I'd like to consider virtual assistants or maybe a personal assistant. Who has had luck with these…are some better than others?
Carol from Nebraska
Knowing how to build your team is a critical choice. The other day, I shared some thoughts on different types of people that you could bring into your powerhouse, kick-butt team.
I'm going to share a few more thoughts today on virtual assistants and personal assistants, but my hope is that you'll chime in on the comments and share your thoughts too.
Virtual Assistant vs. Personal Assistant
I have worked with Virtual Assistants (VAs) for many years. A personal assistant and a VA may or may not be the same service provider depending on what you want.
If you are looking for someone to be your “girl Friday” and pick up dry cleaning, do shopping, take care of the filing, as well as help with email newsletters and scheduling appointments, then a personal assistant is really a better choice. Personal assistants are usually located in the same community that you live in.
A VA does not have to be in the same community or even the same country! Maybe you need someone to triage your email, send out newsletters or keep your shopping cart current. If the list of things you want/need to have completed does not depend on physical location, then a VA is a great consideration.
Of Course Some Are Better than Others
Like all industries, there are going to be people that are excellent at what they do and others that deliver poorly. As with all employment relationships, the real key is to understand and set expectations. Once you have that down, then you hire a VA in a very similar way that you would hire an employee. Never just pick the first person that comes along.
Each VA has his/her own set of skills and specialties. Identify your specific needs and then start the hiring process. Become familiar with the skills of the individuals you are talking to.
Interview prospects and talk with references. As you are checking references, ask specifics about the work that the person did. Just because someone did a fantastic job for your friend updating WordPress does not mean that they would be awesome at transcription.
People that work with VAs have to be able to communicate clearly. You are working virtually. If you are the type of person that wants someone to read their mind, then a VA will not be the right choice.
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