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Don't Make These Mistakes When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

women lying on couch with shoes and dressing gown on
She's hired a virtual assistant...

I’ve run my own Virtual Assistant business for 5 years now and in that time, I have worked with quite a few businesses from different sectors and all different sizes. My own observations and experiences have provided me with the opportunity to write about some common mistakes that can happen when a business starts not just the process of looking for a VA, but also when they are working with a VA.

So keep reading because I hope to help you avoid these sometimes costly mistakes and ensure your process to hiring and working with a VA is smooth, productive and successful.

I can't help if YOU don't know what you need doing

This is the BIG one! My most successful working relationship with clients are those that know what work they can and want to outsource. It may seem obvious, but it's really important to spend some time thinking about the tasks you wish to delegate. I have a task sheet which can help you identify which tasks you could outsource, that you can find here.

Yes, it can be difficult to set aside time to do this when you're already super busy but it's time well spent. And of course, when you have an understanding of the type of tasks you need doing, then you can really understand the skill set the VA will require, as some will be stronger in certain areas than others.

Linked to this is also being vague when you hand over a task. The more detail you can provide, especially at the beginning, the quicker the task will get done. This means your VA can get on with something else for you and it stops the process of endless emails from the VA clarifying task details.

Hiring Anybody

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, the VA market has changed considerably in the last two years. What's really important here, as with any industry, is to make sure that you choose a suitably experienced and qualified Virtual Assistant. Do your due diligence as you would when entering into an agreement with anyone else. Ask questions about experience and qualifications, make sure they have insurance and issue a contract.

A good VA will add value to your business, whereas an inexperienced and unqualified VA may well end up costing you money AND your valuable time.

Poor Communication

This goes both ways. Agreeing at the beginning how you would like to communicate is key and is even more important when working virtually. People like to communicate in a variety of ways, be that Slack, email, WhatsApp, SMS or the many other methods. It’s also important to establish how often you will want check-ins. These maybe more frequently to start with, but might taper off to once per month when you’re in more of an established routine.

Be Open to Change

Yes, it's your own business, but believe it or not, you might not be doing something the most productive way. In some cases, your VA might be able to recommend new software, or help create a process to make a task more efficient. Take it from me there is nothing more annoying and hugely frustrating than working with a client that doesn't want to change the way they work.

When you’re thinking about hiring a VA for the first time it can be a daunting experience, especially when you don’t have a recommendation from someone for a particular VA. Taking the time to due your do diligence, think about what areas of work you want to hand over and how and when you are going to communicate are really important.

Setting aside time to work on these areas initially will ensure you get the most out of your VA, create a productive relationship and avoid any of the mistakes listed.

And please remember we're not fairy godmothers!


If you’re not ready to take the plunge with a Virtual Assistant yet you might benefit from a Power Hour. This a practical, focused and tailored session via Zoom where you can pick my brains on a particular topic or we can talk through a specific problem you are facing and come up with a solution.

A Power Hour is basically a really quick blast of my expertise to help you go from stuck to unstuck. Click here for more info.


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