I’ve popped answers to the most frequently asked questions below but I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have.
How do I know you're the right VA for me?
You don’t – yet. If you’re weighing up the pros and cons, it may be worth having a trial run and then making a decision based on results, not words. I know you need someone you can rely on 100% and who will learn the ins and outs of your business. I’m confident I’m that person, but the easiest way to find out how well we can work together is to set me a short task and then you’ll get a better sense of what level of service I can offer and whether it suits you.
How quickly can you turn work around?
Well, that depends what it is! Let’s just say I’m good at prioritising, juggling and focusing, plus my advanced computer skills means I can work quicker than most. If you need something urgently, as long as I know the remit, your expectations and needs, leave the rest to me. If I don’t think I can do it, I won’t take it on. I believe in under promising and over delivering – I really do. I’m an optimistic realist!
I know I need help, but I don’t know where to start. What’s the process?
I get that a lot, don’t worry. A first good step is to write down everything you do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, then get three highlighter pens and mark each task with a different colour for each of the following categories:
- tasks that only you can do
- tasks that you hate doing
- tasks you like doing but someone else could/should do
That gives us an excellent starting point for our first chat. Once I understand your business and your pressure points, I can identify the best way forward. Some clients like to start off with a specific project or small task initially, just to see how it works, and go on to request more support. It really depends on what you need, when you need it. It’s about what works best for you.
What tools do you use to get your job done? Can you really support me effectively working remotely?
There are so many tools available to make remote working effective. I mostly use Dropbox and Google Drive for file sharing, Google Apps for email, calendar and contacts, Skype for calls/instant messaging/video chat/sharing screens – just to name a few. Of course, you may use specific technologies in your business and I’m more than happy to work with those too.
What hours do you work?
I generally work weekdays from 08:00 to 18:00 but for those who need more flexibility, I do offer a premium package that gives you support during evenings and weekends if necessary.
How and when can I contact you?
You can contact me at any time. I’m always available via email and my phone is always on. If I can’t respond straight away, I’ll get back to you as soon as I practically can. That’s a very important aspect of my customer service commitment.
How do we share files?
With the use of Dropbox / Google Drive you can share your files, so we are working from the same documents. There’s no need to send files via email and there’s no need for duplicate documents. It works just like a normal server, just in the cloud. There are other cloud-based systems too so if you use another, that’s no problem. If you’re unsure how to use these systems, don’t worry. I can set them up for you and show you how to use them. I have loads of experience teaching people how to use technology so I can tailor the level of support I provide to match your needs.
What about confidentiality?
I’ll treat everything that we discuss in the strictest confidence and will never disclose your personal details to others, subject to any requirements placed on me by law, or a serious concern about your safety or the safety of others.
How can I hand over my email inbox to you?
If you want me to manage your email inbox, it’s easy. I simply set up a copy of your email account on my system and manage it from there. Or, if you’re already in the cloud (eg Gmail), I can simply log on throughout the day and manage it that way.
How do you access my contacts, calendar and email account?
A lot of clients are already using cloud-based services for their email, contacts and calendar. If you aren’t set up in the cloud and would like to be, I can certainly offer this service for you.
If I need you outside your normal working hours, will it cost more?
If you need support outside of my normal working hours, I do offer a premium package for clients who need flexible support and unsociable hours and I’m more than happy to discuss your requirements.
How do you back up your data and is it secure?
All my client data is backed up to the cloud and fully encrypted. I also fully adhere to the principles of the Data Protection Act and best practice for managing information.
How often do you invoice me?
I invoice fortnightly or at the end of each task / project, whichever comes first and depending on your needs. If you choose a retainer package, payment is made in advance.
What are your payment terms?
I have a strict 14-day payment policy and because I need to eat, late payment will unfortunately mean I starve to death and am unable to do any further work for you.
How do I pay you?
By direct bank transfer. All the details you need will be on your invoice.