Man With Finger GogglesIf you plug “virtual assistant” into Google, the results you’ll get are overwhelming. There are thousands of virtual assistants out there who are more than happy to take on your to-do list. Choosing between them can be a little difficult, but there are several basic ways to shorten the list.

Start with what you’re looking for

You probably have a few tasks in mind for your virtual assistant before you even start looking. With those ideas in mind, you can treat your virtual assistant hunt like the search for a new accountant or other professional. Think about what skills those tasks will require, how much you expect to pay for the work, and other criteria you have for the person you’ll be outsourcing work to. You can immediately eliminate virtual assistants who don’t meet your requirements, whether they don’t have the right skill set or they’re out of your budget. You might want to remove those virtual assistants significantly below your budget from your list of potentials, as well — unless there are specific reasons for such a low price, such as living in a country with a much lower cost of living, you’ll be getting exactly what you paid for.

Consider working with a company

There are several companies who will connect you with a virtual assistant. There are several advantages to working with a company, rather than an individual.

  • If something happens to your virtual assistant, a company can connect you to another one immediately. You won’t need to hunt around.
  • Companies keep track of their virtual assistants’ skills — if you need a particular task done, you’re more likely to get someone capable of performing that work.
  • Many companies train their virtual assistants and expect higher standards of work.

Don’t be afraid to change assistants

If you’ve started outsourcing to a particular virtual assistant, and you don’t like working with that individual for any reason, look for someone else. (Searching isn’t a task I’d recommend outsourcing, though.) Remember, you’re paying your virtual assistant to make your life easier — if you’re worrying about any part of that arrangement, you need to move on to a virtual assistant that doesn’t cause you any concern.

Image credit: VikramRaghuvanshi / iStockphoto

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