Find Virtual Assistants for Your Micro-Entrepreneurial Business - dummies

Find Virtual Assistants for Your Micro-Entrepreneurial Business

By Paul Mladjenovic

If your micro-entrepreneurial business needs are mundane or administrative, then look into the world of virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are outsourced workers that provide administrative services (such as data entry¸ bookkeeping, and so on) off-site. In other words, they work from home but serve you via telephone and Internet access.

When you’re ready to find a virtual assistant for your micro-entrepreneurial business, check out these resources:

  • Administrative Consultants Association: This site provides professional support and guidance for virtual assistants and also helps hirers to find qualified outsourced workers.

  • Alliance for Virtual Businesses: This site offers advice and assistance for small businesses that many need the services of virtual assistants.

  • Hire My Mom: Moms are among the most capable assistants that an entrepreneur can find. This site can help you find them (and helps them find you!).

  • International Virtual Assistants Association: This place is great to find qualified virtual assistants. In addition to plenty of resources for virtual assistants, it also has good resources for hirers (the site has free reports such as “101 Ways to Use a Virtual Assistant”).

  • Real Estate Virtual Assistant Network: If your micro-entrepreneur business is in a real estate-related industry, you can find virtual assistants with that specialty at this site.

  • Virtual Assistant Forums: This site has lots of information about virtual assistants (and how to become one, too).

  • VAnetworking: This site has information and guidance for virtual assistants as well as articles for how to hire a virtual assistant for hirers.

  • The Virtual Link: This site offers Internet marketing–related virtual assistant services.

Before you hire a virtual assistant, make sure you ask some questions and try to screen your choices. Here are some questions and points to keep in mind:

  • Can they offer references? In other words, check to see if the person currently assists other small businesses and whether he can provide you with contact information.

  • What is the virtual assistant’s experience? Is it mostly word processing and data entry or does he have customer service skills?

  • What is the virtual assistant’s availability? Check to see if it’s the standard 9-to-5 business hours, or if he is available during weekends, too. If you hire someone from overseas, you may be able to have him work while you’re asleep.

As more and more entrepreneurs use virtual assistants, more guidance and how-to-hire information at small business sites will be available — sites such as Entrepreneur, Inc., and AllBusiness.