Overlooked far too often, there are “dig deeper” questions that must be asked when selecting a virtual assistant or virtual assistant company. There are many moving pieces that contribute to the process, relationship and results that you will experience. It’s important to note: There are no right or wrong answers. It’s all about what you prefer.

1. How long have you been in business? Look for someone who has been in business 5+ years, to have a sense of their credibility and reputation in the industry.

2. What are your business hours? In the case of Virtual Assist USA, we know that no entrepreneur works 9-5, so we have open hours to accommodate our clients. Find someone who fits your schedule.

3. What happens if I have a rush project? Am I charged an additional fee for a faster turnaround? Ideally, you shouldn’t be charged any additional fees. By not tacking on additional fees and meeting quick turaround times, your VA will show that they care more about your client relationship than a few extra dollars.

4. What is the back-up plan if my regular VA is sick or on a planned vacation? You want to be sure that you won’t experience any type of service interruption.

5. How is time billed – 15 minute increments, per project, etc? What payment methods do you accept? Here, we bill to the minute. It’s not uncommon for agencies to round up to 15 minute increments, so be sure to ask.

6. Does your contract require that we work together for a specific length of time? Ensure that any commitments are spelled out, and there’s an option for you to leave if you’re dissatisfied.

7. Out of everything you do for clients, what is your favorite? This question can open you up to understanding more about the person (or team) you will be working with.

8. Do you charge for time we spend emailing or on the phone? Many companies or VAs will charge for time spent on the phone, but ancillary e-mails and updates should be complimentary.

9. What security measures do you have in place? This is extra crucial, especially when working virtually. Your VA or VA company owner should be able to clearly list the procedures they have for keeping your info secure.

10. What does  the onboarding process entail? You want to hit the ground running. Experienced virtual assistant companies have the existing knowledge to direct your efforts right from day one. You may specifically want to ask what the first 30, 60 and 90 days of working together will look like. The virtual assistant should be able to tell you exactly what will be done to drive results and how things will happen.

When it comes time to begin evaluating virtual assistants and likewise, virtual assistant companies, there is some basic criteria that will help you establish your initial list of partners. These are things like breadth of service offerings and rates. However, asking the questions above will help you to narrow your search, and ultimately, choose the agency that will be the best partner for you.