Frequently Asked Questions

What is it that you do exactly?

Virtual assistance is still a young enough industry that there isn’t a set definition – since we’re on my site, I will give you mine:

I am a business support professional. I partner long term with busy entrepreneurs and small business owners in order to support their business needs. I provide all my high level administrative and communications services without having to be physically present in my client’s office.

I graduated from AssistU, the gold standard of the virtual assistant industry, and operate from the AssistU brand of virtual assistance which emphasizes high standards and long-term collaborative relationships with clients – this is simply the optimal arrangement for the best work to be done.

How does it all work?

The internet is a wonderful thing and it allows me to do all my work without having to be physically present in my clients’ offices.

To give you a snapshot of how that translates to the day to day, most of our communication will be done via email, Skype and phone calls. Meanwhile, documents and projects can be shared and collaborated on through different online platforms like Google Docs, Dropbox and Basecamp.

Maintaining connectedness with my clients is essential to me, particularly because our relationship is entirely virtual. Communication is therefore a key priority for me. I never let my clients wonder about the status of projects and maintain regular updates. I also like to do phone check-in’s every once in awhile to touch base. Although I’m not physically in their office, I encourage my clients to think of me as being just in the other room, and to reach out on email, instant chat and/or call whenever they’d like to touch base, or simply just to say hi.

Is partnering with a Virtual Assistant better than hiring an employee?

It depends on your business needs.

If you need someone to work at your office and on full time hours, hiring an employee may be the better option for you.

If you are needing 10-25 hours of support per month, however, and have work that can be done virtually – here are three reasons why partnering with a VA is more effective than hiring an employee:

1)    Partnership:
Taking on a virtual assistant is embarking on a long term partnership with a highly skilled professional who is committed to the success of your business. You will have someone who will get to know you and your business on a deeper level and will provide you with a high level of support as a result. A VA will keep you accountable to your business strategy and goals. I like to think of it as gaining a sidekick – the Robin to your Batman if you will!

2)    High level skillset on a part time budget:

Most small business owners don’t need an assistant or project manager on a full time basis but find it hard to find part time staff with high level experience. VAs have several clients, and they bring a wealth of skills, resources and knowledge, making them the perfect fit in terms of cost and effectiveness for many entrepreneurs.

3)    Convenient and more cost-effective:
Having a virtual assistant on contract means none of the overhead costs associated with an employee: no payroll, sick and vacation time, workers compensation, insurance or needing to provide office space and equipment. While it isn’t necessarily a cheaper option than hiring an employee, you get more bang for your buck: VAs bill you only for the hours they spend working on your projects – you pay for 100% productive time, not the idle time that employees often get paid for.

Why shouldn’t I do my own administrative work?

Your time is better spent doing other things!

Having a virtual assistant on your team means having a seasoned professional to delegate all those time-consuming administrative tasks to, freeing up the time and headspace on your end to be able to focus on the tasks that will make you more money. Imagine having ten more free hours per month, and what that could mean for generating more revenue or even simply having more time for your personal life and health.

How will I know if hiring a Virtual Assistant is right for me?

Having a relationship with a VA is the right thing for you if:

  • You are looking for someone who can provide 10-25 hours of admin support per month
  • You are looking for a long term partnership
  • You respect a VA as an equal business partner
  • You are open-minded and open to new ideas and approaches
  • You are comfortable working virtually
  • You are able to delegate
  • You are organized and have specific goals
  • You are able to meet deadlines without last minute rushing
  • You understand that your VA has work from different clients and prioritizes work accordingly

How do you work with clients?

I work on two levels with my clients: the big picture strategy as well as the day-to-day tasks. While I work on the daily details of business operations, I can also manage larger-scale projects and teams. Overall, I am a long-term partner of my client for the success of their business – I keep my clients accountable to their business strategy and goals.

What kind of clients do you like to work with?

As a VA, I’m a generalist, which means I work with professionals from a variety of sectors. On a qualitative level however, the clients I like to work with all have the following in common:

  • Value a long term, partnership as a working arrangement
  • See me as an equal
  • Can easily afford my services
  • Work and live with integrity
  • Have a great sense of humour
  • Are easygoing
  • Have big goals for their business
  • Can easily delegate and don’t micro-manage
  • Are organized, focused and can express their needs
  • Believes in having a good work/life balance
  • Are openminded and adventurous!

Do you only work with clients in your geographical area?

No. As my work is virtual, I am able to work with clients from all around the globe.

It is common practice for most VAs to work across several time zones, especially if there is an overlap in business hours. However, I would advise you to do a clear assessment of the kind of work you need done: if it requires constant access to your virtual assistant, then it would prudent to go with a virtual assistant in the same time zone.

I am also open to working with clients from non-English speaking countries, although I work primarily in English. I have extensive experience in international settings and have lived and worked abroad – I am, as a result, well-versed in intercultural communications and cultural sensitivity. I am also seasoned in the logistics behind relocation and the administrative groundwork of moving to a new city or country. I am professionally proficient in French, and conversational in Cantonese and Portuguese.

I’m interested. What are the next steps?

1) Get in touch with me whichever way you’d like.

2) It’s important to partner with the right people, and assessing whether our working styles and personalities are compatible is an essential step. I have a 2 step interview process that I lead all my prospective clients through for the both of us to assess whether we’re a good fit.

3) If after my interview process we decide we are not a fit, that’s ok. The point of this process is to find out up front and save ourselves from stress further down the road. My number one concern is for you to find what’s right for your business, and if it’s not me I will be sure to steer you towards the resources that will help you find what is right for you.

If we do decide to work together, I will send you my welcome packet which goes over my policies and procedures, as well as a client profile which you would fill out to provide me with logistical info of your business. After I get that back signed, we are ready to begin our journey together!

For more information on virtual assistance:

The following articles provide even more detailed information on what a partnership with a virtual assistant entails:

The Top 10 Things To Know About Professional Virtual Assistants

FAQ’s for people thinking about working with a Virtual Assistant

Ready to grow your business to greater heights?

Get in touch!