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Don’t put your online business at risk when outsourcing during coronavirus

Don’t put your online business at risk when outsourcing during coronavirus

The virtual assistants (VA) industry has grown at an incredibly rapid rate over the last few years. Now, due to the recent increase in home working due to the coronavirus pandemic, many more people are considering a change of career or growing their virtual teams.

Overall, this is great news for the industry and economy: those of us who have worked in it for the last few years know how beneficial virtual working can be and the results and support we give to our clients.

Charlotte Wibberley, founder of the Association of Professional Virtual Assistants, shares her insight. She says... 

There is a saying ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’.

While this is true across all parts of our life, it is particularly so for business owners looking to take on a VA.

Most VAs are set up professionally and robustly, however, we’ve seen a growing number of new VAs moving to the industry following redundancy/furlough who don’t meet the essential criteria for running a safe online business.

Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of what they need to have in place to protect themselves and their clients and in some cases, not everyone is prepared to comply.

During these uncertain times, it is essential that any support you take on for your business will enable you to continue to operate safely in the online world. Therefore, your VA must be set up correctly and meet industry standards.

To help business owners understand what the minimum requirements are to keep businesses safe, the team at APVA has put together a list of the ten essentials you need to check before agreeing to work with a new VA:

  • Make sure you sign a robust client contract and have read their terms and conditions
  • Check their business insurance is up to date (Professional Indemnity and Cyber Security are a MUST)
  • Ask if they are registered for data protection with the ICO
  • If they offer financial support, they must be registered for Anti-money laundering regulations (AML) with HMRC
  • Talk to them about their contingency plans if they are on holiday or sick – will there be a backup in place? What happens to you and your business if they are absent?
  • Make sure you review their privacy policy for details on how they plan to access, manage and, in time, remove your data.
  • If something goes wrong, what is their complaints & refund policy?
  • Likewise, what is their policy for data protection & handling or sharing data?
  • How do they handle secure password sharing?
  • And, finally, do they have client testimonials you can review?

We want to help you to protect your business by using an approved VA. At the Association of Professional Virtual Assistants, we train, support and help VAs to develop professional and sustainable online businesses. We have a set of minimum industry standards and we give VAs who meet all these essential requirements our stamp of approval so that you can be confident that you are working with a professional.

Look out for our ‘Approved VA’ badge and make sure you are asking the right questions when you take on your next team member.


COVID-19 Business Support Hub

These are challenging times for business and although our ethos is to only shout about good news, we've created COVID-19 Business Support Hub on the Love Business the website to support you with expert tips, advice and ideas from your fellow businesses to help you get through this COVID-19 crisis. 

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