We know you will have a lot of questions when deciding to take on a virtual assistant and we want to put your mind at ease!
The following is a list of frequently asked questions that we hope will provide the answers you are looking for!
As always, if you can’t find what you are looking for, feel free to email us
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant is an independent entrepreneur providing administrative, marketing and/or technical services.
Who are our Clients?
Our clients range from a wide variety of industries. Any individual or small business owner that has administrative tasks can benefit from our service. Below is just a sample of our clients.
- Business Coaches
- Corporate Executives
- Executive Coaches
- Holistic Practitioners
- Motivational Speakers
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Professional Organizers
- Real Estate Agents
What type of services do we offer?
Virtual Elves is a one-stop shop for all things administrative. Think email management, customer service, online marketing support, social media marketing, data entry, online research, database management, creative: graphic design and web design, and so much more!
What systems does the VA use to work remotely?
The Internet offers an amazing number of resources that make it easy for people to work together virtually. Our VA’s use programs such as Skype, Google Chat, Whatsapp, and Viber to communicate daily. File sharing is easy with Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive and managing projects is a breeze with platforms such as Basecamp, Asana, Trello and Evernote.
How can I get my work to you?
Clients can submit work in the method that best works for them. Either via email, Google Drive, dropbox or a project management tool. Our VAs are flexible and can work with the client’s preferred method.
How do I get started?
Please call or contact us through the website and I will set up a free telephone consultation. During the consultation, we will discuss your business needs and the virtual solutions that we can provide.
How do I go about engaging the VA?
Our process is simple.
- Once we have ascertained you are a good match for our services, we will ask you to send us a job description for the tasks you wish the VA to undertake for you.
- Our Recruitment Team will review and match you with the two best-suited candidates and will email you their profiles and assessment results.
- If you are happy with these candidates we encourage you to meet with the candidates in a video call on Skype. Our team will coordinate this for you.
- Once you have conducted the interviews and are happy with selecting a VA you will simply advise us and then we will arrange the necessary paperwork and commit to a start date.
What type of cards do you accept for payments? Can I pay via PayPal?
We have an online payment system that can accept credit cards.We accept Visa and Mastercard only. Payment through Paypal is possible however incurs a 5% surcharge.
“Prior to engaging Virtual Elves I was feeling overwhelmed with keeping on top of the day to day repetitive tasks involved in the running of my business. I found myself spending the best part of my day dealing with tasks that I now know can be easily delegated so that my time can be better spent. Having a VA through Virtual Elves has meant I have doubled my turnover in the last year.”
Sarah Hardie – Fabrik
How do VA's record their time?
We use a time tracking tool called Hubstaff where it screen captures and creates automatic timesheets. The VA does not get paid unless the time is logged. This is purely an internal measure for Virtual Elves to monitor our VAs and to refer to if there are disputes with time from our clients.
How does the invoicing work?
Our VA’s are required to run the time tracking tool every time they work on your tasks. The VA will then invoice us with that timesheet every fortnight and we invoice you fortnightly based on that timesheet. Terms of payment are 7 days. In most cases with standard hours per week we will arrange a direct debit payment through your credit card to make it easier.
How does the access to the VA work?
The VA is a sub-contractor of Virtual Elves however you have direct access to communicate with them through their Virtual Elves Email address or Skype at all times. Virtual Elves is here to support you both in a Human Resources capacity.
I have weekly set tasks for the VA to perform, but can I also shoot off tasks to her anytime of day and the VA just logs time whenever they work for me?
Our VA’s understand clearly the purpose of assisting their clients. Additional work can be arranged between you and your chosen VA should they have the capacity. Should the working hours exceed beyond your contracted hours/day then the VA will require your written consent to complete this work.
The basics of the arrangement – Am I buying a service? I assume I am not taking on an employee?
Virtual Assistants are independent contractors. You are not responsible for any employee-related taxes or benefits
The rate levels for varying-different types of skill sets-admin work? Whether there is a minimum commitment to take VA support expected?
The rate level is also based on the knowledge, skills, capabilities and years of experience of the VA. We want to connect a business owner with the right VA to assist them in growing their business. We also provide our VA’s the best rate we can offer in order for us to provide our clients with the service they aim for. Standard VA rates start at $15.75 per hour + GST. Different rates apply for creative services such as our Graphic Design Services and Web Development Services. You can contact us anytime to enquire about these rates.
Can I buy hours in blocks? If so, is there a time limit in which you need to use them?
No we do not offer blocks of hours to be purchased. Our VA’s work depending on the number of hours stipulated in the contract signed with Virtual Elves and is per client. Our VA’s work from their home based offices and are dedicated and allocated to a specific client.
What happens if the internet gets disconnected?
If in the rare event of disconnection or a power failure, your virtual assistant will communicate with their team leader who will contact you via email, phone or via text message. There are often many tasks that can be completed during this time.
If I commit, am I locked into any contracts?
If you are not 100% happy with your virtual assistant, bring it to our attention and we’ll either replace them or end your agreement immediately. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Whether you offer as needs arrangements or top up VA support arrangements?
This can be discussed according to your needs and requirements.
The arrangements for potentially cancelling a VA arrangement?
We believe in mutual and beneficial relationships between our clients and our virtual assistants, so if it is not working we will not try and bind you to a specific term. We just ask for a written notice period of 2 weeks to cancel the arrangement.
What documentation I would be expected to sign?
Before proceeding to this stage, Virtual Elves will require a detailed Job Description and Job Role in order for us to search for the right candidate. A Service Agreement will be submitted for your review and signing prior to commencing work with your VA. We will be happy to send this to you once you enquire about our services.
The lead time it takes in getting a VA on board?
We have a team of over 20 virtual assistants currently working with clients and are available immediately for various roles. Should we need to recruit specifically for you, a minimum of 1 to 2 weeks to hire and search for the right VA is usually standard.
What happens for times such as when I go on holidays and may wish to suspend VA support temporarily?
We do not encourage suspending your VA services as this can create the opportunity for the VA to take on another client and then not be available on your return. Your VA can still work on tasks while you are away if you plan well and you should consider them an important part of your team “holding the fort” while you are away!
What confidentiality arrangements are in place to care take information-material viewed/handled by a VA?
We take pride in our VA’s being trustworthy and our many happy clients can vouch to that. Both our Service Agreement and our VA Subcontractor agreement have clauses relating to Confidentiality and we are more than happy to sign an NDA should you require.
How is the time difference handled/managed?
The Philippines is only 2hrs difference (behind) Sydney in time and therefore we do not notice much of an issue. It will be up to you as the client to stipulate the hours that you require your VA to be online working for you.
The Q&A process you have for ensuring that the match of VA to client remains successful?
An initial interview is scheduled to a prospective applicant/candidate. Once they have passed the said interview, the applicant/candidate will then move to the Pre-Final Interview and an examination will be scheduled to assess their skills, knowledge, behaviour and attitude. If the applicant/candidate successfully passed this process, the Final Interview will be scheduled with the client for the final assessment. The client will be provided with all the documents for review prior to the said schedule. Our process is very rigorous and backed by HR and Recruitment training and tools. Of course these are our best business secrets!
Can we put our virtual assistant’s details on our website?
Yes you can. In fact we recommend it. We encourage you to treat your new worker as one of the team, just like you would with any new employee.
Can we issue our virtual assistant an email address?
Yes you can. You may want to even set up an email header with your office details and maybe even a photo.