There is no question that hiring a Virtual Assistant is a viable option for any business regardless of size or scale. The Virtual Assistant provides a double- edged sword; he will help lower your cost of operation and contribute to your business’ revenue- generation activities.
But not all virtual assistants are alike. In fact, because there are more virtual assistants now compared to a decade ago, the level of talent may be diluted.
Here are the top 10 traits business owners are looking for in their Virtual Assistant:
1. Organizational Skills
As the business- owner, you are inundated with tasks and responsibilities every day. You will need to free yourself up of the excess work load so you can focus on the core functions of the business.
Second to stream- lining cost of operations, businesses hire virtual assistants to help the business- owner organize the many areas of responsibility of an enterprise.
Virtual assistants themselves are entrepreneurs. They have other clients who have entrusted responsibilities to them. As such, virtual assistants are challenged to organize the work they render per client.
At the same time, they also have to organize the needs of their own business to make sure everything runs smoothly.
By delegating these non- essential functions and other work that are not under your core competencies to a Virtual Assistant your enterprise run more efficiently.
2. Communication Skills
As productive as working with a Virtual Assistant is for your business, issues in communication could be more prevalent compared to working within a shared space.
The issues are magnified if your Virtual Assistant is from another region where cultural and social nuances could exist. Miscommunication can arise due to differences in perception.
Another factor to consider when addressing communication is the current technology infrastructure. There are countries where the level of Internet capability is not up to international standard and create latency issues.
Before hiring your Virtual Assistant, make an effort to learn about his culture and social practices. Share your expectations and encourage him to do the same. Clear out as much potential areas of miscommunication as possible.
3. Technological Proficiency
As purveyors of their trade in the virtual world, the best virtual assistants are those who are highly- proficient with technology.
They are familiar with many types of online programs that are popularly utilized in the virtual assistance industry. If not, they have the propensity to learn new programs quickly.
More likely, your Virtual Assistant will have his own set of project management programs that he uses for his other clients. But if your project requires different programs, the experienced Virtual Assistant should have no problems adapting it to his system.
On the other hand, if you are not proficient with technology, your Virtual Assistant can help set up the technology framework for your business.
4. Excellent Time Management
Virtual assistants are all about productivity. They understand that in business, time is a valuable commodity that should not be wasted.
In the first place, they are paid per productive hour. Oftentimes, their pay is contingent on the accomplishment of certain milestones. Prioritizing effective time management will benefit them as well as you.
Second, effective time management will ensure top quality work; nothing will be rushed. They can work through distractions and know which ones generate the highest PROTI or Potential Return on Time Invested for the client.
5. Professional Conduct
The best virtual assistants know that the luxury of running their business from home is not reason to conduct themselves in a less- than- professional manner.
In virtual assistance, professional conduct means the following:
- Being punctual
- Extending courtesy
- Remain respectful at all times
- Staying committed to the task
- Being reliable and dependable
A business owner should feel confident and comfortable when working with his Virtual Assistant.
In the course of work, a Virtual Assistant shall be the recipient of various pieces of confidential information.
He would have access to documents, reports, manuals, programs and online sites the unauthorized circulation of which could be damaging to the client.
The best Virtual Assistant is one who will not sabotage your enterprise because he knows the value of confidentiality.
He should also be trusted in the conduct of his work and to report if there were mistakes, errors that could pose potential problems to the business.
7. Excellent Disposition
A good Virtual Assistant is one whom you can genuinely enjoy working with.
He has an excellent disposition and has the ability to focus on his work despite having issues in his personal life. If he is tasked with phone handling duties, customers and associates feel comfortable airing concerns because he knows how to engage with them.
An effective Virtual Assistant is one who focuses on building relationships. He looks at the client and everyone within the value chain as having shared interests.
8. Open- Mindedness
A Virtual Assistant knows how important being open- minded is to the success of a project.
Despite the existence of guidelines, conditions could always change and require a different approach to accomplishing the task. A person who is open- minded is one who is receptive to ideas and suggestions.
If you have a virtual team, having open- minded virtual assistants will make it easier for everyone to communicate and work together as a team.
9. Attention To Detail
In business mistakes happen. The important thing is to have these addressed right away. Otherwise it could end up costing the business a lot of money.
The best virtual assistants are not after perfection when they work. Instead they are focused on rendering the best work they possibly can. They review guidelines and make periodically evaluate their own work before turning over the final version.
A Virtual Assistant tasked to send e-mails will review and double check spelling and grammar because he knows the content represents his client.
The best Virtual Assistant is one who views the arrangement as more than a client to service provider relationship.
As an entrepreneur himself, he knows the successful conduct of work will contribute to the success of the client. Thus, he views the arrangement as a strategic partnership where there are shared interests.
Creativity is an important quality to have because it leads to innovations that lead to greater comparative advantages for your enterprise. The most successful businesses are those that are able to evolve and adapt to the demands of the ever- changing market.
When hiring a Virtual Assistant take the time to fully qualify all candidates. More than the customary interviews and tests make an effort to get to know them as people. In the end, a successful engagement will depend on the strength and stability of your relationship.