You have heard the recent chatter about “Virtual Assistants” from your friends. You are thinking about jumping on the band wagon of retaining your own virtual assistant, but not exactly sure how you should go about it. Spend a week jotting down the various administrative tasks that are eating up your time. Are there certain tasks that someone else can do as well in less time? Are there software programs that can help you manage your own administrative tasks? Most importantly, how much can you afford to pay an assistant and how cost effective is the relationship? There are several qualified Virtual Assistants throughout the world. Let’s talk about what you need to consider before taking the next step.

Fees for professional Virtual Assistants with years of experience range from $30 - $50 per hour, usually billed in 15 minute increments and sold in 10 hour packages. College graduates charge from $10 - $30 an hour. Pay per project can be arranged with certain professionals. Negotiate a free trial basis to see how they really work. Pepper Virtual Assistant Services in the Philippines offer a 10 hour FREE trial of 2 hours of services over 5 days. Their service packages are less than $15 an hour. Remember, chances are this is your “first” hire for the company. No matter how busy you are, don’t rush this critical decision.

1.How can you be sure they are trustworthy?

• Referrals are always the best way to learn about someone
• Give small chunks at a time – create documents, manage a email campaign
• It takes time to build trust
• Only commit to 10 hours to see how you work together

2.What types of administrative tasks do you need done? Do these tasks need to be handled by a professional with certain expertise? Or, can you subcontract them out on a per project basis to a college graduate?

• Client profiles
• Invoices
• Internet searches
• Writing business documents
• Marketing

3. What tasks would help to market you while you are with clients or “face” marketing yourself?

• Email campaigns
• Contacting associations to schedule you as a guest speaker
• Mailings
• Obtaining client lists
• Researching other opportunities to market your business

The whole point in hiring an assistant is to maximize your time on strategic planning and implementation of a strong marketing plan. In order to “grow” your business, you need to utilize your help in the most efficient manner.

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Author's Bio: 

Constance Drew, MBA, is a successful NYC businesswoman. She is a global business start-up consultant founding Visionary Global Startups. She supports business start-up owners through her speaking, workshops and freelance writing. Her past experience as pioneer of educational programs, manager of new technology departments and retail business owner adds an empathetic value to her clients. She has managed technology departments for the FAA, USDOJ and AM LAW 100 global law firms.