Hi there!

My name is Paula Burgess from Beyond the Maze, and I have a Virtual Assistant Service based in Brisbane, Australia.

Today, we’re going to talk about the questions to ask a potential VA. Maybe you found your Virtual Assistant and you think they are great for me, and you just want to do a little bit of more investigation to see if they are the right fit for you and the right fit for your business.

Here are 6 questions to ask that may help you along the way to find out if that VA is right for you and your business.

1. Chat

First of all, have a chat with them over the phone. Maybe you have connected with them somewhere else, but use a Zoom chat or Teams chat, or even if they’re local to you, maybe invite them out for a coffee and see how that vibe is between the two of you.

You’re going to be hiring somebody who is helping you behind the scenes to grow and develop your business. You want someone that’s going to align with you and also align with your business.

You might get somebody who is working in the same industry already, or somebody who has a number of clients in that same industry, or they have a passion around that industry as well. See if they align to you and see how you feel about them.

2. Cooperation

Secondly, will they work with other specialists and overseas VA’s. You might get a VA who doesn’t actually do everything that you need to do.

You might find that they need to work with other specialists. They may know these other specialists. So, for example, you might want some graphic design done and they might know a graphic designer. Or you might need your website developed, and they may not do that as a service. They might know some website developers.

Or you might already have an overseas or an offshore VA that you’re working with and you just want to bring on somebody else to help you manage that VA. You may want them to manage the workload for that VA or even overview that VA so you need to ask if they will do that. Are they comfortable working with an overseas VA? Are they comfortable working with a team of other specialists when their skill set may not align?

Are they comfortable with telling you that something is not in their skill set? Or are they someone that’s going to jump in and go “Oh yeah, I can do it”, even though they can’t really do it.

3. Schedules

The next thing is to ask them about their plans for their holidays, if they’re sick or their available working times.

If you get a VA who is just a sole VA working for themselves and you want your phone answered from 8 30 to 5 but your VA is running around getting kids from to and from school. That’s probably not the ideal fit for you, because while they’re dropping their kids to school in the morning or getting the kids from school in the afternoon, they can’t answer your phone when they’re in their car running to and from. Well, they might, but they may not be able to action the work that’s required while they’re driving.

Also be thinking about this, what plans do they have in place?

What about if they get sick and they don’t have a backup? A lot of sole VA’s, and I’m not saying anything against sole VA’s, a lot of sole VA’s have an arrangement with other VA’s, that they may be able to send work to them if something happens where they do get sick or there’s something happening in their family that they need to take off time. Just asking those questions and understanding a bit more is important.

Do you want them to work certain days, like in the holidays? Do you have a business that thrives over the Christmas period? Are they going to work for you over the Christmas period? Thinking of these sorts of questions to really understand how that works, you wouldn’t want to be putting on a VA and then finding that your business thrives over the Christmas New Year period. All of a sudden, your VA says that they shut down for a month over Christmas, that’s not going to work for you. You spend all that time training someone so ensure that they can actually do the work for you.

4. Training and Transition

Will they help you find another VA for tasks that they can’t assist with? Think of things like have mentioned before, like graphic design or websites or anything similar to that.

What happens if they leave or you don’t want to work together anymore, or maybe you’ve got too much work for them now and they don’t have the capacity to help you with that anymore? Will they work with a new employee? If you decide to get an employee or another VA, will they help you smoothly transition over, will they help train?

For example, if you don’t have any system set up to make our working life easier, we will set up those systems internally for your team as well as our team. And if you were to leave us, we would hand the systems over to you, so you then have them, and you are able to give these systems to your new VA or to your new employee. That’s just something we do – It’s just a little good will.

We want to make sure that you if you do change VA’s regardless of if you’re changing to another VA or to an employee, we like to make that transfer as streamlined as possible for your business. We are not in this job to be disrupting your business in any way.

5. Security

How do they ensure your information stays secure?

Are passwords secure when you’re sharing them? Are they using a password software that secures the software and keeps passwords safe?

How are they keeping your information secure? And they backing up their drives if they are saving any of your files?

Are they keeping the passwords secure to any of the files that you’re giving them access to? What security measures do they have in place?

6. Packages and Progress

How do they track and charge their time?

Are they offering you a package? And what does that package entail? Most of this would be covered in an onboarding session or the initial proposal, but still asking this question so that it’s clear.

How are they tracking progress? Are you getting reports if it’s an hourly payment, how often are you getting your reports? If it’s a package, are you getting still progress reports? Does it cost any extra to get those reports?

Hopefully this has given you a bit of an understanding of some questions, maybe some additional questions, to ask a potential VA. I know when you’re starting to look for a VA you might be focused on things like the tasks they can do for you, and you may not have thought of these particular questions.

If you’re looking at working with the VA, please feel free to reach out. Book an obligation-free call here:  https://calendly.com/bossladycoach/15min?month=2023-03

I’m happy to answer all of those questions, of course!

Send me a message or send us an email to connect so that you can find out more. I hope you have a great day.

Bye for now.

“To have a friend in business makes a huge difference, because business is a total up and down and a rollercoaster, having somebody who rides that rollercoaster with you, someone who can really understand and be a great support network.” Read our blog about Working through Challenges here: https://beyondthemaze.com.au/working-through-challenges/

Paula Burgess - Keynote Speaker QLD Australia


Paula Burgess is the founder and director of Beyond the Maze, a virtual assistant, coach, author, keynote speaker, mum of a special needs child and a Brisbane based girl who loves fast cars!

She also provides courses and membership to support other business owners working around children with special needs.