Navigating the Murky Waters of the Virtual PA Industry with AVirtual
You’re convinced. A Virtual PA will be the quickest and easiest way to lighten your workload and make your work life and your personal life easier. Now what?
There are a lot virtual assistants out there. How do you find the right one for you? First off, you need to determine what your needs are. Ask yourself:
- What do you need help with? Make a list of everything you want your virtual assistant to tackle. Personal administration? Project management? Social media? Research? Be clear about what you are really looking for.
- Which needs are time sensitive? When do you need a quick turnaround and what can be put off until later? If you require quick action, then the time zone of your virtual assistant matters more.
- Is this a one-off project or ongoing work? If you need someone to help you with ongoing work, then consider how this will affect your budget. Also, if you plan on working together with your VA in the long term, you want to put more consideration into hiring someone you click with. Even if you aren’t able to meet over lunch, you will still have a very close working relationship.
- Do you need a native English speaker? Many virtual assistant companies operate overseas, mostly in the Philippines and India. How important is it to you that your VA speaks and writes as a native English speaker? Moreover, do you need them to be awake when you’re awake? Do they need to understand your cultural needs? If you want a virtual PA these are critical considerations
- How many hours per week will you need?You need to make sure your VA will be available to meet all your needs.
- Do you want consistent cover? Most VA’s operate as freelancers, what happens when they go on holiday, are sick or decide to drop you for a bigger client? You may want to consider using a company that supplies this back up cover for you instead of hiring someone through a platform that connects you to freelancers
- What is your budget? VA’s vary hugely in cost. This can be determined by where the VA is located, or specialised skill sets of the VA. Probably you want to get the most bang for your buck, without sacrificing quality.
The Virtual Assistant Industry is growing, Fast. Years ago, at wits end, I hired my first virtual personal assistant. The company I used was in America, and my assistant was brilliant. But the time difference was so big, that we could only speak in the late afternoons. I work best in the morning. Secondly, the bill for the work was steep. I was hooked on VA’s, but decided to explore new paths.
Naturally I was attracted to the lower cost of personal assistants in India and the Philippines. I interviewed two potential VA’s and never took the plunge. I had concerns. I needed someone who understood my specific cultural nuances, who spoke native English, and a perfect grasp of the English language was also necessary for the work I wanted them to do. Also, the time zone difference was an irritating issue in just setting up the interviews. It wasn’t working for me.
Most importantly I wanted a high quality virtual personal assistant that I could develop a long-term relationship with at a more reasonable cost, in or very close to my time zone. That is what I’ve created here in Cape Town with AVirtual. Our virtual pa’s are highly skilled professionals, native English speakers and come at an affordable price. This is a unique combination in this industry, and causing quite a stir. Drop us a line if you think we could be of service to you.