He blogs to 30,000 readers at SoftwareByRob, runs one of the most popular startup podcasts, Startups for the Rest Of Us, and wrote the book on starting small startups: Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup .
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This course is a deep-dive into hiring a VA (virtual assistant) for your startup/software company. It answers every question I've been asked about hiring a VA. I've hired more than 20 remote workers over the past 6 years.
The course is broken up into 4 parts:
Part 1: Why a VA?
What is a VA and why would a startup founder want to hire one?
What kind of tasks can they help with?
Isn’t it faster to do things yourself (and be sure they get done correctly)?
Part 2: All Your Questions Answered
Can you hire a VA part-time?
Should you hire part-time or full-time?
Are they paid hourly or do you have to buy a block of hours?
Are there long-term commitments?
What are the pros and cons of hiring someone domestic vs. international?
Should you hire a firm or an individual?
How do you keep a VA from making off with sensitive data, code, passwords, etc...?
Part 3: Hiring Your VA
Where do you find good VAs?
What does your 4-step hiring process look like?
Part 4: Working with Your VA
How can you ensure you aren’t being over-billed?
How do you send passwords and other sensitive data to your VAs?
What are the best types of jobs to delegate to a VA?
The course consists of:
I have worked with VAs in the past with mixed success. This course gives a nice overview of the process and provides detail where it is most helpful. The interview style was a nice way to present the information. I picked up some great tips for the next time I hire a VA.
I have a startup and I always believed that I could do any job more quickly, and correctly than anybody else. Rob explains several reasons why this can be a limiting belief. The tips about focusing on time zones, culture and part-time assignments with individuals VAs are very valuable. The analysis of the various tasks that one can assign to a VA illuminating and the explanation of the step-by-step VA selection process should be a standard operating procedure for entrepreneurs. The course is not only interesting to watch and listen to but also a reference given the written notes provided. I am looking forward to more courses by Rob, especially on hiring designers, developers and copywriters.
Rob gives a very realistic explanation of what to expect, unlike many people who tout the idea of hiring a VA to do everything under the sun for just a few bucks an hour. He goes into specific details about how and when to hire, and crucially, how to manage your VA effectively. I've recently hired someone as an apprentice, and although the position is different from hiring a VA, I found this content to be highly relevant. What I found particularly useful were the specific details, such as the discussions about sending passwords securely and screencasting tools and techniques. There's a wealth of information here, and I highly recommend it.
This course is a short, sweet, and step by step process that's very easy to follow. I've never hired a VA until now, and I can see how many mistakes I would have made if I hadn't learned the secrets from the hiring 'trenches'. These guys know their stuff and present it clearly and efficiently. I would highly recommend this course to those who plan to hire VA's in the near future, and don't have loads of experience doing this already.
I have been researching VA's for months trying to figure out just how much they could help, along with how to find a good one that would not just offset my time spent doing the work to time spent explaining how to do that work. Rob does a great job of not only explaining where VAs can significantly save you time, but the actual steps he used to find a good one! Highly recommended, it will save you time almost immediately