and specify turnaround times and accessibility. To minimize miscommunication, it’s also critical to understand the times of operation and time zones.
5. Consider their technical skills.
Examining a virtual assistant’s technological expertise is critical when choosing one. Hire those knowledgeable in technologies and software such as Microsoft Office and Google Suite, handling social media platforms and project management tools according to your requirements. However, always look for virtual assistants with prior expertise in your technologies. A Deloitte poll highlighted the need for virtual assistants with technological expertise.
Now let’s look at some of the advantages of hiring VA.
Benefits of Hiring Full-Time Virtual Assistants
1. Reduced workload for entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs can employ a virtual assistant to do time-consuming and monotonous tasks, freeing up their valuable time to devote to building their company. Who wouldn’t want a couple of additional hours in their day to catch up on their favorite program or go to the workout? You’ll have the opportunity to regain your leisure time and value the simpler things in life with the help of a virtual assistant.
2. Increased productivity and efficiency
Virtual assistants can finish jobs more rapidly and effectively, resulting in a shorter response time and higher production. It can assist companies in remaining competitive and sticking to deadlines.
Ubaldo Perez at HUSH Anesthetic says, “When leaders have much more busy work that eats up their time off their plates, VA can more effectively grow and maintain their businesses in other strategic ways, like acquiring new assets, optimizing performance, or implementing top-down changes. VAs can also liaise well with customer support teams and their immediate needs, acting as one additional layer of problem-solving before an issue is elevated to leadership.”
3. Cost-effective solution for businesses
Using a virtual assistant as a full-time employee can be more cost-effective than bringing in another staff member because premises, supplies, and overhead are eliminated. As a result, it is an excellent choice for small enterprises or startups looking to save costs without losing quality.
In one of Zirtual’s blogs, Tim Ferriss said, “ When you create a self-sustaining business that generates a great deal of profit and awareness, the value of those virtual assistants can far exceed their cost. Virtual assistants cost a fraction of the cost of doing those activities yourself, especially considering what that time is worth.”
4. Flexible work arrangements
Full-time virtual assistants can operate from anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection, enabling companies to tap into talent worldwide. In addition, companies operating in different regions may benefit from more flexibility in terms of operating hours and time zones.
Now that you’re mindful of the multiple benefits of employing a full-time virtual assistant, it’s time to investigate the vast range of tasks they can assist you with.
What are the tasks that Full-Time Virtual Assistants can Handle?
- Administrative tasks such as email management, scheduling, and data entry
- Customer support, such as answering queries, resolving complaints, and processing orders
- Social media management, such as content creation, scheduling, and analytics
- Research and data analysis
- Create and manage content for your blog, website, or newsletter.
- Manage your financial records and bookkeeping.
Consider having a look at the 25 best tasks for Virtual Assistants.
Best Practices for Working with Full-Time Virtual Assistants
1. Establishing a clear job description and work scope
Define the work tasks and expectations for the virtual assistant. It will assist them in understanding what chores they should prioritize and what objectives they should work towards.
Sofie Couwenbergh, a content strategist at Let Me Write That Down for You, has a brilliant take: Start by keeping track of all the jobs you’d like to hand off to your full-time virtual assistant. Then, over a week, simply write down everything you do that you don’t want to be doing anymore. Unless that task should go to a different profile (a writer, an editor, a marketing manager, etc.), it’ll go to your virtual assistant. Once you know what you want them to do, you can list their desired skill set.
While doing this, ask yourself:
- How much are you willing to invest in their training?
- Do you want someone who already knows how to work with specific tools, or are you comfortable training them?
- How demanding you are in this respect will largely determine how big the pool you’ll be recruiting from and how much you’ll need to pay.
2. Setting realistic goals and deadlines
Set reasonable targets and due dates for your virtual assistant to ensure they know what they need to do and by when. It will assist them in prioritizing their duties and efficiently managing their time. For example, if you want your virtual assistant to create a weekly blog post, ensure they have adequate time to study findings, write, and edit the piece.
3. Create a playbook or document for onboarding new virtual assistants
Finding the right virtual assistant is difficult. And walking them through the process is a bit more complicated.
Sreeram Sharma, a SaaS SEO consultant, says, “ Entrepreneurs usually seek virtual assistants who know the industry and have some experience with similar projects. So if you hire a new full-time virtual assistant, you will likely spend a week just to train them. So instead of walking them through the whole process, you could just have a playbook or a document listing the entire process with tutorials. They can go through the entire list and learn about the process. It saves a lot of time ✅”
4. Evaluating and providing feedback
Reviewing your virtual assistant’s work frequently and giving constructive criticism is critical. It will assist them in honing their talents and working more efficiently. Set up a performance evaluation system, for example, in which you analyze their effort every quarter and offer comments on what they handled well and in which areas they can improve.
5. Maintaining open communication
Choose a communication method that works for you both, whether by email, chat, or video chat.
Caroline Marshall, the founder of Upsource, says, “Investing time in a relationship is so hard when you want a VA to give you time back. A great relationship, however, is built on communication, trust, and feedback. Setting aside, at least in the beginning, time to communicate with your VA is key. If you have the right VA, they are NOT just there to delegate low-level tasks; they can work with you to free up your time on your business needs”.
6. Ensuring data security and privacy
It is necessary to secure the safety and confidentiality of your data while dealing with virtual assistants. Use encrypted communication and file-sharing software while keeping a confidentiality agreement in effect. You can utilize password-protected files and encrypted chat applications to ensure private data.
What is Outsource School?
Outsource School helps you unlock virtual assistants’ potential and accelerate your business growth.
Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.
Hiring and collaborating with full-time virtual assistants may considerably help entrepreneurs and enterprises by improving productivity, lowering burden, and offering access to specialized talents. But searching for the right virtual assistant while efficiently working with them requires committing to certain best practices. Then, businesses can employ virtual assistants to their total capacity and take their activities to the next level.