Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant (VA): Six Steps to Get It Right - Taking You Forward, Inc. - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
So you’ve finally decided to let go of some of your responsibilities and to hand them over to a virtual assistant from the Philippines. Congratulations for finally coming to terms with outsourcing! You can finally relax at the end of of the day and not worry about unfinished tasks. Your expert from the Philippines will take care of them for you. They will be done by the time you will have your morning coffee. But one question remains, “How do you prepare for the transition to having remote staff?” The answer: Careful planning. You can’t just outsource right away. You should follow these steps:
- Define your core – The purpose of outsourcing to a virtual assistant from the Philippines is to focus on the core business – tasks that you want to spend time on and processes that directly build your business. After defining the core areas of your business, you can then do Step #2.
- List the tasks you need to outsource – Outsource the tasks that you no longer want to do, tasks that do not directly affect your business and are repetitive and time-consuming. You can outsource the following to your VA:
- Administrative tasks – bookkeeping, data entry, transcription, billing, appointment and meeting scheduling, customer service management (CRM), project management, and travel management
- Email management – answering emails, filtering emails, managing spam
- File creation, storage, and organization – creating reports, presentations, spreadsheets and other documents, labeling files, storing them in the appropriate folders or file hosting service
- Social media and blog management – creating social media and blog posts and updates, uploading images, videos and podcasts, communicating with audiences, moderating comments, guest-posting on other blogs
- Website management – graphic design, web development, search engine optimization (SEO), quality assurance, backups and updates
- Customer support and/or public relations – responding to emails from customers, troubleshooting customer issues, providing information and updates, performing receptionist duties, sending invoices, invitations and greetings, following up with clients
- Event organization – retreats, seminars or webinars, workshops, online summits, product launches, campaign drives, fundraising
- Marketing – lead generation, content marketing, promotions
- Determine the job qualifications – Your VA’s qualifications will depend on the tasks you want them to perform. Your virtual assistant should be highly educated and fluent in English, an excellent communicator, computer literate, internet savvy, and most of all, a smart and efficient worker. They should have skills and experience in the task(s) you outsource to them.
- Find your VA – Contact a business process outsourcing (BPO) service provider that has the expertise and resources in recruiting and screening virtual assistants for entrepreneurs and SME business owners. Just let your BPO provider know what you’re looking for in an ideal VA, and they will find the perfect one for you.
- Interview the candidates – Interview them in much the same way you would when hiring in-house employees. Give them a test to check if they meet the mark. Ask for references and previous works completed to verify their skills, experience, and professionalism.
- Start small – To see how things would go, assign small tasks first. If the VA delivers to the highest standards, then it is time to assign the bigger tasks (and offer bigger rewards). If your virtual assistant misses several deadlines, provides poor quality output or makes the same mistakes over and over again, terminate his or her contract and demand a replacement from your BPO service provider.
Remember that your virtual assistant from the Philippines will be working remotely, so make sure they know their schedule and assign them their tasks on time. More importantly, respect them and value their contributions to your business.
Publish Date: May 23, 2016 5:00 AM
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