5 Tips For Choosing the Right Virtual Assistant for Your Serviced Accommodation Business by: Joanna Carr

VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS CAN REALLY TRANSFORM EVEN A VERY SMALL SA BUSINESS
 
Let us explain more.
 
For those of us who don’t just rent a second home on AirBnb, but instead set out to build solid businesses providing short-term accommodation, keeping the business as safe as possible will be absolutely key. One of the ways to do it is by managing your costs and not overextending yourself whilst still freeing up your own time. Whilst it may not be that difficult to hire one member of staff, being able to employ 2, 3 or 5 in the first year can prove unachievable to many of us.
 
Utilising virtual staff is one way to grow your business more sustainably. You might be able to hire somebody full-time for as little as £300 per month, which makes a huge difference to your budget. I’ve written a few posts in the past about the processes involved in hiring VAs, so in this post, I really just want to stress the most important things I’ve learnt when it comes to choosing the right virtual staff:
 
?Don’t get fixated on the price. Of course you need to know your budget and not go and hire somebody for £500 per month if you can only afford £250. But try to have some kind of bracket, so that when you recruit, you can see the different skill sets/levels of experience of the applicants you’ll attract within the bracket. The idea is also to free up your time up, so you can focus on bringing more money into the business (so you may want to consider that when budgeting).
 
?Be clear on what their role is supposed to be. It may be tempting to want your VA to do everything for you (look after guests, do your social media, source bookings, do data scraping). This approach can be however a big mistake as chances of finding somebody who a) is capable of doing all those things well; and b) can enjoy them; are very very slim… Whilst your VA still needs to be flexible and take on different tasks, it’s best to clearly separate customer care positions from sales or social media management.
?Establish your processes BEFORE you hire staff – there is nothing worse than arriving in a position which is in a state of chaos. You may end up hiring a very skilled person, but they won’t be able to perform to the best of their abilities if the systems and processes aren’t clearly established from the start.
? Don’t expect them to know it all (even if you hire people who’ve done a similar thing in the past) – go through all the basics, have your training videos, manuals and onboarding documents all in place. This is the only way to ensure that the correct standards are kept and you don’t discover any surprises later on.
?Get to know them – make sure you know what they enjoy doing, how they prefer to work, what their drives and motivations are. It will help you and it will help them. Don’t let the distance dividing you from your virtual staff get in a way of forming relationships. They may not be in your office and you won’t have company drinks out, but they are your team, so do what you can that they feel it too.
 
My VAs do the things I hate:
 
– Answering endless questions from guests ?
– Doing things I‘m not good at (design, SEO, marketing)?
– Doing things I don’t have time for (creating documents, folders etc) ?
Virtual Assistants are a fantastic asset to you and your business – they can help you to free up your time for more important tasks so you can grow your business. So, take the first step to outsourcing – stop working IN your business and start to delegate tasks to a Virtual Assistant.
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