I would be disappointed if potential clients DIDN’T treat our initial contact as a job interview.
I’m a business owner and have been successfully running my Virtual Assistant business for just over three years. I personally wouldn’t walk into a ‘pop-up’ business and hand over my hard earned cash. Neither would I do the same with an online business without first checking its credentials. So in the same respect wouldn’t expect a fellow business owner to hand over their business administration, and all of their sensitive business information to me. Without first running checks akin to that of a job interview on my business.
My business ethos is to build trust, 100% clarity and visibility. I always strive to remain open and clear about the services I offer my clients. My Code of Practice states: I will only accept tasks which I am fully competent to complete. Yes, I have declined work offers as I have never wanted to treat any paying client as a training guinea-pig. Here’s a full copy of my Code of Practice.
I have over the years deliberately not used testimonials from some clients’, simply because I want my potential clients’ to speak to them personally.
The business owners I have supported over the years are the best people to offer full and frank references. Without my ability to view them in advance and only post the sparkly gushing testimonials for marketing purposes.
Questions you need to ask.
How long have they been in business?
Ask about previous Virtual Assistant experience.
Ask for references – don’t rely on public testimonials or references from previous employers ~ If they are a new VA and haven’t got client references. That’s fine, we all have to start somewhere, instead ask them how they intend to support your business virtually.
If you are looking for a Bookkeeping VA ask about their MLR procedures.
Ask about the processes they use to work virtually.
Ask what’s not included in their fees?
And yes, it’s OK to give a Virtual Assistant a 1 month/3 month probationary period. Some of my clients’ have contracted me with a probationary clause. I’ve thankfully proved my worth.
As a Virtual Assistant I am horrified by the tales from some businesses of their tribulations and angst caused by hiring an inept VA. So make sure that you hire the best by following a job interview process. Any legitimate, conscientious VA will happily oblige.