To ensure that you are getting the maximum value for money, follow our 14 tips to get the most out of your virtual PA!

The business world has started to change its view on virtual services. Outsourcing tasks to a virtual assistant can have a direct impact on a company’s success – their management team has more time to devote to their primary roles whilst the business gains access to a wider range of skills without the costs of employing more people.

Follow our tips below if you want to get the most out of your virtual PA:

1. The first thing you should ask is, “how stable is their business?”. You will want an assistant or company that will not leave you in the lurch should anything go wrong, especially if they hold any of your confidential data.

2. Next, check that your virtual PA is who they say they are. You can easily do this via an online search on the likes of LinkedIn.

3. Just as you would if you were holding interviews, ask your virtual PA what industry knowledge they have. If possible, try to obtain testimonials to support this – these should help you understand how they will support you, the client.

4. Ask yourself, what tasks can your virtual personal assistant manage to alleviate your workload? This may seem like an obvious question, but in reality, a lot of clients find it difficult to answer.

5. What is your business currently paying for the tasks you want to outsource? The majority of companies who do not currently have a virtual PA often do not give an accurate answer to this as they forget to include overhead costs and downtime of an employee. Having this knowledge will help you to understand the value that you are gaining from having a virtual assistant.

6. What hours do you need them to be available? Ensure that you hire a personal assistant that can fulfill this requirement.

7. It is important to check what service level your virtual assistant offers. Do you want a company that can offer you seamless integration, or do you want a cheaper service that will not offer the same level of service? You may want your virtual assistant to interact with your customer therefore, you will need to ensure they match your brand image.

8. How will you be supported if your virtual PA cannot work or does not have the skills needed to complete a task? Market leading virtual assistant companies tend to offer you access to a large pool of personal assistant should you need them.

9. Are the payment terms suitable? Some companies will tie you into a 12-month contract, whilst some will offer you hourly rates. Hourly rates can offer poor value for money as relationships between assistant and client tend to be weaker, therefore the quality of work produced may not offer you the insight needed. You may also find that you avoid delegating tasks to your virtual PA as costs can creep up quickly.

10. How do you like to communicate? Do you want an assistant that you will only communicate with via email, telephone call or Skype? Or do you want someone you can also meet on occasion? Ensure your virtual assistance service can meet your requirements.

11. If you require your virtual assistant to handle confidential information, it is important that you get them to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement or confidentiality agreement. If they refuse, see this as a red flag. Additionally, check that they have secure IT systems in place.

Once you have chosen a suitable virtual PA, follow these tips to get the most out of their time:

12. Ask for regular updates on the progress of their tasks. The best PAs should send you regular reports – some assistants may be able to give you access to technology that gives you a clear breakdown of what your assistant has been working on.

13. For project work and hourly rates, ask your assistant for a breakdown of the costs charged.

14. Ensure that your virtual PA gives you timely responses to any calls and emails. Establish SLAs and response times prior to engaging with their services.

Do you want to find out more about how SmartPA can help you and your business? Find out more here.