On first contact with your VA, introduce yourself and your company, encourage the VA to check out your website and company profile, explain what your company does, so that the VA has some background knowledge of who you are and what you do and the workings of your company in brief.
When selecting a VA go for a VA with experience behind her (most VAs have office administration/management experience from working in the corporate world). For a VA to be an asset to your company you need them to be experienced and for them to be able to work on their own, ask for references/testimonials. Look at the set of skills and what experience your VA has. Not every client finds their ideal VA the first time, sometimes it takes a few VAs to find the right fit for you and your company.
A VA does not have a CV, a VA is not job hunting, she runs her own company and will provide you with a company profile/bio/brochure/website, about me page/Linked in and Facebook profiles in place of the CV. A VA will not be your employee, she is a business owner.
A VA can work with you but not for you. A VA can charge different ways, hourly, per task, retainer (block of her time), package and monthly. Each VA will charge different. For an adhoc task a VA may ask for a deposit before starting the task and for a large transcription job.
Keep in contact with your VA often; if you don’t see her, you can have conference calls via Skype. Your VA must let you know if she experiences any problems with your work or problems that will affect your work like load shedding (South Africa). I like to keep in touch with my clients via WhatsApp, its the quick way to react when work is urgent or the client needs to communicate something quickly to me
Check with your VA what their availability is as this is very important when you want to give urgent work or want to be in touch with them. Some VAs will work business hours and others will work 24/7 within reason, it’s important to know this. Some VAs will only take calls at specific times, check this out.
If you require your VA to do urgent work, let them know as soon as you know about the urgent work, don’t let it lie, the VA will need to schedule her other work load around this, especially so if the VA works for other clients.
Your VA might not just work exclusively for you, she may have other client’s, and her work may have to be juggled. But this is her problem not yours, an experienced VA will be able to schedule their work.
Your VA may ask you to sign a client agreement form and a confidentiality form. A VA must adhere to your company policy and procedures with regards to your company documentation, confidentiality and work etc.
VAs have office experience and are used to working with Bosses, this experience has assisted them when running their own companies.
A VA and her client must build up trust between them to forge a good working relationship, both must trust and respect each other. A Good VA can be an asset to your company.
The procedures are: you send the work to your VA, she will then do the work and send it back to you and she will invoice either on completion or monthly depending on your agreement.
If a VA needs to use a subcontractor she should disclose this to you, so that you are aware that others will be doing your work. The subcontractor will have no contact with you the client, she will do the work through the VA and only have contact with the VA. If the subcontractor tries to contact you, let the VA know. Sometimes subcontractors try to contact the clients if they have the details via the work they are doing, to try to come in with a lower rate, just be wary of this. There is a reason why people subcontract, they don’t want to deal with the clients, they are not experienced enough in being a VA as yet and they want to learn from the VA.
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