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.
Before they became clients, I had met many of our clients at networking events numerous times. We had gotten to know one another, determining whether we had the same values and actually liked each other long before we started working together. However, with other clients, we may have met only once or never! Sometimes you have to go on instinct and see if you ‘click’ from the first email or conversation.
So how do you know if you can trust your chosen Virtual Assistant? 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 Virtual Assistants 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 your own clients, on social media, or via email for example.
Check out the testimonials from previous clients. These may be on the Virtual Assistant’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 Virtual Assistants 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 and are they GDPR compliant? 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 Virtual Assistant has won or has 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 and you like them, 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 would like to talk to us about how we might be able to support you and help you to find the space to grow your business, call us on 07814 218142 or email email@example.com