Getting Project Quotations And Estimates From The VA.Posted by Tracy Baker on Aug 22, 2012 in Blog, Finance | 0 comments
Whether a small business owner can be considered to be stubborn or tenacious depends on your point of view, but there’s little doubt that sometimes the entrepreneur can be slow to change. He or she may realise that far too much of a typical workday is taken up by administrative or mundane tasks and this is definitely a roadblock in the way of real progress. Surely it’s now time to take the plunge and employ the services of a virtual assistant, or you are going to continue to go around in ever decreasing circles. Yet where do you start, how do you contact them and how do you know if they are providing value for money?
In truth, it’s fairly easy to determine whether you’re going to get real world value for money, especially if you’re doing all those repetitive or mundane tasks yourself. Unless you consider your small business to be “just another job” you must have aspirations to make a certain amount of profit per year and to enjoy more freedom. Consequently, you don’t need to do a mathematical calculation to see how much you would save by having somebody else do those tasks. Yet the virtual assistant can also help you with tasks which are not as mundane as you might think, tasks which are somewhat technical or creative and those that can help you to generate new business.
Make a list of tasks that could be outsourced to a competent, professional and experienced virtual assistant everything other than highly specialised work that only you can deliver. Create a budget so you can see how much money you have to spend, in realistic terms, to get this work done for you, to free up your own time.
Now it’s time to do research. Ask professional friends and colleagues, do Google searches for virtual assistants or virtual assistance, read testimonials and follow-up on social media feedback. Once you have a shortlist of virtual assistants, you can contact them and see what estimates they can give you for the tasks you have outlined on the list.
You should, of course, never overestimate the ability of someone else to interpret what they need to do without clear elucidation. You may be able to do some of these tasks with your eyes closed, but don’t expect to get an accurate estimate from your virtual assistant unless you have clearly outlined step-by-step, exactly what you have in mind. Before you ask for a quotation or an estimate ensure that you get all the details necessary and outline the associated deadlines. If you require a lot of the work to be done to tight deadlines this can negatively affect the quote which you will receive, based on the virtual assistant’s existing workload, schedule and capability.
You shouldn’t be surprised if there are some pretty significant differences between quotes received from various virtual assistant teams. It’s up to you to make your choice based on the research you’ve conducted, the feedback you have received and testimonials indicated. You may also want to enter into an agreement on a short-term basis to start with, to test the waters.
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