Trying out virtual assistants

I’ve set aside some of my play money to try out virtual assistants. I want to learn more about delegating tasks effectively, because that’s something that’ll help me a lot in the future. Help with online research, document and presentation design, and miscellaneous tasks would be appreciated, too. There’s always that urge to go and just stick the money into my long-term investments account, but I think this would be a good long-term investment as well.

I’ve been focusing on virtual assistants from the Philippines because I want to help out and because I’ll have fewer language barriers. (It may be a good opportunity to pick up a dialect, even!) Over 80 virtual assistants and companies have registered on VA4U. The best practice seems to be to go with larger companies that can coordinate different kinds of talent and cover for gaps in staffing, but it’s hard to get a sense of size in the list.

And every time I come across someone who confesses to be a computer geek, or someone who has a computer science degree, the teacher inside me feels a pang. I want to give them more interesting work than what most people might give them. Something that matches their strengths and helps them develop the skills they want to have. Yes, I know, I’m technically hiring or contracting with people, but I want to treat them as partners and help them develop anyway.

So I’ve started asking these potential virtual assistants what kind of work they love to do and what they want to get better at. Maybe we can find something that will work out for everyone. =)

Have you tried having a virtual assistant? How was your experience?

Ever been curious about it? What would you outsource?

  • gary brown

    i think this is a brilliant idea. i am looking forward to what you discover and write about. i am sure this is going to valuable to many people. of course, it depends upon whether or not *we* can afford it. hmmmm, maybe you can explore exactly what can be done for us? gary

  • http://www.ultimatebizassistant.com Frances

    Sacha, that is good news for you. Delegating your workflow makes so much sense. If you are able to spend your time earning more money doing what you love why would you try to bury yourself in all that “other” stuff.

    Effective delegation does take practice.

    I myself delegate some of the tasks I am just not good at such as bookkeeping to a virtual assistant while I work on the projects I love in my own virual assistance business.

    For those wanting to learn more about finding and working with a virtual assistant there is a free ebook that will walk you through the process at http://www.vanetworking.com/find-a-virtual-assistant/index.htm.

  • http://linuxworld.com/community/ Don Marti

    I have tried Sandy — pretty good, but I would rather be able to tell Sandy to bug Sacha to write more articles and copy me than have Sandy bug me to bug Sacha.

  • http://fivestarexecutives.com Crystal

    Kudos to you Sacha! Working with the right virtual assistant is as good as sticking money in the bank.

    As a virtual assistant myself I outsource bookkeeping, site maintenance, prospect follow up and customer service. Saves me a lot of time and makes me a lot more money.

  • http://www.successconnections.com/articles Melanie Benson Strick

    Hi Sacha,

    I’m a business owner who has been using VAs for over 5 years. I find them extraordinarily helpful in getting more done, generating more revenue and just generally having greater peace of mind.

    I have found though that getting started and making sure you are actually having an effective delegation strategy can be mysterious for many people at first.

    I suggest start by creating a list of all the tasks you do, then prioritizing the ones that you don’t like to do or you don’t do well. (I always tell people the idea is to have tasks done the fastest, cheapest and highest quality way.)

    If you’d like to get some ideas of what you can delegate for your highest payoff, check out http://www.successconnections.com/101ways

    Congrats to taking on this great growth strategy. I now have 8 – 10 VAs on my team and my ROI continues to grow.

    Melanie Benson Strick
    Million Dollar Lifestyle Business Coach
    & Virtual Team Building Expert

    http://www.successconnections.com/articles

    P.S. Do you have a business that affords you the freedom and profitability you’ve always wanted? Find out now at http://www.successconnections.com/quiz.

  • gary brown

    this is an excellent topic. it reminds me of the idea of outsourcing everything but one’s core compentcies; however finding an excellent an compatible virtual assistant does not sound that easy to me. hmmmm, i think we need/want to explore this topic in more detale. what do the rest of you have to say? gary