7 Questions You Need to Ask Your New VA


Hiring a VA is a big deal. You’ve finally accepted that you can’t do everything yourself and you are ready to dip your toe into the waters of delegation. You’ve found a Virtual Assistant that is qualified to do the tasks that you need done and that you are ready to trust with your business.

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Not so fast!

Remember that you are both business owners and you may have different ideas of how business is run. You may not have much knowledge in the area that they are going to be helping you with.  What things can you do to make sure that you and your new (soon to be) trusted VA are on the same page?

7 Questions to Ask Your Prospective VA

1. Exactly what will your VA be doing for you? Make sure that you completely understand the scope of work outlined in the contract. Terminology misunderstandings may lead to you not getting exactly what you thought. If there are any words that you are unsure of, ask. Ask, ask, ask…until you are 100% clear on what your VA will be doing.

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2. What are the payment terms?  Obviously, you need to know how much your VA is charging for the work they plan to do. There are some other details that need to be addressed as well. When do they invoice? Are they invoicing for the previous month (work already done) or for the upcoming month (work to be done)? What are the payment terms? How is extra work billed (hourly or by the project)? How do they preferred to be paid (check, paypal, credit card, etc)?

3. What is their time frame for requests to be started and completed? Your VA works for other people too and won’t always be able to accommodate last minute/urgent requests. Find out what their policy is on new requests. Do they need 48 hours notice before starting a new project? 72 hours? A week? A day? It will likely depend on the size of the project as well as their current workload. What is the turnaround time for projects? What is their policy for rush items?  A good rule of thumb is to ask as soon as you know you will need help with the project. Don’t wait until the last minute because your VA may not be able to accommodate your deadline. If your business commonly has last minute needs, then you will need a VA that can work last minute. Some can, some can’t.

4. How do they want you to send requests? Does your VA prefer to requests to be sent via email, phone, entered directly into a task management system? Does the way they prefer conflict with what works for you? It’s better to discuss this in advance and come up with an amicable agreement than to have this be a constant irritation for both of you and have tasks getting lost somewhere. Decide on a method that works for both of you.

5. What is the approval process going to be? How involved in the project do you want/need to be? Are you looking to be completely hands-off? Do you want the opportunity to approve/re-approve the finished product? It will likely depend on they type of project. You may need to be more involved at the start as your VA gets to know you, your business and how you work. Don’t panic if you feel that you are more involved than you want to be at first. If other aspects of the working relationship are positive, give it a few months to work the kinks out of the process. Remember that it is still YOUR business – you are responsible for the final product that goes out into the world (if that’s the case). Don’t you want to approve that first? You also need to discuss when approval is needed by in order to make any edits and meet the deadline. Never assume anything!

6. What are your VA’s business hours?

Most VAs are not available 24/7. What are their business hours? Respect them. What holidays to they observe? Don’t expect them to respond to requests at 8pm or on the weekend unless they tell you they are available at those times. What is the process if your VA goes on vacation? Do they have a substitute VA lined up that will take over or are you on your own during that time?

7. Does your VA plan to subcontract out all or a portion of your work? Many VAs run Multi-VA businesses. If this is the case, how involved is the owner VA going to be in your work? Will they be checking for quality from their subs? Do you need to make requests to the owner VA or to the VA that’s actually doing the work. Some VA firms allow the subcontractors to be “client facing” and some don’t. Find out how that process works in their business.

Working out these details in advance will make the process of delegating much smoother and will alleviate a lot of unnecessary headaches for both parties. Hash out the details first and then enjoy the extra time you will gain from outsourcing!

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