Virtual Assistants or “VA’s” can offer remote support to anyone that does not have access to a group or company administrative assistant. I will present tips on how to hire a VA as well as where to find them. VA’s come in different varieties. You can get someone cheap (think India) to someone expensive with a lot of experience and skills. Depending on your needs and time horizon, it’s better to get an inexpensive VA for simple tasks. If your needs are immediate, and you don’t have time to bring a VA up to speed, it’s better to go with an expensive US-based VA that already has the skills you require now.
First off, where do you find a Virtual Assistant? There are many online resources and companies to choose from. More and more are popping up all over the world every day. US-based VA’s will run anywhere from $20-$100 per hour. US-based VA can be found here:
www.elance.com (Also handles International)
Indian VA’s will run anywhere from $3.00-$18.00 per hour. India-based VA’s can be found here:
The benefits of a remote VA across the world is that they work while you sleep, and cheaper than a US-based VA’s. As with all VA’s, make sure you set a task rate (cost per task) or an hour cap for the tasks you assign. Otherwise, you can get into a real financial trouble if your VA is slow working and using your hourly budget fast. My choice would be to get a rate per task cost. Make sure to give your VA exact directions and exact task list so there is no misunderstandings. Assign each task in order of relevance or priority. An example of a home office business task list includes: Word processing, expense reports, travel, bookkeeping, sales reports, bill paying, PDF file conversion, custom mailings, database entry, meeting schedule, faxing, invoicing, even proofreading.
The great thing about hiring a VA is that there is no onsite employee, which means no liability, no worker’s comp insurance, and no payroll taxes to calculate. Everyone is an independent service provider. Lastly, hire a VA that is working within a company that specializes in virtual assistants so that if your VA is sick or out on vacation, there is a backup person to fill in their place. That is a key benefit to hiring a company that specializes in VA’s.