Hire a Virtual Assistant - UK VA
I was recently invited to speak at a Networking Event by the lovely Sarah Summers of Mad Hatters Accountancy. 
 
I was recently invited to speak at a Networking Event by the lovely Sarah Summers of Mad Hatters Accountancy, in Newport Pagnell. I jumped at the chance to share my experience and insight into how to hire the right Virtual Assistant! 
 
We had such lovely feedback on the session so, I thought it would be useful to share with you how it went and what the key themes of the session were. 
 
Being a business owner is overwhelming at times, a frequent conversation I have with over-worked and stressed out business owners starts with, 
 
“I know I need help; I just don’t know how or with what”. 
 
I’m going to elaborate below on what exactly you need to do in this situation to: 
 
1. Choose the perfect Virtual Assistant for you and your business 
2. Figure out what you need your Virtual Assistant to do which will help you make it a profitable and productive relationship 
During my speaker session, I led a quick exercise which you can also do at home! Grab some post its and write down WHO you LOVE to work with. This could be anything from personality to specific skills or traits. 
 
It’s important to take the time and headspace to think about this, after all you are the most important part of your business. Your time is precious. So, if someone is freeing up your time, that would make them the second most important part of your business - so it has to be right! 
 
To give you an idea, a few of the main themes that came out from this exercise on the day were; 
 
• like minded 
• open minded 
• people with integrity 
• honest people 
• positive and vibrant 
• ‘can do attitude’ 
• enthusiastic 
• motivated and driven 
• professional yet approachable and friendly 
 
The attributes you’ve noted down are all things to consider when hiring a VA. Whether you’re outsourcing or not people are the greatest asset and risk to your business. If you hire wrong, it’s problematic, painful and expensive! 
The best VAs are well networked. They’re resourceful and work hard to develop profitable professional relationships with suppliers as well as their clients. A VAs professional network, client base and industry experience should all be considered. Will they will be able to help you source and vet new suppliers. In addition, do they work with people or industries you want to get involved with. 
 
There are also many more practical things to cover off when looking at working with a professional VA such as: 
 
1. Registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) 
2. Registration with HMRC for anti-money laundering, if applicable 
3. A privacy/data protection policy 
4. Professional insurances 
5. A contract or service agreement 
6. Pricing, fees and comitment  
7. Their capacity, working hours and turnaround times 
8. Skills and experience. 
So now you know what you should be looking for in a Virtual Assistant but we still need to decide what you want them to do! 
 
It’s crucial to take the time to invest in a relationship with a Virtual Assistant - it doesn’t matter how good they are, they aren’t going to fix your problems overnight without your input, instruction and support. 
 
Here’s some of my top tips on how to figure out what you need a Virtual Assistant to do which will all help you make it a profitable and productive relationship: 
 
1. A good old fashioned to do list! Keep a list throughout your working week of what you do and how long it takes. It’s a good idea to review this list at the end of the week and ask yourself – could someone else do these tasks? This forms the start of your VA’s possible ‘to do’ list 
 
2. The next step is a little more involved but very worthwhile. With the tasks you’ve identified as possible work for a VA, start writing or recording audio instructions or perhaps even prepare a video tutorial of yourself performing these jobs - whatever floats your boat. 
 
3. Once you have a list of jobs, you know how long they take and you’ve got some sort of instructions - you’re almost ready to go! 
 
Last but by no means least I have one last tip I’d like to share with you - COMMUNICATION IS KEY! 
 
No matter how much experience your perfect Virtual Assistant has, they won’t be able to read your mind. At the start of the relationship be sure to agree your preferred methods of communication and how often you need to speak. The more you communicate with your Virtual Assistant the more value they’ll be able to bring. 
 
Thank you for reading and if you’d like to explore working with a professional Alchemy Virtual Assistance then we’d love to here from you, get in touch 
 
Suzy 
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