So how does this VA thing really work?
So you’re ready to get some help? Or you’re at least entertaining the idea as you stare wildly from one task to another not sure of what to start first. Firstly, congratulations to you! Business is doing well which means you’ve got less time for the tedious tasks that you really don’t enjoy doing anyway. This blog is to help you visualise the transition from sole business owner to sole business owner…with a VA!
Your first step is to decide what sort of VA you’d like to work with. We come in all shapes and sizes, so a little bit of research may be required here on your part as to what kind of support you need. I wrote another blog about How to Choose the VA for You which you might want to start with before we delve any deeper here.
However, if you think you’ve found ‘The One’ let me share with you how it’s going to work.
Some clients already know how many hours they want to give to a VA. Other clients aren’t sure and that’s OK. On your initial consultation call (which most VAs usually offer for free) you can share what tasks you’re ready to hand over. Your prospective VA will then go off and estimate how long that will take them and how much that will cost. You can then decide if this is within your budget or if you need to make adjustments, and maybe prioritise what you need doing.
Most VAs work on a retainer basis which means we agree a set amount of hours that we hold for you and your work each month. This helps us organise our time and ensures we always have enough hours each month for all of our clients. Something to note is that most VA’s work on a Use It or Lose It basis, so if you agree a retainer of 5 hours a month, but only use 3, you will still be billed for it, because your VA reserved that time for your work, and possibly turned other work down because of it.
At the other end of the scale if you get close to your monthly hours, your VA will call you and let you know, so you have the choice to continue and pay the extra or to hold off until the following month, depending on your budget. I usually drop my clients a line when they’ve got around 45 minutes of their retainer left, and I can usually judge how much more time is needed so you can make an informed decision.
Depending on what sort of tasks you hand over, you may need to set your VA up with an email address. For example, I work as an Exec PA for one of my clients. I have to set up many appointments for her and deal with numerous contacts on a daily basis so it just looks slicker that the correspondence comes from firstname.lastname@example.org instead of my Tanit email address. Or you may need to set them up as another use on your CRM system, or your accounting software. Sometimes…and don’t tell the IT Helpdesk…you may have to hand over a password or two SSHHHH!! But any VA worth their salt will have a digital password locker that encrypts passwords. Lets just say I could not live without my password locker!
As your VA gets used to your work and starts to ‘get’ your brand voice, you’ll probably find yourself wondering what you ever did before they came along, and you’ll find yourself having the confidence to hand more stuff over to them, thus giving you even more time to do your best work with your clients.
I hope that shed a little light onto how to get started with a VA, but if you still have questions please give me a shout. I’m happy to help!