Owning a business is hard work. And it can be extremely time-consuming. In order to have time to focus on growing your business, it may make sense to outsource some of the tasks. However, finding virtual help can be a challenge too. Here’s a handy checklist to help you find the help you need.
* How fast can they turn around your project? – You need to find a virtual helper who can meet your timetable. If they’re slow to turn projects around then your business is delayed. There’s nothing better than finding a contractor who can turn projects around quickly. However, be cautious. If a provider promises a turnaround time that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
* How do they deliver? – How does the contractor deliver their work? Do they use email? A content management system? Make sure the system isn’t too complicated and that it doesn’t cost you any additional money to use it.
* How do they charge? What are their rates? – Many contractors require a deposit. Make sure the rates and their payment policy meets your needs and budget. If you have a lot of work for your virtual assistant to manage, ask if there is a discount for large projects or ongoing work.
* Do they have references? Do they have samples of their work? – Before you hire, ask for references, testimonials and samples of their work. Then follow through and check references and review their samples.
* Will they sign an NDA? Will they sign a work for hire agreement? – If a virtual assistant or helper is unwilling to sign an agreement, move on. These agreements protect the both of you. They outline the work, the fees, and the delivery timetable.
* What do they do if you have a problem with their work? – Are there revisions included in the project? If so, how many?
* How do they communicate with clients? – Are they available via the telephone? Or do they manage their client accounts strictly via email? Additionally, are their communications professional? Do they get back to you in a timely manner?
* Are they experienced in the type of project you need? How many years have they been in business? – Depending on your needs, you may want a provider who is very experienced. However, if you’re willing to train, then enthusiasm and price may be more important considerations than experience.
* Does the contractor clearly explain their policies and procedures? Are they confident and inspire a sense of trust? – At the end of the day, how do you feel about this potential contractor? Do you feel confident in their ability to manage your projects and tasks?
If you do, then it’s time to take the leap. Give them a test project. Evaluate how you work together. If it all goes well then you can begin relying on them to manage your list of tasks.
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?