Hiring a Virtual Assistant by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

By meggin@meggin.com
Apr 5th, 2013


One of the most wonderful aspects of working for yourself and having your own company is that you can hire who you want and preferably work with independent contractors for many of your projects.

A whole new profession of virtual assistants (VAs) has opened up in the last several years, thanks to technology – and it’s a benefit to everyone.  I have worked with VAs since I started working full time through my company in 2003 and I have learned a few things along the way (some the hard way, of course).  Here are ten tips to enhance your own and your assistants’ productivity.

  1. Decide to hire help.  You can’t do it all yourself.  You will never be successful if you try.

  2. Figure out what you need help with.  Go ahead and make a list of everything you wish someone else would do.

  3. Ask your trusted friends who they use (or would use) as a VA.

  4. Recognize that your VA can live anywhere in the world.  Getting over the need for F2F (face to face) interaction is difficult.

  5. Ask for references – and check them.

  6. Start with a small job – really small.  So often we are so overwhelmed by the time we hire someone that the temptation is to turn it all over to whoever we are hiring.  Don’t do that.  Start small and work up.

  7. Be circumspect about passwords, log-in information, and other sensitive means of accessing your protected websites, accounts, and so forth.

  8. Have your VA sign an independent contractor agreement.

  9. Talk to your CPA or attorney about the working agreement you have with your VAs.

  10. Know (and rejoice in the fact) that the days of having to hire one person for 40 hours to do everything is over.  If you’d like to see my list of all the parts of the “job description” I created, just let me know.

© Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D (also known as “The PhD of Productivity”®) writes, consults, and does workshops for smart people who want to be more productive, thereby being able to consistently keep their emphasis on excellence.  Thus, the name of her company is Emphasis on Excellence, Inc.  And she LOVE, LOVE, LOVES the entrepreneurial life (and is quite thankful for her virtual assistants including Margo and Kelley).

ttpt_thecollectionIf you liked these tips and would like over 560 practical, immediately-implementable tips to read, print, and/or post as reminders, then you will want the Top Ten Productivity Tips – The Collection, available to access and download right away! Inside this full-color, 108-page productivity manual, you’ll find several hundred tips covering topics such as meetings, workspace organization, planning your day, effective delegation, and how to keep your mind focused on your work. With these clever tips in hand, you’ll be more peacefully and predictably productive than you’ve ever been.