I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.
I hear the term “virtual assistant” more and more in business and medical practices. Some virtual assistants have degrees and even MBAs in business administration. You could also hire someone from another continent who works while you sleep for maybe $8 to $12 per hour. Virtual assistants can be hired at a bargain and provide significant value.
With the growth of virtual assistance, there’s also been a change in what it means to be a virtual assistant. The leaders and founders of this particular entrepreneurial job have defined what it means to be a virtual assistant. When you’re explaining your practice to potential assistants, you want to make sure to keep this in mind.
So what is a virtual assistant?
Being a virtual assistant is becoming a distinct definition of a specific home-based business. A virtual assistant provides a variety of services to companies and medical practice owners, following the standard formalized in the past decade. The first angle that is taken towards approaching what a virtual assistant is includes the idea of being virtual. Those not working out of their home or remotely are not considered virtual assistants. Instead, it is considered to be a temporary job or a telecommuting job.
One of the standards for being a virtual assistant is having the freedom to work where they want. The second part of being a virtual assistant is the distinction that is made in the job description. Most virtual assistants will cringe at the idea of being called a secretary or freelance worker. Technically, a freelance worker is one who only does the job for extra income. At the same time, a secretary doesn’t do the work continuously with only one client. A virtual assistant is provided to create a substantial and long-term relationship with a business.
Here are 5 things to consider with virtual assistance:
Does the virtual assistant answer their emails, voicemails, and other correspondence in a timely and professional manner? It is essential if this person is to work for you that they have the right skills not to keep you or a deadline waiting. Make sure you give a covert task to him or her to pass that shows commitment to deadlines.
2. Project management
Juggling tasks nowadays is vital. We tap our feet in front of the microwave, so things need to get done quickly. If a person cannot work with a few projects on the go, you might need to move on. I guarantee you will only find out they have a project management problem when you lose the big deal.
Many of these people work for several people at the same time. It is not uncommon for you, as a contractor, to be in a funnel system for a virtual assistant. You slowly move down the funnel as they take on better contracts from new virtual contractors. Be aware that you and your project will get dropped at your most inconvenient time. So try to split your work between two or more virtual assistants to combat this problem.
Give the virtual assistant a mini project before going ahead with a contract. I give a minimum of two tasks that cost no more than $30 to $40 to complete. I need them done correctly and to my total satisfaction before I even consider this person. It is simple to hire one of the first few people to come along, but please short-list at least 10 and give the task to two of the 10 you short-listed. Make sure that these tasks are something that you want to be done. Ultimately, you don’t want to waste any money.
5. Get references
Can the virtual assistant give you a list of people you can contact who will tell you about working with them? The main distinction that most virtual assistants will work towards creating is the idea of being in a relationship with the business and making this their business. This goes beyond the expectations of any temporary work or telecommuting job. It also means that the services a virtual assistant can provide will go outside of typical job descriptions made in the office.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, short on time, or needing an extra hand, hiring the right virtual assistant(s) will save you time and money. In doing so, you’ll notice an increase in your productivity and quality of patient care. You’ll also gain a new perspective on your business. Again, be sure that you hire the best fit for your needs and your business.
Read my blog post about having an entrepreneurial mindset.
Attention, Physiatrists! Stop leaving money on the table. Sign up for the free video series: How To Build A Profitable Practice in 90 Days or Less: http://www.sixtytosuccess.com
I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Follow me on social media @DrHassanRehab.