If you've never worked with a VA before and you're not sure where to start, hopefully this can point you in the right direction. But as always, if you can't find the information you're after, don't hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.
What exactly is a Virtual Assistant?
In most cases, a Virtual Assistant (VA) is a business owner and ABN holder who works (generally) from their own fully equipped home office, performing specialised roles for their clients. VAs work from their own office and communicate with clients via telephone, email, IM, SMS, Skype or even snail mail and fax!
VAs are fully responsible for the cost of their own computers and equipment, as well as the maintenance of their office. They are also responsible for their own professional insurances, taxes and superannuation. This saves clients all of the costs associated with full time employees - no payroll tax, super, holiday pay, sick leave, equipment purchase and capital expenditure, minimising the risk and capitalising on the VAs wealth of experience!
I've never used a VA before, what can I do to make it a successful relationship?
The key to engaging a VA is to know how to COMMUNICATE, and how to DELEGATE!
Obviously any relationship that is based on trust takes time to build. But the key to a successful working relationship with a VA, or at least in our experience, is to delegate, and don't try to micro-manage.
A VA isn't an employee; you're not watching over their shoulder all the time. Rather, you are hiring a business owner who is an independent specialist. You need to be able to effectively communicate what you need done, provide your VA with all of the information they will need (ie: access to files, emails, passwords) and then let them get on and do it!
Whilst the relationship is building, you could start by delegating smaller tasks or projects, and once you have developed a level of trust and confidence in your VA (which shouldn't take long) you can confidently start handing over more and more.
Pretty soon you'll wonder how you ever managed without your VA!
Remember: Delegate, delegate, delegate!
What happens if I indicate a time frame for a job, and the task takes more or less than what I thought?
This can happen, and we're very efficient here at Day2Day VA so we often complete tasks before time! We bill in 15 minute increments, and we only charge for the time we work. If the expectation was for 10 hours and it only took 5, we only charge for 5. We're not interested in stretching out a task unnecessarily, we want our clients to be happy and to realise that engaging Day2Day VA is a financially smart decision.
If a task is going to take significantly longer than originally anticipated (and budgeted for) we'll call you as soon as possible and let you know. We won't exceed your budget without your prior approval so there will be no nasty surprises.
What do you charge for your services?
We try to keep our fee structure as basic and uncomplicated as possible so that you always know how much you're going to pay. We charge a flat rate of $55 / hour (+GST) for all of our services. We invoice our clients fortnightly, on the 1st and 16th of the month, and our terms are 7 days. We round up or down to the nearest 15 minutes, and all of our invoices are accompanied by a detailed timesheet so you can see exactly where our time is being spent.
How do I know my information is safe with you?
We work for many clients, and we have access to a lot of private information. We don't make light of this, and we are very serious about your security, and the security of the information you provide to us. All passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information are stored in a secure and encrypted password "vault" for the duration of our working relationship. At the end of our engagement, all of this information is returned to you before we delete it from our systems. We can also set up the same vault system for you, and in fact we encourage this, so that passwords can be securely shared with us, whilst still allowing you to maintain control over them. Ask us about this if you're interested in finding out more.
Who will be doing my work?
The majority of your work will be done by Lia, but we do work with a number of other fabulous Virtual Assistants who help us out during extremely busy times. So we may outsource some of your work to one of our other partners, but we will always communicate this with you so that you're aware.
I'm sold! So how do I get started?
We'd love to work with you! As a starting point, we send out our "Work for Hire" agreement, which sets out the terms and conditions of our working relationship. Once this is signed we're ready to go. We'll need to spend a bit of time setting up - ensuring that we have access to all of the systems we will need in order to assist you (your company email, filing system, passwords etc). We typically schedule in a weekly WIP call, on a Monday or Tuesday, so that we know what your expectations are for the week, and we can feed back to you what we're working on and how we're progressing. It's that simple!