5 Things to Look for in Virtual Assistants

Entrepreneurs need help. Help can come in all forms but a virtual assistant has become popular for entrepreneurs on a budget. Virtual assistants can be as cheap as $8 dollars an hour.

First of all what is a virtual assistant and what do they do?

* They assist in simple tasks "virtually," meaning they're not with you physically

* They can answer calls

* Process orders

* Make phone calls for you

* Schedule appointments

* Research small things, such as driving directions

Of course there are many other things and can vary in different areas but there main task is to assist in simple tasks making your life as an entrepreneur easier. Just like cars, not all virtual assistants are built the same. You'll get lazy, incompetent ones. You're going to have to weed out them out. You only want the best. Consider these 5 things when hiring a virtual assistant:

1. Professionalism

Does the virtual assistant answer emails, voicemails and other correspondence in a timely and professional manner? They better not be chewing gum. Do they speak english well? Are they polite? It is also important if this person working for you has the right skills to accomplish tasks within deadlines.

2. Project Management

Juggling tasks is a must for a virtual assistant. Speed is important in business, so it's only right you get a virtual assistant that has the skills to manage multiple things. If a person cannot work with a few projects on the go you might want to move on.

3. Availability

Many virtual assistants work for other entrepreneurs at the same time. They are trying to secure their income by making sure they have other clients. This can become a bigger problem in the long run. If you only need short term help, assume you might get a virtual assistant that can't be there 24/7. Just be mindful of how available they will be from the get go.

4. Test.

Giving a small project to the virtual assistant before the big project establishes trust. This is a test for them. I've done this many times. It reduces risk. It minimizes losses of time, money, and most importantly headaches. Entrepreneurs have enough of that already.

5. Get References.

Can the virtual assistant give you a list of people whom you can contact in regards to their performance? It is in your best interest to hear from the virtual assistant's previous employers. If they can't give you any references, move on. Don't take a risk by taking on a virtual assistant with no track record EVEN if they're cheap. We don't have time to waste.