Virtual assistants (VAs) are no longer considered off-site secretaries. Today’s VAs do everything from event planning and graphic design to managing blogs and websites.
Here, four things to do before you hire one:
1. Meet (or do a video chat) first. It’ll give you a sense of her personality and how she approaches projects, suggests Jess Ostroff, who launched Don’t Panic Mgmt, a virtual agency, in 2011.
2. Spell out how you want to work. If you want your VA to take an idea and run with it, say so. Or if you’d rather micromanage, be clear about that, suggests Pat Williams, who started Cybercletch, a marketing management firm, in 2002.
3. Scout out the right price. Most VAs charge a retainer fee for a set number of hours per month along with an hourly fee that ranges from a couple of dollars (these VAs are generally working overseas) to $50 to $100. “VAs who serve as online business managers are paid on the higher end,” says Lisa Morosky, a virtual assistant and author of The Bootstrap VA.
4. Get it in writing. Prepare to sign a VA-provided contract that outlines expectations. She may want to interview you, too, to make sure she can provide you with all the services you need, adds Williams.