10 Mistakes Startups Make When Choosing Their First VA

10 Mistakes Startups Make When Choosing Their First Virtual Assistant

Choosing Virtual Assistant

Contrary to popular belief, hiring a remote virtual assistant can lead to mistakes. It’s slightly different from hiring a regular employee to hiring a virtual assistant, and if it’s your first time, it can be not very comforting. If you’ve had a negative experience, it might discourage you from trying again. The difference a suitable match can make for you and your company is immeasurable, so all you need to find it is to know what to look for (and what to steer clear of).

Continue reading for the top 10 mistakes entrepreneurs make when they hire remote virtual assistant services!

Not Having Clearly Defined Goals

Assuming that your remote virtual assistant understands precisely what you want and how you want it is one of the worst things you can do. You must share your business goals, so being explicit and communicating is essential. You are on the right track if your VA knows your vision for success and its part in realizing it. You can avoid frustrating misunderstandings as you move forward in your relationship by having clear rules on your goals and mission that are simple to refer back to.

Lack of Clear Expectations

Your remote virtual assistant has to know precisely what is expected of them and how they want things done. This needs to be established as soon as possible so that your VA is aware of what they are signing up for, which is where a job description can be helpful. Summarize your desired skill set, working environment, necessary specifications, and other significant preferences when writing the position description. For instance, if you have goals or deadlines your remote virtual assistant wants to reach, ensure the candidates know exactly what is expected of them.

Here is an example of a job description we recently utilized to entice new virtual assistant contractors specializing in EA to join our team.

Lack of Sops (Standard Operating Procedures)

When working remotely, all procedures must be thoroughly documented in SOPs. The messy back and forth on how your processes should be carried out is eliminated by spending the time now to ensure that your procedures are comprehensive and up to date.

Documenting your standard operating procedures has several advantages. Managing them as the remote virtual assistant becomes more familiar with your company and takes on routine chores will be part of their job description. We utilize Loom with clients to cut down on time. Next time you complete a task you’d like to assign, take a screenshot and upload it to a Loom video. After that, your remote virtual assistant can follow the video and record the procedure in an SOP.

Not Giving Your VA Enough Time to Train

Many business owners don’t train their remote virtual assistants because they believe that they have a highly developed skill set and years of expertise they would be able to pick things up quickly. A good onboarding process is crucial for any new job, so just because a VA can adjust rapidly doesn’t mean you should entirely skip training. Hold a few sessions to inform your remote virtual assistant about the state of your firm, its plans, and what is needed from them to bring value. This fosters relationship-building and guarantees that you have the same vision for the future of your business.

Not Conducting Applicant Audits

You will eventually save time by investing time now. Any team member will tell you they must pass many requirements to join us.

Asking a few questions and requesting some recommendations are only the beginning of the application vetting process. You’re putting your business in their hands. Conduct a comprehensive interview that can be divided into as many phases as you deem necessary. For instance, your hiring procedure can include:

  1. A video conversation reviewing applicants’ resumes
  2. tests to ensure they can do the necessary administrative tasks.
  3. A particular test to confirm their expertise in their field.
  4. Reference checks to verify their credentials.
  5. A web search ensures that neither Google nor social media returns any offensive results.
  6. Have a coffee date to get to know them better and determine whether you get along.

To avoid regretting your decision, it comes down to doing your research.

Not Ready For Remote Working

It may surprise individuals accustomed to working just with an in-house staff how challenging it can be to transition to remote management. During the past year, lockdowns forced everyone to acclimate to remote work quickly. You can maintain a long-term partnership from a distance if you are accustomed to working in-house but can handle remote work throughout the pandemic.

Since you can’t walk across an office to check on your VA, you and they must be on the same page. If you’re confident you can coordinate remotely, learn more by speaking with folks about their virtual assistant services experiences. In this manner, you can begin a suitable process, start it with realistic expectations, and prepare for what lies ahead even though it is unfamiliar to you.

Don’t Just Give a Task

Focusing on the result rather than the task can help you receive more value from your virtual assistant.

You must use your virtual assistant’s initiative and expertise to advance your company if you want to get the most out of them. Hiring people to perform a role rather than a task is the best way to do this. You’ll lessen your workload and stress levels by allowing your remote virtual assistant the independence, time, and flexibility to adjust to your preferences and take over duties. Micromanaging does not work well with VAs; you appoint a senior team member; after you’ve built up a rapport, allow them the room they require to excel.

Don’t Assign Too Many Tasks

The best virtual assistants are experts in their field, not one-stop shops that can do anything anyone wants to. You wouldn’t want your bookkeeping VA running your social media would you?

Setting a selected list of chores with specific goals (outcomes!) will make all the difference, and you’ll discover your return on investment leaps when you follow this approach. It requires some planning and organization, but it will make all the difference.

Take Your Time Hiring Too Many VAs

It’s simple to become overexcited and lured by the potential of what a more extensive staff can achieve for your company after you settle into a routine with your remote virtual assistant and begin to reap the advantages.

Managing a larger team will take more time to be on the safe side. We advise taking a look at an online business manager in that situation. You want to be sure that when your team expands, you are still investing your time where you are most valuable, which is usually outside of team management.

Either maintain a steady pace and gradually onboard new virtual assistants, making sure your system is set up with the necessary procedures to handle the expansion. Or consider who you add to your team to manage your growth, making sure that when you do so, you’re accomplishing your goals with the additional resources.

Avoid Hiring for the Wrong Motives

Since it’s simple to get swept up in the buzz of others having great enterprises thanks partly to their virtual assistant services, individuals may need to pay more attention to this.

To determine whether a remote assistant service will assist you in growing where you need it, think about your goals, needs, and organization’s current state.

Does that make sense, or are you just going along with the crowd?

If hiring a remote virtual assistant is the best decision, get your bearings, so you know where to start. Find remote assistant services that can handle the things you can’t, shouldn’t, or can’t do yourself. This is essential. You are trying to find a personality and skill match.


If you’ve previously hired a virtual assistant and made mistakes, don’t let it deter you from doing so in the future. Finding the ideal remote virtual assistant to assist your staff and work with you while your firm expands can be the best choice you ever make.

The virtual assistants on the Vgrow team have the education, training, and experience necessary to help you with your business endeavors. Our virtual assistants have over 10 years of expertise in helping small businesses, and they have contributed to a 30% increase in productivity. Contact us today to know more!


David Bodiford

David Bodiford has been the Chief Strategy Officer at Vserve Ecommerce. Specializing in business development and strategic planning, David leads initiatives to expand Vserve Ecommerce's market reach, focusing mainly on the B2B sector. His expertise in digital marketing and strategic partnerships is integral to enhancing the agency's ecommerce solutions.


David Bodiford

David Bodiford has been the Chief Strategy Officer at Vserve Ecommerce. Specializing in business development and strategic planning, David leads initiatives to expand Vserve Ecommerce's market reach, focusing mainly on the B2B sector. His expertise in digital marketing and strategic partnerships is integral to enhancing the agency's ecommerce solutions.