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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Virtual Administrator (VA)?
A Virtual Administrator, also known as a Virtual Assistant or VA is an administrative professional that works remotely from the client. VAs operate their own business usually as self-employed or a limited company and pay their own taxes, insurance and comply with a range of business requirements.
Blue Ninja uses the term Virtual Administrator and not Virtual Assistant as an assistant can be viewed as a junior position, and VAs are definitely not that! VAs provide the flexibility businesses need for support.
What does a VA do?
There are a vast range of services a VA can provide remotely. VAs have their own office set up and equipment, so they are ready to start when you are. VAs can do nearly everything you would consider a secretary, personal assistant or office administrator can do, but they are not sitting in the office. With most business functions now managed online a VA can provide nearly all the usual support functions an onsite administrator can do.
How do you work out which VA to work with?
This is very much on personal preference, but most VAs will offer an introductory no obligation call. Use that time to ask questions about the VAs experience, process for communication and checking in, strengths, conflict resolution, deadlines and contingent plans, tools and software, responsiveness, and potentially some more specific questions on the industry or business scope if they specialise.
You should be able to arrange a trial period with a VA to see how they fit with you. VAs should have an ad hoc hourly rate at the very least – you just need to work out how many hours you’d like to start with. A VA can do as little as 1 hour of work for you if you wish, it’s entirely up to you.
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What hours do you work?
VAs work to their own time schedule, but will discuss with you what your time needs are and schedule accordingly. VAs are usually available during the day, but may not always respond to urgent requests immediately as you may not be the only client they work with.
What tools and software will be used?
VAs will have some tools and software they prefer, but will adapt to your business products and tools as you wish to use. Many clients will provide personal access details and passwords in order for a VA to directly access products. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that it’s no problem – talk to your VA about what you use and how you’d like them to work with you.
How do we share files?
Discuss with your VA what you use, and how they can integrate into your file sharing systems. A VA can help you to set up a file sharing system and online filing structure if you’re not already using one.
What about confidentiality?
Your information is safe. VAs take precautions to secure your information, and sign a confidentiality agreement with you. Data protection is a sincere concern to VAs and your confidentiality is very important to us. If you are dealing with sensitive information please do talk to your VA about how to manage confidentiality.
How do you access my contacts, calendar and email account?
Depending on what system you use, you should be able to provide direct access to a VA to log into your system. Cloud software makes this much easier, but you may need to provide usernames and passwords so be aware of this if you do require this type of support.
How often do you invoice me?
Invoicing is usually processed monthly. For NGOs, charities or Universities this may vary according to the financial policies of the institution. Timesheets can be provided after month end documenting hours worked if requested.
What are your payment terms?
Payment must be made within 5 working days of the month start by standing order or bank transfer. If a payment is not made we are not able to start working, so please be mindful of this.
What if I buy a package and don’t use up all my hours?
Hours unused in the month for packages will be carried over for 30 days, with the number of days included in the package. Hours will only carry over for one month. If you need more or less hours for your package you can easily renegotiate.
We recommend your first request for service is requested no more than 10 working days. This is so you are using up your time and the VA also knows your expectations for the month.
If you’re not sure about anything, please ask. It’s our business to make your business a success.