Virtual Assistance: How to select for your small business need?

Virtual Assistance

Virtual assistance is the most efficient way to get one’s business up and running in no time. Even for established business owners, this relatively new operational paradigm offers various advantages over more conventional methods. By hiring a virtual assistant, the administrative demands of a business, including bookkeeping, appointments, and even academic and non-academic research can be handed over to professionals, while the owner can concentrate solely on the strategic, money-making aspects. The difficult part, as with any other initiative, is searching for the right person, in this case the most qualified and suitable virtual assistant, to effectively accomplish the job.

The Internet is the best place to start this search. But since a general web search using Google, Bing or Yahoo engines is apt to result in a number of irrelevant entries, the first task is to break down the search into prospective target areas. These include virtual assistance companies, networks and directories. It is essential to find out which of these suits one’s needs the best. For example, a virtual assistance company has the advantage of providing a group of professionals who specialize in diverse business needs. As an example, if one’s business requires, say, extensive bookkeeping on one hand, and web development on the other, it is unlikely that a single virtual assistant can accomplish both. A company in this field has a distinct advantage here, as the business owner is offered a team, one member of which can be a virtual secretary, and another a web developer. Networks , Freelance websites ( like Elance , Guru etc ) and directories have their own advantages, which can be researched online.

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Once the ideal pool among the three is selected, the next task is to sift genuine virtual assistants from scammers. The best indication of a company’s authenticity is to check if it is licensed. That alone is enough evidence of its legality. As for individuals in virtual assistance networks and directories, reviews, qualifications and past records must be checked. If one’s peers have used the services of such assistants before, it is advisable to consult them in order to shortlist the satisfactory performers. This is the time-taking part of the selection process, as no straightforward method exists to find the most suitable virtual assistant. In fact, one may risk appointing a virtual assistant after a preliminary sorting process, and see how competent the performance is. This may sound like trial and error, but it is perhaps the only feasible way out for new business owners or entrepreneurs who do not have sufficient industry contacts. Besides, it is only through mistakes that one can truly enrich one’s experience.

Selecting a competent virtual assistance company or individual is made easier if one is aware of one’s precise needs. For instance, if a blogger is required, then the exact kind of writing expected (creative, technical etc.) with the relevant standards for the same are recommended pieces of information to have. There are several forums that cater specifically to virtual assistant requirements, and using highly specific search criteria on these can yield good results in less time. Finding out the reliable forums is, of course, a matter of research and feedback again.

Author: Tanusree Roy, Lead researcher at Ennovation Consulting, providing exclusive health research supports to US clients .She is managing virtual assistance team at Ennovation .

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