FAQs

How can we help you?

What is a Dedicated Distant Assistant (DDA), and how is it different from a Virtual Assistant (VA)?
Answer

A Dedicated Distant Assistant is a personal assistant who works remotely in tandem with you and/or your appointed team members.

Unlike most Virtual Assistant setups where one VA works with multiple clients, a DDA focuses on you and your business' administrative jobs, allowing you to focus the jobs important to you.

How do I know if I am ready to hire a Dedicated Distant Assistant?
Answer

If you find yourself constantly working late or on the weekend, missing deadlines or late for meetings, doing work that drains your energy rather than work you like doing, are all great indicators you would benefit from a DDA.

There are essential jobs you might not have the passion to do, like administrative or accounting tasks. Hiring a Dedicated Distant Assistant alleviates the work, letting you focus on the things you love about the business, or pushing your business to the next level.

Can my Dedicated Distant Assistant speak English well?
Answer

Most of the Dedicated Distant Assistants in at Bottleneck hail from the Philippines, where English is a second language. Almost all schools and universities are taught in English, particularly on higher education.

Applicants go through a three-tiered vetting process which includes a language comprehension test, to make sure their verbal and written communication, as well as their comprehension meets our exceptional standards.

What do your Dedicated Distant Assistants specialize in?
Answer

Our Dedicated Distant Assistants specialize in executive assistance. We also offer Website Management, Graphics Design, and Audio / Video Editing expertise through our Integrated Services Program, so you won't have to look for different vendors for those services.

For more information, please refer to our Integrated Services Program page.

What if my Dedicated Distant Assistant doesn't work out?
Answer

If your Dedicated Distant Assistant does not meet your expectations or the current setup is not working out for you, please contact us so our Recruitment Manager and On-boarding Specialist can work together to find a better fit based on your needs.

What if my Dedicated Distant Assistant doesn't show up for their shift?
Answer

We are here to serve and support you. If your Dedicated Distant Assistant does not show up for work, reach out to your business development representative right away. You can also send an email to info@bottleneck.online.

Can my DDA answer my phone calls?
Answer

Yes, they can. We advise you to provide them with a script on what they can talk about with your clients, and also encourage you make sure that your personal assistant understands your company's mission and vision. This enables your Dedicated Distant Assistant to answer your calls with the same tone, professionalism, and voice as you would.

How much experience does my DDA have?
Answer

Most of our Dedicated Distant Assistants have experience working as an executive or personal assistant in the past, and all of them have a least a college degree or equivalent training.

What is the difference between an executive assistant and a personal assistant?
Answer

Executive assistance can cover multiple Managers or team members, as well as oversee and provide direction to others as a Project Manager. A Personal Assistant will report to only one person, but can also handle project management on a smaller scale.

Both have access to our Integrated Services Program (ISP), so you are free to choose which one fits your current business model.

What type of industries do your Dedicated Distant Assistants specialize in?
Answer

We focus on general administration for General Business, Medical, and Real Estate; from executive to personal assistants and other specific services such as workflows and contract paperwork for real estate, or medical scribing and insurance coverage verification for the medical industry.

Since my Dedicated Distant Assistant is working remotely, how do I know they won't steal my information?
Answer

We understand that most people are hesitant to share sensitive information to someone they do not know. We make our applicants pass rigorous screening and reference checks before we pair them with our clients. Our contracts include a Confidentiality Agreement to protect you and your business.

We recommend taking it step-by-step in building trust between yourself and your personal assistant. Start off with some general high priority tasks and only give access they require. Once you've established a good working relationship, you can opt to give them more responsibility requires more access. You maintain total control over your own security protocols and our DDAs adapt to your business systems and processes.

Your DDA can also utilize tools such as VPNs and Password Managers like LastPass.com, in order to beef up information security from external threats.

What if I don't have time to train, I just want to hire someone that is already trained?
If you do not have time to train somebody yourself, we recommend having someone in your team train the Dedicated Distant Assistant. It ensures the assistant understands your thinking and work process. Your new assistant must learn the specific workflow and your work pace to maintain your brand integrity.
 
As with any new hiring, there will be a learning curve at first. The more time you spend with your DDA, the quicker they can adapt to your direction and expectations.
 
If you do not have a fixed process or workflow for your business right now, a Dedicated Distant Assistant can help you with that. They can nail down the steps and processes involved in your business and document it for you.
Will I be able to interview the candidate you choose for me?
Answer

Yes. After our internal interviews and screening, we will introduce them to you during the introductory call. You can interview and give them a short task, to make sure they can perform the task to your standards. 

If you do not feel the person is the right fit, or think they are not performing up to your standards, we will line up another candidate for you.  

What if I like my DDA so much that I want to bring them on directly?
Answer

The nice thing about working with Bottleneck is that you can look at us like a Virtual HR Support team. We are happy to work with you.

What is the 'Golden Goose Theory'?
Answer
Often, when someone hires a Dedicated Distant Assistant, they assume they will be able to answer their phones, manage their calendar and e-mails, build websites, do graphic design, etc. all at the same time. But it is not possible for one human being to have the capability or skill set for every one of those tasks.
 
We specialize in hiring personal and executive assistants who have training in project management. If you have tasks like new graphics for your page banner, they can utilize our Integrated Services Program (ISP). You have to option to get ISP when you hire a Dedicated Distant Assistant. This allows your personal assistant to focus on their tasks better.
What is the Integrated Services Program (ISP)?
Answer
The Integrated Services Program, or ISP, is a program specific to Bottleneck.
 
