During my time managing Virtual Office Box, I have noticed some very similar questions asked by prospective clients.
So I thought, why not address them in a blog post! Here are the most frequent questions I’ve been asked:
How much do you charge for your services?
I charge an hourly rate of £27. I can, upon request, track my time (using Toggl). I round up or down the time spent on the task(s) to the nearest 15 minutes, and then send you a time report with your invoice for information. Payment is via bank transfer and requested within 14 days of the invoice being issued, unless by prior agreement.
I also offer a retainer package for more regular support, allowing me to become more integrated into your business, so for example, I have supported clients with anything from 5-25 hours per week for a range of tasks, and I will invoice them in advance.
Often my clients have tasks that are irregular or a project they need support with. An initial quote is given based on the scope of the project but can be subject to revision if the perimeters of the supporting project later change.
What are your payment terms?
For ad-hoc shorter tasks, I will invoice clients after the task has been completed and subject to my payment terms. For new customers on my retainer package, I request payment in advance for the first month, and then revert to weekly payment terms with advance payment (i.e. for the week ahead).
How do we work together?
Communication is key to any fantastic client/Virtual Assistant relationship. For me, it is essential. I want to know your priorities, your thoughts, and a general overview of your business. It helps in my understanding of what makes you tick and where your business is heading, your goals.
But this is not all of it.
It is about building trust, which could see you need more support and delegate tasks that you never thought you could trust anybody with.
I am here to make your life easier – a 10-minute call could save you 1 hour of time. Making time to catch up regularly in a Zoom call, on the phone, or just being responsive to email is important for both parties.
Create Shared Records
Most of my clients use Dropbox or OneDrive and I find these great systems for the sharing of files.
You will be in control of your own files and grant me access to a shared area. You are in control of that access, which makes it GDPR-friendly, too.
I highly recommend Lastpass for the safe sharing of logins and passwords. LastPass gives you peace of mind to connect your work with your Virtual Assistant while maintaining complete visibility and control.
Do you remember the times you had to reset your forgotten password? That rarely happens to me now with Lastpass. Simply log in to Lastpass using your master password to access them. You can also provide access to somebody without divulging your password.
Share Your Expectations
As your VA, I am programmed to accommodate clients to the best of my abilities, and I understand that sometimes last-minute tasks arrive out of the blue. Communicating regularly gives an opportunity for you to share your expectations, and for me to manage yours.
I am here to offer my help and would always do what I can to accommodate where possible.
Build a Rapport
Let’s enjoy this working relationship. A friendly atmosphere is worth the time and effort. It’s great for my clients to feel supported, to feel they can share when things go wrong and be jubilant and loud when things go really well. Watching a client succeed and feeling a part of that success is why I do what I do.
I have worked with clients locally to me in Milton Keynes, and all over the UK. Being in the VA industry, I am well connected to many VAs all over the world, with varying expertise, so you will never be short of great support.
Do you wait for work?
Not at all – I hunt for it. I have an eye for seeing things that need doing; suggesting improvements and implementing them. If you are looking for somebody that waits for work, I am not the VA for you. I was born with initiative, it’s in my blood! You need me as your VA because you are likely overwhelmed with tasks coming from everywhere. If you are not already; I ensure my clients become more effective by being better organised. Take out the disorganisation and implement order and you find less room for errors and more time to get that new business and grow your company.
How do I grant you access to my accounts?
If you are unsure how to do this, please ask. Depending on what system you use, there will be varying instructions. You can either confidentially share your passwords to various platforms with me, or share your folders/files via a link you can send me, that grants me access.
I am sure there are a gazillion questions you have. Do you have some that I could add to this list for future reference? Please do drop me an email either via firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact page here and let me know what you would like to ask!