1 Work out what type of support you need – with email, bookkeeping, fielding calls, social media, marketing, preparing documents/templates, setting up meetings, writing blogs? Do you need regular support or on an ad hoc or even one off basis?
2 Ask people for recommendations/suggestions. Even if they haven’t used a virtual assistant themselves they are likely to know someone who does, or who has met one.
3 Have a look at their website, look at the services they offer and at any testimonials. Check out their LinkedIn profile, as that will give you more of a feel for their character and may show some mutual connections. (Although I am based in Hertfordshire nearly all my clients are local!).
4 Meet IRL or virtually. You need to know you can work together and most VAs will happily agree to this (I offer a 1 hour free consultation). It may be that you aren’t the right fit or in fact you need a different type of business support.
5 Check out their relevant experience, accreditations and qualifications.
6 Ask if they have business insurance – they should have VA Professional Indemnity, Employer’s Liability and Public Liability.
7 Check that they are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. VAs handle lots of personal data and should be registered.
8 If they do bookkeeping ask if they are registered with HMRC in line with the anti-money laundering regulations (not all VAs who do this work need to be registered).
9 Ask about how they keep your business information (including passwords) safe. I use a password manager which generates complex passwords and stores them safely.
10 Once you have found a great fit obtain a reference for them.
It’s a good idea to start off with a trial period to see how you both find it. Hopefully you will find your business angel who will help your business soar!
If you would like to know about Blue Skies Virtual Assistant please do get in touch!