Let’s start with the obvious but most important…
Q: What is a Virtual Assistant anyway?
Well, the spectrum of answers is endless and I could get quite creative in the process, but will, on this occasion, just keep it short and sweet: A Virtual Assistant is (hopefully in most cases) a skilled professional, providing professional administrative, technical and/or creative services from a remote location.
Q: What are the benefits of using a Virtual Assistant or in this case: Don’t Believe The Type?
The most common ones are: money and time (besides an irreplaceable sense of humour) – things we somehow seem to lack nowadays although we have plenty!
You just pay for work actually done on an ‘as needed’ – basis. This could be a one-off project or ongoing support.
- As I entered the scary waters of self-employment, I will look after all the boring things like taxes, social security and holiday vacation payments myself.
- Although it might not seem that way initially, I am actually more affordable than hiring a new employee and/or using temp staff.
- I work with a fully-equipped and technologically up-to-date office which can meet pretty much all of your professional needs. No pretty little office, no fancy equipment or expensive Italian coffee-machine needed for me (although I personally wouldn’t mind the latter…).
- A strong work-ethic and a high standard of quality of work are guaranteed as, besides the urge of satisfying my own standards and expectations and an aversion towards jobs half-done, my business wouldn’t exist without you!
- You get more time to focus on more important aspects of your business and will hence gain more success by implementing them, and/or simply achieve more time to enjoy life and do the things you REALLY would like to do as there are nerds out there who actually ‘love jobs you hate’.
Q: How do I work best with a Virtual Assistant?
This depends on work styles and also personality, and might hence be very different from person to person. It is recommended to look for somebody who suits you in this, as this will often make or break the relationship and the success of it. For some more information, please view our blog post ‘Successful Ingredients in Working With a VA’.
Q: What about confidentiality and sharing client information?
It is very important for us to maintain the privacy and security of all client information. We do not sell or share personal information and/or client data unless required by law. We also maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your information – no, we don’t forget to back-up and do so in many different ways (compulsive as we are).
Q: Can I afford you?
I bet you can guess my answer to this! As a business owner and/or professional you actually cannot afford NOT to hire one – ooops, there it is! Unless you like working under your value, prefer wasting time on activities that aren’t your forte and enjoy torturing yourself with tasks you dread (which will probably take longer in such circumstances, hence costing you even more in the end)…. With a little bit of planning and self-reflection, evaluation of the pros and cons, you will realise that collaborating with a Virtual Assistant actually becomes quite affordable in the end.
To boost it all up a little, there is a variety of rate options and packages available that might suit your personal situation best. You can choose to pay as you go if you just need my services on and off, or if you’re highly satisfied with my work and would like to stick with me for a little longer, I can offer retainer packages to make it all a little more affordable for you.
Q: How will payment be handled?
Our ‘Wheels of Renumeration’ come in two different types:
Billing upon completion of the project – we issue an invoice when we have finished and it will be due within 7 days from date of issue.
Pre-payment in case of a retainer package – retainer packages need to be paid in full on the 1st of each month before commencement of work to ensure our availability and have a minimum commitment of 2 months.
We also ask for a deposit prior to every project which generally lies between 25-50% of the estimated amount – depending on the project.
Q: What type of payment do you accept?
We accept payment via Paypal and/or Direct Debit.
Q: What if I pay late?
Uhhhh, that’s a territory we do not like to enter voluntarily, as it simply brings no pleasure for either party. Paying late does not only ‘smell’, but it will cost you a fee as well. We value our partnership and will do our outmost to exceed your expectations on our end, so we highly appreciate invoices to be paid in time.
Q: Is there a minimum amount of hours I would have to sign up for?
Not really as Don’t Believe The Type doesn’t mind going that little extra mile to provide flexible pricing, and will hence not round up but look at a reasonable project-related rate tailored to you. You really only pay for work actually provided – unless you call me 7 times per week for 11 minute-jobs, that surely would be something we’d need to talk about!
Q: Am I ready for a Virtual Assistant?
That’s where the ‘self-reflection’-part comes in – are you ready to
- understanding that a VA is not an employee but a business partner and needs to be treated and recognised as such,
- ‘letting go’ and trust into the skills and service provided (although I know it can be hard at times),
- being available regularly and communicate clearly and effectively for the VA to truly be able to understand and meet your needs (we’ll help you a little with this one).
If you’re not happy with the work provided, we talk about it, evaluate it and find a solution that’s best for both of us (we’ve luckily passed that bucket on so far). If I cannot submit a job in time to the conditions discussed prior to it, I will, of course, take responsibility for the situation and make up for it! Fair-play.
Proofreading of the work provided is the sole responsibility of each client (unless agreed otherwise). However, should there be any errors occurring, Don’t Believe The Type will happily rectify these free of charge if reported within 48 hours upon receipt. Everything after this time period will be billed at regular rates.
Q: Do you operate during office hours or 24/7?
Figuratively speaking: YES… 24/7 as all robots do, but that’s a secret! And: I probably would not answer the phone at 2am as I might have slightly more important things to do (the only exception would be an emergency, such as kidnapping in South America or stealing of our almighty spaceship).
In all other cases, I work to a personal timetable which is flexible and at my own discretion, but am available on general office hours from 9.00am to 5.00pm (AEST/AEDT). If I cannot take your call, please leave a message on my little voice robot and I will get back to you asap. Availability on after hours and/or weekends can be arranged by appointment, but extra fees might apply.
Q: How will we communicate?
Thanks to living in a progressive era of technology this question should be the last of our worries as there is many options to choose from. Main communication, especially throughout a project, will most likely be via e-mail, but I am also available via mobile & Skype if you have any questions. I am happy to come and see/meet you somewhere in between, should you live in the local area and prefer a personal consultation and/or require assistance onsite (extra fees might apply for the latter).
Projects can be sent via email, regular mail or by sharing a file in fluffy soft clouds with me.
I happily send you reasonable updates when required to let you know where we are at and how everything is going. Timesheets will also be sent out on regular intervals to keep track of costs and time.
Completed work is generally sent out via email unless alternative methods are requested and agreed upon.
Q: Why should I choose you over all the other VAs on the market?
That’s a good question and… honestly: I don’t know! Well, I DO know but I could write anything now and it probably wouldn’t make a difference, as per an old Italian saying: ‘saying and doing are often half the width of the sea apart…’
Maybe some of the things others have to say about me might ease that worry a little.