5 Online Tools You Will Need When Using Outsourcing Services

Like most business owners, you might probably find yourself wanting to escape certain tasks. This daunting repetitive work may be eating a lot of your time but does not give you the level of productivity you want. Hiring a virtual assistant (VA or online assistant) will help you solve this problem. A virtual assistant is a skilled professional adept in providing multiple business solutions, ranging from administrative to creative. She can take care of those meagre yet necessary tasks. Since most VAs are either provided by offshore firms with outsourcing services or individual freelancers, you need to be able to communicate and collaborate with them effectively. The web provides you with many tools you can use to ensure a smooth working relationship with your VA.


Ten Productivity Tips for Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Here are 5 online tools you need when working with a virtual assistant.


Messaging App

Outsourcing Services - Messaging App

By this we mean something like Skype, which can give you the instant access you need to reach your VA. May it be via chat, voice, or video call, a messaging app will help you communicate easily with your VA. There are many options for you such as Google Hangouts, WeChat, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and many more. But for professional purposes it would be best to go for either Skype or Google Hangouts. It also has the most reliable online infrastructure as well.


Project Management App


Having a project management app will help you organize your files and work flow. You’ll be able to create a shared calendar where you and your VA can view your deadlines. You can even create separate communication threads for each project you have. Some examples of project management apps are Teambox, Basecamp, Huddle, Projecturf, and many more! There are free project management tools while the paid ones offer free trial, which is something you should take advantage of to see which platform will work well for you.


Cloud Sharing Platform


Sharing files is one of the things you’ll be doing consistently when you’re working with an offshore VA. You need to be able to share files in the cloud without compromising the security of your data. Dropbox is one of the most widely used cloud platforms. You can also do this with Google Docs. This is probably the best free option out there and the most reliable one at that. All you need is a Gmail account for you and your VA and you’re good to go!


Accounts on Relevant Sites


If some of the tasks you will assign to your VA include searching for photos then you need to have accounts on stock photo sites. This will also save you from having copyright troubles. If you will assign tasks related to thorough research, you might need to have accounts on certain sites that do extensive surveys, white papers, etc. These may cost you a minimal amount but if you will be using it regularly then it’s definitely worth it.


Online Payment Method


Whether you’re hiring a virtual assistant firm or an individual freelancer, you need to be able to pay them online as it is definitely the easiest payment method. Having a PayPal account is a must because firms and individuals can accept payment straight to their banks regardless of their location if sent via PayPal. It’s a reliable and secure payment method which most businesses use. You can also do bank transfers but it’s too much of a hassle not to mention the extra fees you have to pay which is higher than PayPal’s. There are also other payment options similar to PayPal such as Amazon WebPay, Google Checkout, Venmo, and Skrill.


These online tools will definitely help your job easier and faster when working with a virtual assistant. It provides the flexibility and 24/7 availability you need for coordinating and communicating with your VA. A virtual assistant needs virtual tools to help her work more efficiently and these are the basic ones she will need. Most of these tools are free so you have the time and leisure to choose the ones that will work best for you and your VA.

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