How to Find and Hire a Virtual Executive Assistant in North America

How to Find and Hire a Virtual Executive Assistant in North America

Learn what a North-American-based executive assistant can do to help you scale your business


How awesome would it feel to take your to-do list from “overwhelming” to “complete”… and keep it that way?!

Manage Your Tasks More Effectively

VEA is a virtual Executive Assistant (EA) and bookkeeping company. We help business owners and executives free up their time so they can focus on what matters most – working on (not in) their companies!

You probably have a number of administrative tasks that are taking up too much of your time. VEA offers a solution that will help you focus on the most impactful tasks to grow your business while delegating other jobs to a trusted partner.

Administrative Tasks

In many cases, checking email, booking travel, managing expenses, and scheduling appointments is not the best use of your time. We call these items menial tasks, and offloading work to an executive assistant is a great step toward focusing solely on the biggest projects that help scale your business. 


When deciding what to hand off first to an EA, a good rule of thumb is to pass along the tasks that drain your energy, you don’t enjoy, and drain your time. 

For example, many of our clients have told us that they spend hours a day sifting through endless emails, many of which do not even provide valuable information. A skilled EA can help you achieve Inbox Zero, which is the idea that you spend less and less mental energy on managing your emails as your EA oversees that task for you. Can you imagine waking up one morning with no emails in your inbox? Miracles can happen.

What Tasks Can My Virtual EA Perform?

All of VEA’s EAs are highly experienced and possess a broad professional skill set. Here are a few of the top ways you can work with an EA to lighten your daily workload and refocus on the things that generate growth.
  • Email Management: Productivity and mental well-being improve when your inbox isn’t cluttered with hundreds of unread and un-categorized emails. Your EA will not only help you manage incoming emails but also establish filing protocols that will ensure you can stay on top of emails well into the future. Inbox Zero is possible with the right executive support. 


  • Document Processes: Make employee and customer onboarding a more successful and rewarding experience when you can easily share your tried and true business processes with stakeholders. Your EA can draw up detailed descriptions of how to execute processes and outline the exact steps needed to complete a task from start to finish.


  • Calendar Management: Ensure important meetings and deadlines don’t fall through the cracks. Your EA will manage appointment setting, reminders, and even help you get ready for appointments so you are always prepared and in control of your workday.


  • Travel Booking: Have you tried to change or cancel your travel arrangements in recent years? An experienced EA can effortlessly navigate the world of flights, hotel reservations, and rental car bookings. They also know all the tricks for transferring vouchers, using your points cards, altering itineraries – so you can be on your way without losing years of your life to on-hold music in meantime.


  • Vendor Management: If you run a business, or even head up a department within a larger organization, chances are you contract out for various vendor services on a regular basis. Your EA can communicate with vendors, track and place orders, and stay on top of contracts. There is a lot to do, and nobody should be expected to manage it all on their own.


  • Research: Similar to vendor management, an EA not only keeps tabs on all current vendors, but they can also help research and vet potential vendors, suppliers, product research options, software, etc. If you give your EA the parameters, they will be happy to find relevant options.


  • Data Entry: It may feel tedious to some, but accurate data entry is essential to knowing your customers and building valuable relationships. A good EA has an eagle-eye for precision, and fast typing fingers don’t hurt either, so your databases are always up-to-date and working for you.


  • Appointment Setting: How often do you set a meeting, only to have someone change or cancel it? Or, perhaps your unpredictable schedule oftentimes leads to scheduling gymnastics in order to accommodate you and the team? Rather than risk missing meetings or feeling frustrated over the amount of time you spend on rescheduling, let your EA take over this menial, yet critical, task, so you can be sure you are showing up to the right things at the right time, and not stuck in renegotiating times and schedules if something changes on the fly.


  • Transcribing: Yes, there are a host of tools and apps these days to turn audio into text. However, no technology is foolproof, and transcribed audio still requires some heavy editing in order to make it understandable. No surprise here that a good EA is happy to take on this transcribing challenge. Also, not all conversations can be perfectly recorded by a speaker. An EA can also transcribe what is said during key meetings or presentations so you have a long-lasting record of what was discussed, and when.


When is it Time to Hire an EA?

How do you know if you are ready to hire an Executive Assistant? Ask yourself – what is one hour of my time worth? Calculate your current hourly rate by dividing your salary by 48 weeks (assuming you take vacation) by 40 hours/week.

