How to select the right VA for you (and work well with them too)


You’re busy. So busy. Seeing friends is a distant memory, you’re constantly exhausted and you feel like you could be working 24 hours a day.

“Ah!” you cry. “Perhaps I’ll find a VA to help me?”

Great idea. But stop. Before you make the leap, please read this and make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.

First of all, you’ve got three important things to think about:

1. What do you want them to do?

Before you start looking for a VA, you need to know what you’d like them to do for you.

  • Will they be making appointments for you, taking bookings or monitoring your emails?
  • Do you need them to proofread, audio type or maintain your filing system?
  • Would your perfect VA be a bookkeeper, or able to manage your social media?

VAs have different backgrounds, skill and experience, so in order to find the right one for your business, you need to know what you want them to do.

2. How do you want them to do it?

If you have any must-haves, now’s the time to write them down.  Do you need someone who can write in formal English? Who’ll be able to get back to you or your clients at very short notice? Who’ll always be available at a certain time of day, or a set day of the week? If you have strong feelings about the way in which you’d like your VA to work with you, now’s the time to think about it.

3. How long do you want them to work with you?

Do you need ad hoc help, seasonal help or support over a longer period?  If you know when you want help, and for how long, that will help you find a VA who will support your business in the way you need it.

Finding your VA

As with most things, personal recommendations are the best way to find a VA. Reach out to your networks and ask if they know anyone who fits your requirements, then have a look at their website and testimonials to make sure they’ve been established for a while and have happy clients. It may be worth talking to a couple of VAs before choosing the person who best fits your brief.

Working with your VA

When you first meet / communicate with your VA, it’s a good idea to take them through your requirements in as much detail as possible.  Try to:

  • Get off to the best start When you have signed the contract with your VA, send over usernames and passwords for any systems that your VA will be using. You may like to look in to a password management tool like LastPass so you’re not giving full access to your passwords
  • Agree a process for working together Discuss how you’ll share information, how often and how you’ll communicate and how you’ll manage the workload. Do you want to have a weekly face to face meeting, phone call or Skype/Zoom chat?
  • Be upfront about your expectations Be clear how often you’d like to be updated about what your VA is doing. This will give you comfort that work is happening, but will guard against micromanagement
  • Be clear with instructions and deadlines Make sure your VA knows exactly what you’re expecting them to do, and when they need to do it
  • Schedule feedback Set aside time for regular feedback. What worked? What didn’t? Are there any changes you’d like to see in the working relationship?

“Judi dealt with email correspondence and telephone calls with my customers, potential customers and my team with great professionalism, responding effectively and in the appropriate manner. She is easy to work with and I would highly recommend her.”

Wendy Boast

Peak District Accomodation

The right VA is worth their weight in gold.  Find the perfect person for you, and you can start enjoying your evenings and weekends again, knowing your business tasks are in safe hands! For more information on how I can help you, please contact me today.