The most important thing you'll need
When you decide to work with a Virtual Assistant there’s only one way to treat the relationship. It should be an essential business deal. There are areas where things could go wrong, and the first of those approaches is to treat the relationship casually.
You wouldn’t work with most people without the most important document that you can have in the business world: a contract and this relationship will be no different.
Many people make the mistake of not getting a contract first because they feel like it’s a lot of work. But, it will be a lot more work if you don’t get a contract.
Why is a contract so important?
A contract solidifies the Business Relationship – It’s best to keep your personal and business life as separate as possible, and the best way to do that is through a contract. You’ll probably become close to your VA as you continue to work together, but the contract will help keep you both on the right path.
Without a contract, you have no legal standing – While it’s true that sometimes a judge will enforce a handshake and emails if you have enough compelling evidence to back up your claims (think Judge Judy), but a signed contract is iron clad.
Of course, your contract would have been reviewed by a legal professional to make sure it’s in good order and explain the in’s-and-outs. You will have the contract reviewed, won’t you?
Here's what a contract involves:
1. Writing down the offer – Write down in a list everything that is being offered by both sides of the agreement.
2. Spelling out terms – Relay how much money will exchange hands and how it will happen, such as the monthly fee and how it will be paid.
3. List your contact information – Be sure to list main and alternate contact information such as business name and address work phone and business phone number, as well as pertinent email addresses.
4. State your expectations – Be sure to list all the expectations and responsibilities of each business involved. For example, the Virtual Assistant must get the work done by XXY date, after being given the work by XXX date by the business owner.
5. Clarify the consequences – Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, the consequences of not following the contract need to be agreed on by both parties, including whether both agree to arbitration and which country, state/province, city and county laws will be enforced.
6. Signing the Contract – Technology available today will allow you to sign your documents, making them legally binding. Use something like HelloSign.com to sign the documents. It’s so important to get the contracts signed in a legally binding manner.
Your contracts with a Virtual Assistant don’t have to be complicated but they do need to be very specific and include every eventuality that you can consider within the contract. Include prices, extras, and more. The more you put, the better.
You’ll want to make sure all your contracts have been properly vetted by your legal team. When you take care of these requirements you’ll be on your way to building an important relationship with a business professional who will help you grow your business. They will remove the clutter and you’ll get back to doing what you love.
You've got some ideas take action on as you take these next steps in building your business. What will be your next steps in hiring your first Virtual Assistant? Share your thoughts in the comments - we can all learn from the questions you might have!