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Tag Archives: virtual professional

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How Important is the Location of Your Virtual Professional?

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friendly female helpline operatorEven though the entire point of hiring a Virtual Professional is that they’re, well…virtual, you may find the location of your VA to be a very important part of finding a great fit for your company.

Your services may need to be delivered at a certain time.

Some businesses need their Virtual Assistants to be available during business hours in certain time zones.  Example:  I currently work with Company A, which is based on the East Coast, and that company has a number of tasks they need to be completed within EST business hours.  I also work with Company B, a West Coast based company, and the time difference isn’t an issue because my primary duty there is content creation.  I don’t work with any overseas companies at the moment, but take into consideration a company based in a time zone 12 hours from your own.  You’d have to stay up until the wee hours of the morning just to have a conversation about the day’s tasks.

There may be language barrier. 

If you’re like me and have a difficult time understanding people with thick accents, you’re not going to work well with someone overseas even in parts of your own country.  In the United States, a person based in Georgia is likely to have a pretty heavy Southern drawl.  Many people in New Jersey and New York City talk like Tony from the Sopranos.  (Nothing against Tony –some of my own family members speak like that!)  When you’re working closely with a VA, this may make a difference to you.

VAs charge based on what they need to live. 

It’s a common misconception that many Virtual Assistants overcharge.  Let’s take a look at this for a second.  In NY, I pay approximately 30% of my income to the IRS and the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.  Then I pay for health insurance, which is priced based on the state and even county that I live in.  Once you figure just those two numbers in, I need to charge about ten dollars more than minimum wage to just make minimum wage.  This doesn’t count things like office supplies, the internet bill, phone charges, and a plethora of other standard costs of running a business from home.  On the same token, someone living in the middle of Manhattan where the cost of living is even higher than it is in Upstate NY may charge double what I do.  They may not even have as much experience as me, the skills I have, or even the charming personality.  However, they have a rent or mortgage and need to buy groceries just like everyone else, so they need to charge accordingly.

You may need your VA to come to you.

Many VAs like to take on local clients.  They can have local meetings, stop by the office to drop off and pick up work, and, depending on the nature of the business, may need to see something in person in order to be able to help.  Only you know if you’d like to have a local VA or not, but depending on your needs, this is also something you’ll want to keep in mind.

Before you sign a contract with your Virtual Professional, take some of these things into consideration.  Call your potential VA, set up a consultation (many of us do this for free!) and ask as many questions as you possibly can.  Communication is key, and sometimes you won’t even know if location will affect your relationship with a VA until you talk to one!

If you’d like to know how CRM can help build and maintain your business, fill out the contact form below for a free 15-minute consultation!


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10 Dos and Don’ts To Keep In Mind When Working With a Virtual Assistant

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10 Dos and Don'ts For Working With a Virtual Assistant

Despite what some business owners think, a Virtual Assistant does not sit on the couch, watch soap operas, and get paid for it.  We are professionals who work just as hard as any other business owner.  Working with a VA can make your business stronger, bigger, and more efficient.  However, because Virtual professionals are a fairly new thing, there are many business owners who think of a VA as an employee, which sets up the relationship for hurdles right from the beginning.

Below is a list of Dos and Don’ts to make your working relationship with a VA mutually beneficial.

  1. Do communicate. We may be excellent at what we do, but we are not mind readers.  If you don’t tell us what you need, we won’t know.
  2. Do tell us how much you appreciate us. Part of the reason we are in this business is because we want to help people.  A simple “thank you” goes a long way.
  3. Do respect our time. Rescheduling appointments with a VA means that they have to reschedule other people’s things too.  We often have full calendars and set that time aside specifically for you and your business.
  4. Do treat us as you would want to be treated. This goes along the lines of some of the above points, but keep in mind that we are business owners, just like you.  We appreciate being treated as such.
  5. Do recommend us to your colleagues. Many times, business owners have a great VA and are afraid to tell others, because they might “lose” them to someone else.  The truth is that we appreciate referrals, and if we don’t have time to take on a new client, we probably know another amazing VA that does.
  6. Don’t call us at 10pm to assign a task unless we have specifically told you that this is okay. We need rest to be efficient for the benefit of your business.
  7. Don’t expect us to forego Thanksgiving dinner because your website is down. If we do leave our family dinner to help you (and many of us will), consider it to be an emergency and be prepared to pay extra for that.  If your pipes burst and you had to call a plumber on Thanksgiving, you would be charged an emergency fee as well.
  8. Don’t tell us that you can pay someone else less to do the same thing. If you don’t value your VA, someone else will.
  9. Don’t expect us to drop another client’s work to work on your things. If the situation was reversed, you wouldn’t want us to drop your work for someone else’s either.
  10. Don’t haggle prices. Virtual Assistants save companies a LOT of money on overhead, taxes, and insurance.  We pay for all of those ourselves.  So before you say a VA’s salary is high, take into account how much your business is saving in the long run.

A Virtual Assistant is one of the best investments you can make in your business.  If you’d like to know how a VA can help your business grow and flourish, fill out the form below for a free consultation.

 

 


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