If you’re intrigued by the title of this blog post, or just confused, let me explain. Dating is all about finding the right match for you, right? Well, so is hiring a virtual assistant.


Just like dating, hiring a virtual assistant is something you can either get right (in which case you’ll be glad you did it), or wrong (in which case you might regret and give up on the idea of outsourcing).


As often as not though, the outcome of your decision (to hire a VA) will depend upon how well you know yourself before you start to look for your perfect match.


The Real First Step in Hiring a Virtual Assistant


Let’s leave the dating analogy for a moment and think about hiring a virtual assistant in a more relevant business context. Like just about any business initiative, hiring a virtual assistant is best preceded by some thorough preparation.


By preparing properly, you’ll be able to choose the right virtual assistant (or virtual assistant company) and get off to a good start with your outsourcing arrangement.


The need to prepare should come as no surprise, but what may be less obvious is this: preparation for hiring a virtual assistant begins not by asking what he/she can do for you, but by asking some questions about yourself, your needs (and those of your business), and your preferences.


Know Yourself Before Making the Match


As anyone who has had a bad dating experience can tell you, some matches are better than others. In the same way, some VAs will be better matched to your business than others, so it pays to exercise care when selecting a VA or virtual assistant company.


The most sensible first step you can take before hiring a virtual assistant is to make sure you know yourself and your needs, as well as those of your business.


This step is vital; because it will help you determine exactly what tasks you will outsource to your VA. That in turn, will enable you to select and hire a VA who’s well matched to the tasks you want to outsource.


Ask Yourself Some Searching Questions


Assuming you plan to outsource tasks you would otherwise do yourself, the following are some of the questions you should ask, and answer, perhaps in the form of a list:

• What tasks do you currently do that you are really not good at?
• Which tasks do you do that you really don’t enjoy doing?
• What tasks, if outsourced, would enable you to focus more on core business activities?
• Which tasks, if outsourced would enable you to profit more from the time you invest in your business?

If you are planning to outsource tasks that you currently delegate to internal resources, the same questions can be applied to the person or people currently engaged in those tasks. By answering these questions, you will have generated a list of tasks to outsource, and skills to look for when hiring a virtual assistant.


Simplify the Search With a VA Company


To return to our analogy one last time, about dating, it’s often said that there is plenty of fish in the sea. There are also plenty of virtual assistants out there today, onshore and offshore, spread across oceans, and vying for your business.


So once you’ve completed your self-appraisal, and determined the skills you need from a virtual assistant, you can simplify your search by approaching a specialist VA provider.


With the help of a VA company, you won’t need to cast your net in the sea. Instead, you can just drop a line and make your catch from a much smaller and more accessible pool. While speed-dating might not be the best way to find a life partner, the dating analogy has served its purpose.

This is your business we’re talking about, so do yourself a favour. Choose a VA company, provide your requirements, and let the provider make the match. That way, hiring a virtual assistant becomes a whole lot simpler than finding the love of your life.