Virtually Anything

Working With A VA-First In A Three Part Series

Posted by collinsadmin on February 26, 2008

Working with a VA – Before the Work Begins 

Many business owners do not understand how to work with a virtual administrative assistant (VA) – it is a fairly new industry, and involves fairly contemporary use of technology.  While many different variables can occur with each process there are some standards within the industry for working with a VA.

Before work can even begin, a virtual assistant should offer a consultation.  This consultation should be about learning about the potential client as well as giving the potential client the ability to learn about the VA.

 What a VA hopes to achieve 

  • Information about the potential client’s business such has what type of business, how long been in business, where the client would like their business to go, etc. This helps the VA offer more personalized service.
  • Challenges that the business is trying to overcome such as marketing, competition, administrative etc. This helps the VA know what services will benefit you most.
  • What the business owner expects from their virtual assistant. This information helps the VA meet those expectations more precisely.
  • The client’s personality type and compatibility, so the VA can work with the client more successfully.
  • Closing the deal – the last point of this meeting is generally an agreement to work together, if such a decision has been reached.

     What a consumer should hope to achieve 

  • Information about the VA’s background such as business, experience, history, client satisfaction, etc. This may have been given earlier, but here you have a chance to ask specifics.
  • How to work with a virtual assistant. A VA will let you know if they have an online back office for your convenience, whether project documents are typically emailed, and how, or in what manner project specifications are delivered and returned.
  • What to expect from the VA such as communications, project updates, etc. They may have a policy for deadlines, and usually have a policy for issuing updates or reports. You’ll also learn their billing and retainer policy.
  • The VA’s personality type and compatibility. You’ll learn whether you can work with this person, or if they just drive you nuts.
  • Getting the biggest bang for your buck. A good VA can offer suggestions for streamlining the work to keep it as affordable as possible.

Once the initial consultation has taken place it is then the VA and the clients’ responsibility to decide if the VAs services can benefit the client, if working with a VA is a right step for a client, if the clients needs are something that the VA can address and provide solutions for and most importantly if there is compatibility between the client and the VA.

Compatibility between the VA and the client is extremely important because if there is an issue of trust, micromanagement, or just two completely different personality types there may be issues in the future and then both the VA and client will be frustrated and nothing will get accomplished.

An initial consultation can take place over the phone, in person, or occasionally, by email. It is an important first step in beginning to work with a VA.

Working with a VA is not just a quick 10 minute process. It takes planning, consideration and dedication.  VAs are there to help businesses succeed for the long haul.

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