Building trust with your Virtual PA

Hiring a Virtual PA for the first time can be daunting. After all, you’ll be trusting them with company secrets and personal information. Added to that the fact that they’ll be working remotely means some business owners aren’t sure about working with a VA. But what if you could find someone great, someone who understands you and your business? All the perks of having your own in-house Assistant but without any of the employment costs – wouldn’t that be a great thing? What would you do with the extra time you gain, not having to complete all those menial, but essential, administration tasks?

The search begins

When you start your search for a VA, it can be a minefield. Who do you select, how do you know they will be good for you – trustworthy, professional, reliable and honest? Well, the best piece of advice I can give you is to research. This isn’t as time consuming as it sounds. Take a few minutes to get in touch with your business network and see if they have any contacts. If you’re given a few suggestions, have a look at their websites and LinkedIn pages – check that they offer the support services you need, and read their client testimonials – we all pay attention to good reviews, right? I’m a firm believer in the power of recommendation, I have a page on my website so that potential clients can see what my existing clients value about working with me.

Spend time to save time

Although I work virtually, I believe it’s important to have an initial face-to- face meeting with a client, once you’ve agreed in principle to work together. This may take 1-2 hours of a client’s time, which can be tricky to find in an already busy week, but that time investment will be rewarded in the long run. The initial meetings I hold are focused on getting to know each other – my client understanding how I work, my values and commitments. I will get to understand more about my client’s business and the type of work I will be taking on for them. It’s also a great opportunity to agree how we keep in touch – regular catch ups by Skype or phone? Will we have an activity log in place to track how work is progressing? Communication is key when you’re working remotely. As a Virtual PA, I’m often dealing with confidential information about my client’s business. Agreeing a confidentiality agreement and contract terms in the initial meeting is essential, as it provides protection and clarity for both parties.

Trust takes time

Every client relationship is and should be different with responsibilities aligned to the individual business needs, rather than a one size fits all approach. As soon as you let go of the menial tasks, you can focus on the important stuff that moves your business forwards. If you’re more comfortable, start with small tasks and as trust builds, you can let go of more. One of the many advantages about working with a Virtual PA is that you decide how much or how little to pass over. With no costly overheads associated with employing someone, you’re free to only pay for what you need. The calibre of the Virtual PA will shine through as time goes on, a good VA getting up to speed with your business quickly and proving their trustworthiness. They will become a trusted resource, there to help your business succeed and truly on your side. So, take some time initially to find the right one for you, and you’ll never look back!

If you’d like to know more about my business and how I could support you, please contact me to arrange an initial conversation at linda.fell@premiumva.co.uk