Spending that amount of money BEFORE you’ve even reaped the benefits of hiring someone could be enough to put you off altogether. But with a little bit of persistence it’s possible to find the right support for your business…WITHOUT racking up a massive recruitment bill.
If you're ready to bring in an extra pair of hands here are my tips on where to find a virtual assistant for your small business:
1) Meet Virtual Assistants in Facebook Groups
There are a huge number of FREE and paid groups for entrepreneurs on Facebook. You can share advice with like-minded people and ask for help when you need it. Facebook groups are a great place to find a virtual assistant for your small business.
You can ask if there are any Virtual Assistants within the group itself, or ask another group member to RECOMMEND one to you. When you’re in those groups, ask lots of questions and keep an eye on questions other members ask that are relevant to you.
You’ll start to see a core group of people who are very active and helpful. And with any luck one of those people with be a virtual assistant. You’ll also start to trust certain members’ opinions. And you’ll feel confident that any recommendations they make are recommendations that you can trust.
2) Make Virtual Assistant connections on LinkedIn
Many virtual assistants have told me that LinkedIn is their NUMBER 1 social media platform for generating leads. As a result LinkedIn is a hive of VA activity and a great place for you to find a virtual assistant for your small business.
LinkedIn is a Hive of VA activity.
You can run a search for virtual assistants in the search bar, which will bring up a number of potential candidates. You should make AS MANY connections as you can and follow their posts over a period of weeks. This will give you a good idea of their skills, and personality before you approach them.
I’ve also seen entrepreneurs asking for recommendations on their own feed. This can be an effective way to find a virtual assistant for your small business. People are always happy to help with referrals plus you’ll have peace of mind that someone else has had a good experience with whoever you choose.
3) Save time by using a Virtual Assistant agency
If you’re in a HURRY to find a virtual assistant for your small business a specialist recruitment consultant could be the answer. VA recruitment consultants can create a shortlist of Virtual assistant candidates for you, which will save you time.
There are benefits to hiring through an agency. Because they carry out initial ‘quality control’ checks on they can save you the hassle of reviewing hundreds of CVs. However, they do COME AT A PRICE. You could be looking at a minimum placement fee of several hundred pounds or a percentage fee of around 15-20%.
4) Ask your friends and family
As more and more PAs and EAs move to freelance work, one of your friends or family members will probably know someone who knows someone.
Over 80% of people ask for referrals before deciding where to spend their money.
Leverage your personal and professional networks and ASK AROUND for recommendations. Over 80% of people admit to asking for referrals before deciding where to spend their money. And it’s easy to understand why: taking a wild stab in the dark feels much more scary than taking the advice of a trusted friend or colleague.
Some of my own friends have told me that they’ve relied ENTIRELY on referrals in order to find a virtual assistant for their small business. It made them feel more comfortable with their hire than they would have done using someone completely unknown. The downside is that the number of candidates will be a lot lower, unless you’re a social butterfly with an enormous network of friends!
5) Hit your local networking circuit
As much as I LOVE the online world, I’m also a big believer in meeting people face to face to get a feel for who they are and how they work. There’s no better way to build deep connections than to meet in person.
Local networking events are a great way to find a virtual assistant for your small business. You’ll have chance to ask questions and ESTABLISH TRUST before you start working with anyone.
So you’ll feel comfortable knowing that you’ve found the right person.
You will be limited by a smaller number of virtual assistant candidates at in person events. But if you like to GET TO KNOW candidates really well before working with them, this is a great place to start your search.
Finding the right support for your business doesn’t need to be a stressful or expensive process.
Knowing HOW to start can often be the biggest challenge, especially when you’re limited by time and budget. But once you know WHERE to go to find a virtual assistant for your small business, you’ll soon be on the right track.
Make sure you come back for our next blog where I’ll be looking at how much it costs small businesses to hire a virtual assistant.
Enjoy the blog? Then make sure you download our FREE Ultimate 5-Step Cheat Sheet to Hire the Perfect Virtual Assistant
If you want to learn more about how to get more productive in your business, and how to out-source effectively, here are some of my favourite LEARNING RESOURCES to help you:
The Foundr Podcast – How to do your best work by working less – with Nathan Chan and Jason Fried of Basecamp
Entrepreneurs on Fire – Build Your Business in Short Blocks of Time – John Lee Dumas and Abbi Perets