- Rebecca Paciorek
Outsourcing? How to Find the Right Fit for You
Updated: Jul 17, 2022
Now that you’ve made a list of tasks that aren’t the best use of your time, looked at a few examples of projects that can be outsourced, software needed to handle your tasks, how much time someone would need to devote to your task(s), and the budget you have to work with it’s time to move forward – hiring someone to outsource to.
You could easily go to Google and type in virtual assistant services and find numerous results. Instead of doing that, it’s highly recommended you ask for referrals from those around you. Make a list of 3-5 people you know outsource successfully and ask them for names. To make things easier, when asking them, give them an overview of your needs from the list you’ve developed.
After you have a few names, contact them. Most Virtual Assistants offer a free consultation call. Set up a time to have a quick phone or Skype conversation with them. It’s important to spend time talking with each one of them to get an idea of their skill set, their personality and whether you resonate with them at all. After spending some time on the phone, both of you will have a better feel for each other and whether or not it would be a good fit.
What happens now?
You’ve talked to a few people and have made your decision on who you’re going to outsource to. If it wasn’t discussed during your time on the phone, find out what their policy is for payment. Do they require payment up front? (Note: it’s normal for retainer packages to be paid up front before any work begins. If it’s a per project basis, some people will require a deposit to start the work and then invoice after the project is finished.)
Once you’ve hired them and talked about how payment works, it’s time to assign the project(s). This is, again, something that varies per person so it’s a good idea to find out how they handle this during the initial consult call (if they only like phone communication & you dislike being on the phone then that wouldn’t be a good fit, for example).
For the sake of this post let’s just say you’ll be using email to communicate with your virtual assistant. It’s an easy and simple way to hand over the details of the project and when you need it done. Because technology can glitch sometimes and an email can get lost in cyber space, ask that the person you’re working with respond back with a quick message (something like ‘confirming I’ve seen this’) so you’re not left wondering whether they’re taking care of something or not. Another common way people choose to communicate, assign & keep tracks of tasks is through project management systems such as Asana, Trello, or Basecamp (just to name a few).
When it comes to sharing files you need to give to the person you’re working with, Drobox is one of the easiest ways to go. If you and your VA don’t already have it installed and set up, it only takes a few minutes to do. Not only does Dropbox make it easy to share files, it also ensures that you’re both working off the same/most updated version of that document. Another option is using Google Drive and sharing a
document through there.
Keep in mind, outsourcing is a great thing but it can take a bit for both you and your VA to get into a groove and get things worked out and running smoothly. Don’t get frustrated and give up. Just go into it expecting there’ll be a bit of a learning curve…on both parts – yours and the person you’re outsourcing to. Once the two of you get into a groove, you will enjoy having some time freedom so much you will most likely find yourself giving them more and more projects.
Rebecca Paciorek is an Online Business Manager specializing in assisting in the growth of your business through traditional and digital means.
*I often recommend products and services that I use or that have been recommended to me by people we trust. In many cases these recommendations are accompanied by an affiliate link, which provides me with a referral commission should you click through and make a purchase.