$125,000 / 48 weeks / 40 hour = $65 hourly rate

Or, calculate your intended future salary by dividing your desired salary by 48 weeks by 40 hours/week.

$250,000 / 48 weeks / 40 hour = $130 hourly rate

Once you have learned your business and you become profitable, start handing off tasks that drain your time and energy so you can focus on the highest-value jobs. If you are taking out a business loan or bringing on a VC, you can start to build your team and outsource faster.



Free up Your Time and Grow Your Business

VEA offers a range of executive services to support busy business owners. We find passionate, creative, experienced, and dedicated talent in many of the departments necessary to run a successful company. 


In addition, our staff is 100% North-American based. Whether you need a virtual Executive Assistant in Canada, a virtual Executive Assistant in Texas or anywhere else in North America, we will provide one for you. 


Our specialty is long-term partnerships that come at a fraction of the cost of traditional, in-house employees. There is only a 20-hour minimum requirement per month for our EA services and no minimum requirement for bookkeeping and fractional controller services. And, we’ll never ask you to sign a long-term contract. Set up is quick and easy, and your EA will become a vital part of your team in a short time frame.  


Contact VEA to learn more! Visit our EA services page to discover more about the many ways we can help you grow your business.



Derek Burbidge 

Manager of Sales & Marketing

Push Your Business to the Next Level

Push Your Business to the Next Level

The term ‘MVP’ in business is not exactly a position you want your business in, it means “Minimum Viable Product,” and that is where most businesses start. We’ve all started there and if you are reading this, chances are you are ready to grow your business to the next level. (Scroll down to find our worksheet to help you get out of the MVP stage and push it to the next level.)

I had a major realization in my business that it was time to move past the MVP stage when a 50 cent Ikea hanger broke causing a $1,000 garment to fall to the ground right in front of a client. I knew at that moment it was time to invest in higher quality accessories. I’m sure they agreed. You could have similar examples:

  • A Financial Advisor with a $20,000,000 portfolio but you hand your clients flimsy 3 cent binders for their documents
  • A retail store with unbranded packaging
  • A client services company without proper and cohesive branding
  • Anyone with a @gmail or @hotmail e-mail address, not having is unacceptable at this point

The best way to start a business is by hitting the ground running and to learn as you go. A business that tries to start off being completely professional and perfect never gets off the ground. The term Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is used for a business that has enough to get off the ground and start selling. The MVP stage is never meant to stick around, the goal is to grow, tweak, adjust and refine as you go. If your business has started at the MVP stage, chances are there are portions of your business that are still there.

Here is a list of things you may want to start implementing in your business to refine it:


  • Have you started out with no systems? It may be time to implement new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) which will help you hand off certain tasks to current or new employees.
  • Are you spending too much time on menial tasks such as Social Media, e-mail follow ups, invoicing, etc.? Using programs like Hootsuite for social media bulk uploading, Hubspot as a Customer Relationship Management Software or hiring a VEA (Virtual Executive Assistant) can take those time stealing tasks off your plate


  • Did you start with a low quality product to prove the model?
  • Now that you are rapidly growing are you finding your customer service suffering?
  • Are your cost prices too high? Do you have more buying power to negotiate a lower price?
  • Are the bags, mail outs or stationery you use a low quality? Is it time to spend a little more to get something that is high quality?


  • Do your clients demand too much of your time? Have you done an analysis to see how much per hour you are making when you factor in driving time, time with the client, paper work, etc?
  • Is it time to reach higher clientele? It may be as simple as raising your prices or expanding your network to reach a higher income bracket.


  • Did you higher interns or those with no experience just to get started? If there are employees who are more of a headache it may be time to replace them.
  • If you love your employees start investing in training. Most training can be a tax write off and the government may offer grants to cover the cost.

If your business is moving past the MVP stage, congratulations! Taking these next steps will help ensure it has a long life and we would love to help you with restructuring and taking the menial, time consuming tasks off your plate. Let us know if there is a way we can help.

To complete the work sheet below, simply fill out the areas of your business that are stuck in the ‘MVP stage’.


Make sure to check out the services we offer to help as well as our blog post on ‘Why Are You Still Doing the Menial Tasks?

Derek Burbidge, Manager of Sales & Marketing