When you are used to running a busy virtual office in central London the concept of ‘being virtual’ is a very seductive one. For many small businesses and start ups the natural progression from having virtual office is to have virtual assistants (VAs) scattered in low income countries. Used correctly, this type of support staff can provide a big plus for your business and allow you to delegate many routine tasks such as research and data cleaning.
So how do you find a VA? This is the easiest part as there are websites that let you find and employ a limitless number of experienced part time staff who will charge you an hourly rate way below their counterparts in the UK. The easiest site to go looking on is Upwork which has a well organised sysstem for locating the part time staff of your dreams. In a later blog post I will give tips on how to advertise for a vA and how to go through the virtual interview procedure with them. In this short post I want to show you a video I made that sets out my top tips for working effectively with a VA based on the other side of the world. In my experience the key to successfully dealing with virtual staff is to be friendly and considerate to them. Just because they live far away and your contact is on skype or email you should be as polite as if they were in the next office. The worst thing you can do is take a tone of ‘western superiority’ which will ensure you get the minimum return from your investment. Treat them as you would any loyal office colleague and you will understand why virtual is best.