What can a virtual assistant or virtual PA do?
Quite simply, any task that does not require a physical presence can be done virtually. Nowadays, having your assistant in the same office location is no longer a necessity. Technology allows us all to work successfully from anywhere.
Why not take a few minutes to read more here.
Or find out more on our Services page here
Why are virtual assistants important?
Our lifestyle, work pressures and personal lives can have a huge impact on the way we approach our work and whether we achieve that all important work-life balance.
Irrespective of the level of seniority, delegating some of your daily tasks to a personal assistant can be life changing.
Take a few moments to read our articles below.
Which virtual assistant is best?
We carefully screen, interview, meet and reference, where possible, qualified PAs who we believe share our core values and commitment to delivering a premium level service to our clients.
Our mission is to ensure your life runs more smoothly and therefore, it’s crucial that we match you with an assistant for the long term.
We only hire assistants who take you and your business as seriously as you do. Working with us means you will get a qualified, proactive PA who is based in the UK. Our team have all worked at a senior management level in their corporate, office roles and now support a variety of clients on a self-employed and flexible basis.
How does a Virtual Assistant work?
Virtual PAs on our team are associates working on a freelance, self-employed basis under the umbrella of Elite PA Solutions.
Typically working from home for a variety of clients, managing their priorities and time for each client. All our PAs are skilled career professionals who have a desire to support a variety of clients, to continue to utilise their core PA skills which they’ve honed for years in a traditional office-based role.
Members of our team require excellent interpersonal communication and strong writing skills, to be organised, proactive, results driven and comfortable in rapidly changing environments.
They are required to have their own home office set up with reliable internet connection and a dedicated place to focus.
This articles covers the Pros of working with a Virtual Agency
How can a Virtual Assistant help my business?
By delegating tasks, you will have the time you need to grow your business.
Quite simply we will give you back time and with that the freedom to focus on your priorities, your goals and what you do best!
Still struggling to identify how a virtual or personal assistant can help you, pop over to our blog or begin with these two articles.
What would you say are the essentials for any virtual PA?
It isn’t just about finding someone with the skills you need, although that’s a big part of your search criteria.
The hiring of a virtual PA needs to be a safe and secure decision for any business owner. This is why there are certain non-negotiables a virtual PA needs to have in place, if you want your business to be in safe hands.
- Equipment: as self-employed they should provide their own equipment in order to deliver the work required, be aware of IR35 Regulations.
- Insurance: Professional Indemnity and Public Liability if attending your office or home in order to support you or your business.
- Data protection: registered with the ICO.
- GDPR compliant.
- Contracts: You both need to know what’s been agreed and where you stand.
- Password management system: for secure sharing of your personal data.
All virtual PAs that are part of the team here at Elite PA Solutions, need to have these essentials in place, prior to supporting a client of ours.
Why shouldn’t I Hire my own assistant?
In some cases, you should. Our team will work with you to decide what type of assistant best suits you, and if in-house support will be best for you, we will be the first to tell you.
We develop long-term partnerships. We do not want to waste your time, or ours, every requirement is different.
There are several reasons why in most cases, Virtual is best!
- You only pay for work completed.
- There are no overheads to fork out for.
- You get professional expert support in a cost-effective way.
- There are no recruitment fees, no tax, national insurance, no office space, or equipment costs. No holiday/sick/holiday pay.
If you need our support in identifying and onboarding a permanent PA or Administrator as an employee for your business click here
What are your tips if I do decide to hire my own assistant?
A few things to think about which we hope, will assist you in making the right decision.
- Don’t let the fear of trying out a Virtual PA stop you in your tracks. Get a good recommendation or use a trusted source.
- Be clear with what you want them to do. Give defined projects with clear instructions.
- Delegating can help you become more productive and increase results. Start slowly and increase the amount you delegate as your confidence in a person grows.
- Working with a Virtual PA frees up your time to focus on your priorities and expand your business. Show your appreciation!
- Pay them well, just because they are working virtually doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get a fair wage. Remember, you only get the level of service that you are happy to pay for.
How do I communicate with my virtual PA?
In exactly the same way as you do or did with your office-based PA. By phone, what’s app, text message, facetime, Zoom it’s your personal preference. Our virtual PAs will implement weekly catch-up calls and schedule these into your diary in order for you both to discuss your priorities for the weeks ahead. In between these weekly meetings you are free to contact each other, as and when required.
Communication is an absolute pre-requisite. Without effective communication any relationship will struggle to blossom, and, in my opinion, the value add will be limited. We are big supporters of regular communication with all of clients.
You may find this article helpful.
How can I hand over my email inbox?
If you require your virtual PA to operate under your brand, to truly represent your business you will need to set up a separate email account and share the log in and passwords with your dedicated PA.
If you need your PA to manage and review your emails, they will set up a copy of your email account onto their system and manage your emails from there. They will require your log in and passwords to enable them to access your email account and inbox.
Alternatively, your virtual PA will operate under our brand, for example, TheirName@elitepasolutions.com.
Will I need certain tools in place before my virtual PA can start work?
As part of you onboarding your virtual PA you will set up their email account under your brand. Your virtual PA will mirror your current tools and slot into your current business set up. Whether that’s Dropbox, One Drive or Google Drive.
You will need to give permissions for your virtual PA to access your emails and diary if management of these is required. Rest assured, if we can see a way to improve your systems and processes, by introducing new tools to you, this will be discussed with you in advance.
Here’s an article we wrote a little while ago, The tools our team use every day & absolutely love.
Do you take calls or act as our switchboard?
We are very happy to receive calls relating to the client work we are undertaking on your behalf. However, we do not offer a ‘receptionist’ or call answering service.
We recommend that you source a call answering service provider, some of clients use Money Penny. We have not personally used them ourselves.
What hours do you work?
Our office hours are 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday with flexibility.
Any time we spend supporting you out of hours is charged at 1.5 times the agreed hourly rate and needs to be pre-arranged and pre-agreed with your nominated virtual PA.
Will I sign a Confidentiality Agreement or Non-Disclosure Agreement?
Yes, we will send you our Terms of Business for your approval and signature before we introduce you to your nominated Virtual PA/Assistant and you commence working together.
We are very happy to sign NDA’s should it be required.
You can find more detail regarding our Terms of Business here Our Process Step 2 and click on Terms & Conditions.
Do you have client testimonials, and can I contact any of your clients direct?
You will find various testimonials and case studies on our website. Should you wish to speak to one of our clients directly, we can certainly make these arrangements, with our client’s prior approval.
Do I need to pay upfront?
Yes, we ask for a minimum of 5 hours in advance of undertaking work on your behalf.
How do you charge?
We charge by the hour, on a flat fee structure based on the actual time we spend working for you.
What are your payment terms?
What software do you use?
We regularly use a wide variety of software across our client base, some of these include: –
Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook.
G-Suite (full suite)
Social media: Buffer, Hootsuite, Smarter Queue, Missing Lettr
Passwords: Dashlane or Last Pass
Accounting: Xero and Dext
Toggl (free time tracking)