FAQs About Hiring And Working With An Australian Virtual Assistant

We’ve worked with hundreds of small business owners to help match them to their perfect virtual assistant. Many have never worked with VAs before and were a little unsure of where to start. Of course, after finding the VA for them, they’ve never looked back!

If you’re a business owner and are unsure about how to hire a VA, here is a list of common questions we’ve been asked to help you get started.

As advocates for the virtual assistant industry, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we love everything VA-related. And we’re pretty confident that once you discover the benefits of working with Australian virtual assistants, you’ll also be singing their praises very, very soon!

Of course, like new things, there may be hesitations or uncertainties on how to move forward. So, we’ve pulled together the most common questions we get when we work with businesses to match them to their perfect virtual assistant.

The hardest thing about working with a virtual assistant is committing to the process. Once you’ve done that, you’re really half way there.

FAQ #1: How much does a virtual assistant cost?

This is the number one question we get asked, and unfortunately, it’s not clear cut because each VA has a costing model that is unique to their business and the services they offer.

But, in saying that, here are some things to consider when it comes to thinking about how much to budget for VA services:
  • Have an idea of what you want to spend on the services so that you have a starting point when discussing cost and pricing with a new virtual assistant. If you’re going to have an honest and open working relationship with your VA then be upfront about costs from the beginning. In our experience, most VAs will do all they can to meet the needs of a new client. And remember: you pay for what you get. So don’t expect to work with an expert if you’re not willing to pay them for their expertise.
  • Consider asking your virtual assistant to provide package prices for one-off jobs rather than hourly rates. You don’t want to buy their time, you want to buy the outcome you want to achieve and this includes their expertise. This will give you a much clearer indication of how much you will spend and what you will get for your investment.
  • If you need ongoing support, consider setting up a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly retainer with your virtual assistant. Retainers allow a level of flexibility as well as accountability on both your part and the VAs. Retainers also allow you to take stock after a certain period of time and reassess as required. They also cap the amount you will pay each period and allow you to budget more accurately for the services you want.

FAQ #2: I don’t really know what I need; are there any all-rounder virtual assistants?

We usually find that business owners are motivated to find a virtual assistant when they’re stressed or snowed under with work.

You might get to a point one day when you realise you’re just one person and can’t do everything, so you start Googling feverishly in the hopes of finding someone who can help. Sound familiar?

When you decide to work with a virtual assistant placement or recruitment agency, such as VA Placements, ideally, you will know where in your business you need help. This will help you articulate what you need when you’re matched to a VA and also help with cost negotiations.

However, if you’re like many other business owners out there, you might realise that you don’t quite know what you need, you just know that you need help and from someone who is an all-rounder administrator with awesome communication skills or an amazing telephone manner.

There are most definitely VAs who cater to supporting businesses and some that can come in and babysit your business for you while you’re on leave. We've written a handy list of what VAs can do in an hour if you’re still unsure.

In terms of cost, you might consider setting up a retainer with a business support VA so they can jump straight in and start actioning the work you send to them straight away.

You know you need help from a VA, but you just don’t know what they can do. Consider retaining an all-rounder to help you get started.

FAQ #3: How does hiring a virtual assistant work?

Once you’ve discussed the ins and outs of the role or the project with your new virtual assistant, you might be wondering, where to form here? How do I actually hire this VA so we can get started?

It’s simple through VA Placements. Our recruitment service is free, so you don’t pay to be matched to VAs, instead you set up a working and invoicing arrangement with the VA directly. They will invoice you for all work completed in accordance with any agreements you’ve negotiated.

Most VAs on our network will send you a welcome pack once you have committed to working together and this should include information around the agreed hours of work, the agreed contact points for communication, and some terms and conditions that both parties can sign. These are particularly important when it comes to protecting private and confidential information surrounding your business practices.

FAQ #4: How do I protect confidential business information?

Following on from the previous question, many businesses are concerned about protecting their private and confidential information surrounding their practices, and rightly so! We all work hard to set up our business and although we probably have a healthy respect for our competitors, we don’t want them to have free and easy access to our IP.

So, in order to protect your information, it makes sense to have an agreement in place between both parties that covers at least confidentiality, termination, liabilities, conflicts of interest, payments, and dispute resolutions.

FAQ #5: What if I’m not happy with my virtual assistant?

All VAs that sign up with the VA Placements recruitment service are bound by a strict code of conduct that covers respect for a person’s rights and dignity, competence, responsibility, and integrity. This means that should you be unhappy with a VA that we match you with and you feel they have breached one of these principles then we will forward your concerns to our Professional Standards Panel who will review the issue and make recommendations to our CEO.

If you are working with a VA who is outside the VA Placements service, then we would advise that you ensure you have an agreement in place with every VA that you work with that articulates the terms, expectations, and termination processes that will be followed.

Protect yourself and your virtual assistant by having a recruitment service do the work for you. And always have an agreement in place.

Do You Have Any Other Questions To Add To The List?

We would love to know if you found these answers useful and whether or not they alleviate any concerns you may face when it comes to hiring your first virtual assistant?

If you’re still unsure, contact the team at VA Placements and we can talk you through the process in more detail.
Remember, we offer a free recruitment service, so if you’re a business owner looking to get started with a VA, you can search our directory of hundreds of VAs.

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