What to Look for in a Virtual Assistant

 In Blog

For most small businesses, one thing that’s almost always certain is change. And change requires adaptation. That means as your business evolves, so too must your operations if you want to survive. One strategy many SMBs implement to adapt to business growth while still keeping costs under control is to outsource certain tasks or roles as appropriate. Additionally, some businesses consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA).

If your SMB is looking to hire a virtual assistant, there are some important factors to consider before interviewing potential candidates.

  • Where is the VA located? If you’re hiring a foreign virtual assistant, consider whether the time change will have an impact on the work, if their communication and technical skills will meet your expectations, and if there are any business requirements unique to your SMB that could influence your hiring decision.

  • Do you have your standard operating procedures (SOP) documented? Keeping your business operating at peak performance requires you to routinely optimize processes. Business process optimization improves efficiencies in a given area and allows you to eliminate redundancies, streamline workflows, reduce errors and gain a competitive advantage by cutting the fat from your processes. Once you have implemented BPO, the next thing you should do is document your current processes so you can share them with your virtual assistant or other outsourced employee.

  • How will you pay the assistant? First, consider your budget and your needs. Then, assess the kind of payment structure that makes sense for the role. Will you pay hourly or on a per-task or per-project basis? Another option would be to create a retainer agreement in which the VA commits to a specified number of hours or tasks each month. Whichever payment method you choose, be sure to create a contract that details the agreement.

Knowing the answers to these questions is important for getting your relationship with a virtual assistant or other outsourced employee off to a good start. And as you consider the best ways for your growing SMB to maximize resources and streamline operations, keep in mind other opportunities for saving time, money and overhead, such as moving over to a PEO for your other stateside employees.

To learn more about streamlining your business and managing all things HR, benefits and risk management, come talk to us at The OIS Group.

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