by Manisha Dhalani
So why did I choose to go to VA-SG?
Because they answered the questions in my favour and even asked me the right questions back.
Here listed, in my opinion, are the three key questions to ask before making your decision:
1. How many clients of my nature have you worked with before?
As a writer, I needed to be sure that the VA I go for has an idea of how writers operate. We’re an eccentric bunch of people that can go completely quiet at one point and have odd requirements from proofreading to formatting a Kindle e-book at another.
I checked with the VAs I spoke to if they had worked with writers before. Some of the associated questions included:
- What were the services you provided the writers with?
- Did you work with them on a project or retainer basis?
- How fast did you usually deliver the tasks required by the previous writers?
- What tasks for writers, in your experience, take a longer time than others?
To summarise, I wanted to know if they knew what they were getting into if I hired them. Would they know what I mean by proofreading? Would they take one hour or one week to help me format a document? What would they need more time to do so I could adjust my schedules accordingly?
Ask task-related questions based on the nature of your work. That way, you will be able to manage the expectations of both parties upfront.
2. Can you run me through your daily work process?
The reason for asking this question is to get an idea of how overwhelmed your virtual assistant is. Is he/she drowning in a pile of tasks, won’t it in turn make it difficult for them to complete yours?
This question should also answer another vital point: what are your VA’s operating hours? They are human too, so 24 hours is crazy, but you need to know when they are in front of their computers and when they aren’t. It’s even more important to know this if your VA lives in a different time zone. You don’t want to be waiting impatiently for a task to be completed at 3 p.m. your time, when it’s actually 3 in the morning for them and they’re probably fast asleep.
With VA-SG, I get the comfort of knowing that they operate in the same time zone and hours that I do. This way, I manage my anxiety of having to wait on someone for a task that is too daunting to be done myself but needs to be completed anyway.
3. What is your preferred mode of communication?
Newsflash: A virtual assistant is not going to meet with you to go through every single one of your project briefs. That’s why they’re “virtual”.
What you do need to check is how they communicate – do they have their own communication tool? Do they prefer black and white discussion via emails? How often should you Skype them for progress check-ins?
I am personally not a phone person so I prefer email communication best. For urgent requests, I send my allocated VA a message on her phone to warn her of incoming work that needs to be seen to ASAP. This way, we give each other ample warning of to-dos and deliverables.
Read: Ease Communication With Your VA
The three questions above are great benchmarks to begin with. Go with the VA you are most comfortable it. However, bear in mind that, over time, as your nature of work and relationship with your chosen VA progresses, you may have to tweak your expectations and manage your schedules accordingly. Keep communication open yet recorded to avoid misunderstandings.
Want to know how VA-SG can operate to suit your business needs? Email us today.
About The Author
Manisha Dhalani is a freelance content manager who, if not found with her head buried in a book, is usually busy trying to find ways to better the world with words that tug on the heart’s strings. Thanks to years of experience as a writer, editor and entrepreneur, she is also capable of using content to boost your business awareness and help you gain a competitive edge.
Visit her website at www.manishadhalani.com for more information.