1-Do your homework: check that your VA has an appropriate professional indemnity insurance in place. In the UK, it is recommended to be registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for data protection, a good practice for client’s confidentiality. An added bonus is a certification from a reputable VA industry body, all part of the credibility you need to build the trust.
2-Expectations: set your expectations from the start. As a client your control is over the direct result of the work, be clear on the tasks and the deadlines!
3-Communication: It is quite important when working remotely, to find a way of communication that will deliver results, whether via emails, Skype, weekly calls etc… You have to “click” with your VA, for the business relation to work successfully. A trial period is always recommended for both sides to find that productive common ground.
4-Rates: When choosing the right VA, the decision should not be driven by the hourly rate but by a professional and quality service. One of the advantages of hiring a Virtual Assistant is that it is a cost cutting exercise. It will always work out better value than hiring a full time employee.
5-Constant Improvement of Skills: Look for a VA with forward thinking, who is constantly investing in bringing new skills to clients. In a fast changing “cloud computing” landscape, a VA should be current.
Working with a virtual assistant is not a conventional business relationship. It can take some getting used to, but once you find a virtual assistant that fits your needs, the benefits are unlimited.