Hiring a virtual assistant and working remotely

Guest post from Claire Ann Digital

Hiring a virtual assistant can save you a lot of time. You can delegate tricky or time-consuming tasks and admin allowing you to focus on the bigger picture. But how does it work?

I’ve asked Claire Ann, of Claire Ann Digital to offer her advice on hiring and working with a virtual assistant.

Guest post from Claire Ann Digital

Hello there! I’m Claire Ann of Claire Ann Digital, a creative virtual assistance service. I work with my clients on everything from event management, social media to graphic design and all remotely from my dreamy setting of Donegal, Ireland. Claire has invited me into her blog to discuss what’s involved in hiring a virtual assistant (VA) or any type of remote contractor you may be looking for to boost your business.

Claire Ann Quigley, Creative Virtual Assistant

Claire Ann Quigley, Creative Virtual Assistant

Hiring a remote professional service online can be an intimidating process. It can be hard to know where to start and difficult to narrow down exactly what you are looking for. But there are real benefits for any type of small business or solo entrepreneur trying to balance it all on your own.

Define what you are looking for

With any small business, a helping hand of any kind is greatly appreciated but when paying for a service you want to be certain that this is something that will be of benefit. Define your tasks and review what you could hand over to someone else. This could be anything from organising the abundance of emails in your inbox, creating content for your social media, writing up monthly newsletters, or getting help sorting your website. Also, consider your budget as this can help to agree with the contractor the hours and work to be completed.

Do your research

Now that you know what you are looking for it’s time to figure out who to hire for the work. If you are part of any community, online or off, put it out there what you are looking for. It is likely someone in the community has had the same experience and make recommendations to you. You can also use some Facebook groups to put a call out that you are looking to hire but also a simple google search can point you in the right direction. Most VAs and online services will have a website where you can view their services and check out testimonials from previous clients.

www.claireanndigital.com

www.claireanndigital.com

Now that you know what you are looking for it’s time to figure out who to hire for the work. If you are part of any community online or off put it out there what you are looking for. It is likely someone in the community has had the same experience and make recommendations to you. You can also use some Facebook groups to put a call out that you are looking to hire but also a simple Google search can point you in the right direction. Most VAs and online services will have a website where you can view their services and check out testimonials from previous clients.

Chat it out

In your first initial email to a potential VA or contractor explain a bit about yourself, the business and outline what you are looking for. I recommend also including times you would be available for a Skype call as this is the best way to get to know someone. Even though you won’t be working side by side it is important that you get on and feel you can trust them with your business.

Even though you won’t be working side by side it is important that you get on and feel you can trust them with your business.

Have a contract in place

Even for the smallest of projects with clients, I put a contract in place. For me, it’s peace of mind to know all agreed actions are in one place and everyone has read and signed. The contractor may create their own contract for you to agree and sign but if not write up a simple one-page document to include an outline of the work, the agreed timescale, the agreed pay rate and payment method. I also like to include agreed communication methods and time frames as it is vital for remote projects to run smoothly, especially if the contractor is working with you a designated amount of hours per week.

Create an online base

Email is a great way of communication when working online with others but to avoid constant back and forth of information an online base for shared files is a necessity. Dropbox and Google Drive are great resources to look into if you are not already using them. Not only can you have a backup of all important files for your business it makes it simple to give file access to another person. If the project is for a longer period of time or involves a lot of moving parts a project management app can be a lifesaver so nothing falls through the cracks. Something like Basecamp or my favourite Asana are great options as all work can be accounted for and items can be ticked off in real time.

Make it a team effort

And my final advice, treat them like you would any other team member. Work together to find the most efficient way to complete tasks, include them in upcoming changes in your business or simply have a chat and a coffee over skype to get to know one another better. We are now living in a very exciting time where you can get the best person for the job no matter where they are in the world.

Thanks for reading and thank you, Claire, for allowing me over to your beautiful website. You can find me all over the internet on my website www.claireanndigital.com, on Instagram, Facebook and from time to time on Twitter.

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