What to Look For in a Virtual Executive Assistant
Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Virtual Executive Assistant.
Naturally, as the sole decision-maker in a growing enterprise, you have to put out a lot of fires on a daily basis. Whether you’re rushing to arrange a shift replacement for a sick employee or you’re struggling to get your paperwork in order before applying for an industry license, volatility seems to be part of the job description. Moreover, even though corporate managers and company directors may deal with a fraction of the day-to-day responsibilities, most still have personal secretaries. Why? The answer is simple. These high-level executives aren’t earning the big bucks for their ability to write error-free copy. Instead, superior execs value for their ability to guide strategy and overall profitability for their organizations. In theory, you’re supposed to serve the same function in your business. That If you’re not, then you need a virtual executive assistant.
Why Hire a Virtual Executive Assistant?
When profit margins are a constant concern, hiring another full-time employee can seem like an unnecessary expense. After all, a secretary isn’t going to add anything to your business that you can’t do yourself, right? While this mindset is understandable, it ignores that fact that time is your single most important commodity as an entrepreneur. Failing to capitalize on opportunities that could rocket your revenues or customer base is most often devastating. You have to do these things at the right time, or you might not get the chance to do so ever again. This also is why a virtual executive assistant is so instrumental to the roles that they play. Remote workers take over a range of routine functions from bookkeeping and payroll to appointment setting. They give you the time to hone your competitive edge.
Of course, anyone burned by Internet contractors before could be slightly wary of trusting critical business processes. I know I too would be to a complete stranger. At A2Z, our virtual executive assistants in Austin, Texas are familiar with the concerns of hands-on business owners. While larger companies may be able to shrug off late filing penalties and typo-ridden business emails, these issues could sink your brand before it gets out of the gate. Ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your virtual executive assistant, you need to look out for these qualities.
A Proven Track Record
Without a regular recruitment and hiring process, you can often be left in the dark about the actual skills of your virtual executive assistant. In many cases, you may be forced to find out how competent the individual is through simple trial and error. This is especially true of offshore virtual assistants that can be brought on for a couple of dollars an hour. By contrast, our VAs in Austin, Texas has a wealth of experience and a long list of satisfied clients to prove it. Our team members come from educated and competent backgrounds. Our virtual assistants understand the needs of the local business landscape. Their skillset is backed by our strict vetting policies and working processes. Not only do we bring you the best talent, but we also make sure that they’re in a position to deliver professional services at a consistently high standard.
Most executives agree that communication skills are the single most important quality they look for in their employees. It’s easy to see why. Whether reaching out to a prospective client, coordinating a team, or providing a project briefing to a higher-up a good employee needs to be able to get their point across in a relevant, accurate and concise manner. From your perspective, this means you need a virtual executive assistant that can understand your instructions, carry them out accordingly and relay the results with sufficient detail.
Availability is also a huge factor for a virtual executive assistant; communication becomes much harder if your employee never answers messages and calls, or fails to keep you updated on critical tasks. Again, these are issues that are more likely to arise with foreign VAs. With time differences and language barriers in place, it can be challenging to get on the same page. At A2Z our team prides itself on their commitment to building strong client relationships. We‘re not just a faceless agency; we act as a real extension of your business.
Familiarity with Technology
Almost every entrepreneur makes heavy use of technology in their day to day operations. The same is true of the corporate world, where recruiters in every industry look for employees with a high degree of tech know-how. At A2Z, our virtual executive assistants are equipped with industry-standard software which they can use to handle a range of tasks from managing your financials through QuickBooks to filing taxes on TurboTax and arranging your working calendar on Google Schedule Maker. We can add efficiency to almost every aspect of your business. Apart from specialist software, our virtual executive assistants are also trained to deal with the digital side of your services including social media, web development, and graphic design.
A large portion of your virtual executive assistant’s job will involve writing. Whether they’re sending out emails to your suppliers and customers, mailing out handwritten notes, or drafting up witty social media posts for your business’s Facebook page; your VA needs to be able to reflect a professional, brand-aligned image at all times. Indeed, this requirement might explain why a staggering 73.6% of employers see written skills as the single most important factor in their hiring decisions. If you’re looking to outsource your outbound communications to a second-language speaker then you will be hard-pressed to meet these objectives. Where they fail, A2Z’s assistants can deliver.
Of course, at the end of the day, the biggest advantage of going remote is the cost-savings. While a full-time executive secretary will draw a full-time salary, as well as benefits and other perks. A virtual executive assistant will work according to a pre-arranged pricing plan that takes into account the amount of work performed, so you never end up paying more than you bargained for.
When making your choice it’s important to remember that there’s a balance between price and payoff. While a cheap offshore worker might be able to handle all your basic administrative tasks the quality of work performed could be extremely suspect. While still extremely affordable, our on-shore support staff does charge a higher rate. In return, you get the assurance of high-quality, consistent work that’s performed by someone who understands the needs of the local market.