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Q for Questions

As a VA, we get asked questions all the time.

When I first started out as a VA, it wasn’t a very well-known industry.  I found that people had heard of virtual assistants but didn’t really know what or how.  Things have changed since the pandemic but, still, there are questions that need to be answered.

Here are the Top 3 I get asked.

So what is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is someone you can outsource a range of tasks to, freeing up your time to let you concentrate on your business and not get bogged down with the day-to-day admin and chores.

What can I outsource?

Well, it will depend on the skill set of the VA, but VAs offer services from typical PA duties (diary, inbox management etc), lifestyle tasks (so more personal / home admin), Social Media & blog creation and posting on the different platforms, bookkeeping (although ensure they are AML registered if you outsource this) as well as a whole raft of other things that VAs have skills in.

How does it work?

When you have identified your VA, and you are mutually suited, you will generally have an onboarding session where you both identify the areas you need help with straight away.  The VA will usually have an email address within your company if they’re going to contact your clients directly.  The VA will then tackle the tasks that need to be done.  You will evolve the tasks and requirements over time as you both build and grow.

Hands holding a Questions and Answers ison on white background.

A while back, I asked my Network Group, “If you could ask me a question about hiring a VA, what would it be?”

Here are a few of them…

I don’t need a VA all the time, how can I use your services?
Most VAs have ad hoc clients, so we can offer support to you as and when you require it.  I have a number of ad hoc clients that call as and when which I love, as it keeps me on my toes and I love that they come back time and time again.

What is your usual response time?
The response time is noted in my contract, but it does depend on the task required and other factors and clients’ requirements.  However, if the task is time critical, a conversation would be had, and the deadlines will be met*.
*within a reasonable time frame.

What is the minimum time per week I can hire you?
There is no minimum time.  All work is timed using time tracking software and you will be invoiced for the time taken to carry out the task.  Although, the first hour for new clients will be charged in full should the task take less than an hour.

What (top 3) services do you get asked to do?
“My inbox is out of control”.  This is something I can help with and will enjoy the challenge getting it under control and manageable.
“Social Media”.  Unfortunately, this is not something I offer as I don’t feel my skill set for this is of good enough quality to offer as a service.  I can certainly help find you an SM VA though.
“I have a Word document / PowerPoint that needs sorting”.  YES PLEASE, making things look neat and tidy makes my heart sing.🥰

Who would you consider your biggest competitor?
I don’t have competitors.  We are a collaborative industry, and we work together.  There is enough work for everyone. 

How do you prioritise your work for your clients?
It depends on what’s required and any deadlines that my clients have.  As long as all the tasks are completed in a timely manner everyone is happy.

How would you ensure that I don’t miss a phone call?
Unfortunately, I don’t offer a call answering service.  I can suggest a couple of companies that specialise in this area. 

If a client asked you, “how would you help me grow my business?”.  What would you do/say?
By outsourcing their day-to-day admin and other regular time-consuming tasks, they are then free to concentrate on their business (as they know it inside out), and grow.

How… Organise me!
What are you struggling with? 
Too many emails?  Invoices not issued?  Invoices not paid?  Leads not followed up?  When your pain point is identified, we can then look to see how to get you back on track.

What value can you offer a small business?
As a VA, not only do I offer practical support but can also be a sounding board and confidante.  Generally working on your own, you don’t have that person to bounce ideas off.  As a VA we do have that network, but often small businesses don’t and so we can add that to our list too.

How do I know when you are doing work for my business?
You don’t.  But the work will be done when it needs to be done.  If I’m not working on your business, you’ll be chasing me for the outstanding work… so if you don’t need to chase, the work is being done.

What are the average hours you work per client per week?
It depends on the client.  Anywhere between 30 minutes and 15 hours.

Do you have a minimum number of contracted hours per month?  Can this be variable?
No and Yes.  The usual way VAs charge is with an upfront retainer.  However, for me, it sits better to charge for my time used at the end of the month.  I have a few ‘retainer’ clients for whom I regularly do over 10 hours a month.  This does have its drawbacks of course, as some months are more hectic than others.  But that’s my choice and I’m happy with it.

How important is it for you to be able to check and challenge a client?
Again, it depends on the client.  Of course, we can bring fresh ideas and ways to do things but, personally, I think we need to get to know the business and the client before steamrolling in to change and challenge.

Are you able to run a CRM system to control email mailings?
Yes, however, this isn’t really my skill set as I feel this would come under the ‘Social Media’ remit.  I can of course keep a CRM up to date.  CRMs are only as good as the inputter.  If that’s shoddy then, in all honesty, there’s really no point in having one.

Can you organise people’s photo albums?
Of course.  I love to organise things, but be warned, nothing may be in the correct chronological order, but the album would look neat.

If you have any other questions or have repetitive admin tasks that you just don’t enjoy so you procrastinate over, then email me, let’s have a chat.

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