So, you’re finally ready to take the plunge and hire a VA. You have peers that rave about how wonderful their VA is and you’ve gotten some referrals. If you’ve never worked with a VA before you may be wondering what to ask during that initial phone call to make sure you’re a good match. The following are ten questions that will assist you in choosing the right VA for your business.

1.       Why did you decide to become a VA? Was it to earn extra money? Because they had tried other business that didn’t work and this was the next option? Or was it because they have a passion for helping others be successful? The answer you get will give you an indication as to whether the VA would be in it for the long haul or here today, gone tomorrow.

2.       What did you do before you became a VA?
The answer to this question will give you a clue as to the skill set of the VA. If previous occupations or businesses don’t relate to what she offers in her VA business, ask if she has had training in those areas either in the course of her work history or through classes.

3.       How do you manage working with multiple clients? Having multiple clients requires tremendous focus and organization. When you invest in working with a VA you should feel that you are a priority and that the projects you delegate are going to be done in a timely manner.

4.       What is your style of working? Does the VA have specific working hours? Does she work weekends? Does she plan and schedule her work ahead of time or just randomly work on projects whenever the mood strikes? Does she work best during the morning hours or is she a night owl? Does she have kids at home and works around their schedule? What kinds of tools does she use in her business to manage everything (i.e. project management software, mindmaps, Outlook, Google Docs, day planners, etc:)?

5.       What are some of your favorite things to do in your business? “I like doing everything” is not an acceptable answer. Even VAs have tasks and projects they like less than others. Finding out what a VA is passionate about doing will give you insight as to what kinds of projects you might delegate to her. If you give her a lot of things she doesn’t enjoy doing, chances are you’re not going to get as much bang for your buck when it comes to executing those tasks.

6.       What do you not like doing?
Again this answer will give you an idea of what kinds of things you could easily delegate that your VA would enjoy working on. If you are planning on having her code your website but she’s not html savvy or doesn’t like doing it, then it’s probably going to take longer than you would like and maybe even not be done correctly.

7.       How do you keep track of your time? If you are going to spend your hard earned money on working with a VA, you need to know how she keeps track of her time so that you are not getting overcharged. Most VAs have a time tracking tool when working on client projects whether it is a simple kitchen timer or sophisticated project management software. For example, I use an online service called ClientSpot which allows me to keep track of all of my client projects, track the time spent on each project, share files and calendars with clients and clients can also delegate tasks and projects to me. I can download reports from the software to send my clients so that they can see what projects their hours are being applied to.

8.       How do you prefer to communicate? Since communication is so vital when working with a VA it’s important to find a method of communicating that works best for both of you whether it’s phone, email, text, Skype or another method.

9.       How does your billing work? Some VAs offer prepaid packages while others work on an hourly basis. There are some that offer both of these. Normally, prepaid packages are paid for before service begins and the hours are valid for a period of thirty days or whatever the VA’s policy is. Hourly clients are usually billed monthly or twice per month. Knowing how a VA manages her billing will allow you to budget your money properly and avoid surprise invoices.

10.       What form of payment do you accept?
This varies with each VA. Ask your potential VA what method of payment she prefers whether it’s check, money order or PayPal. Some VAs also accept credit cards so that might be another option for you.

In addition to getting answers to the above questions, remember working with a VA is a partnership. Be open to offering information and answering any questions a VA might have about your business. The more information you both have the closer you are to a match made in virtual heaven.   Good Luck!

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