A misconception when hiring a Dedicated Distant Assistant is the idea that they can do everything, which is just not possible (See Golden Goose Theory). We train our executive and personal assistants in project management. With ISP, you can pursue a project outside the scope of your DDA’s expertise. Your DDA will task it to Bottleneck's internal team of specialists in web development, graphic design, or audio & video editing.
 
You can avail of ISP through our Premium Service package. Your allowable ISP hours are dependent upon whether you are full time or part-time. For more information, reach out to info@bottleneck.online. You can also visit our Integrated Services Program page for a detailed explanation of our services.
What is Bottleneck's role after the hiring process is complete?
Answer
This is a question that is seldom asked but is very important. Once you have successfully hired a Dedicated Distant Assistant, we will handle all financial matters for services rendered. We will also assist with attendance or work-related issues. We also provide ongoing training and support to our team as new technology or business-related concepts come up, to ensure your DDA is growing with you. Your DDA will also be in touch with us for any Integrated Services Program-related tasks.
 
If you want to raise or lower their hours, provide a bonus, or need more ISP services beyond your allotted hours, this all goes through Bottleneck. We are your DDA’s HR team.
What is the first thing I need to do?
Answer
The first thing you will do is complete the inquiry form. We will then send you a link to schedule a free consultation. During the consultation, we will answer your questions and ask some of our own, to get an idea of what type of assistance you need.
 
For more information, you can check out our Inquire page and take the first step in having your very own Dedicated Distant Assistant today!
How long does it take to hire a Dedicated Distant Assistant, and what is the sourcing process?
Answer

It usually takes about 7-10 business days. Once a client has gone through the free consultation and has submitted a DDA Intake Form, it is forwarded to our recruitment manager. Our recruitment manager analyzes the data you have provided and identifies candidates that have gone through our four-step hiring application.

These candidates go through additional interviews, based upon your intake form answers. We will do reference checks and then they must pass our three-tiered vetting process. We will check their language comprehension, tech capabilities, and they will take a soft skills and personality assessment.

Once we have identified a candidate, there is a final interview and project management training. We then acquaint them to you during the introductory call with our recruitment manager and business development executive. We will introduce you and the candidate and answer any questions or concerns.

How do I know if I can afford to hire a Dedicated Distant Assistant?
Answer

It is important to understand if you have the financial ability to support hiring someone for at least six months to a year. If you have been in business more than five years and doing six figures annually, you have the ability to hire a Dedicated Distant Assistant. If you are still uncertain, reach out to us and schedule a free consultation via our Inquiry page. We will be happy to address your questions and concerns.

How much time should I set aside to train my new Dedicated Distant Assistant?
Answer

We encourage our clients to set aside at least an hour a day for the first two weeks. Use this time to let them ask questions about your processes. In time, as the DDA becomes familiar with your systems and processes, you can reduce training time to once a week, then once a month, until eventually you train them when you are changing or implementing something new. In the beginning, we encourage them to spend a minimum of an hour a day for the first two weeks with you. This is so you can set expectations early between you and your DDA.

What kind of on-boarding process do you have?
Answer

We have a step-by-step on-boarding process to aid you in preparing, not only to hire, but to build job rules, set up meeting agendas, and how to determine what tasks you can delegate to your Dedicated Distant Assistant. By the time you finish our step-by-step on-boarding process, you will have every single thing needed to ensure the assistant you hire can perform up to your standards.

What times are DDA’s available?
Answer

Your Dedicated Distant Assistant will be online during the business hours you indicated on your DDA intake form. If you selected the full-time subscription, your DDA will be working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Should you opt for the part-time subscription, you can discuss with your DDA whether you prefer them to work at the start of your workday or the second half of it.

What CRMs will my virtual assistant be familiar with?
Answer

There are many CRM’s available and our DDA’s are familiar with most. Please specify a CRM on your DDA Intake Form. We will source for a candidate with experience and the ability to learn quickly how you utilize your CRM.

Does my DDA use Slack, Basecamp, Trello, Asana, etc.?
Answer

We use and train our DDA’s on project management software called Basecamp. Please specify which tools you prefer on your DDA Intake Form. While we will look for DDA’s with experience with the tools you use, there are so many different brands of software that we may not find someone who knows your software; however, we will make sure that your DDA is knowledgeable with Project Management software in general and is not only willing to learn your software of choice, but will do so competently.

What kind of phone system do you use?
Answer

We can use any phone system that you may already have set up for your business. We utilize Dialpad as our VoIP provider and can assist you in setting one up for your business.

What is the best way to communicate with my VA?
Answer

It totally depends on your preference. Slack, Zoom, Skype, or even just email – whichever you are most comfortable with. Make sure to inform your DDA of your preferred communication tool, so they can setup the necessary tools or software for it.

What video conferencing software do we use for meetings?
Answer

We mainly use Zoom for our online conference meetings, but you are free to use other videoconferencing tools when meeting with your DDA, whether it be Skype, Jitsi, Google Meet, etc.

How do I keep my company/personal information secure?
Answer

We use and recommend a VPN subscription for your DDA. This protects you from external threats that might steal valuable data. We also use and recommend a password manager like LastPass.com. This allows control over the access you give your DDA. You can also adjust it as you see fit or as your DDA’s responsibilities increase.

How much does a virtual assistant cost?
Answer
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average monthly cost* for one desk employee in the US is about $6000/month. The average monthly cost for hiring a Dedicated Distant Assistant is about 26% of that!
 
You can choose your pricing and terms with a Bottleneck dedicated distant assistant – visit our Pricing page to learn more.
 
*Costs include payroll taxes, overhead, insurance, software, hardware, and wages.
What is the 13th month bonus?
Answer

The traditional 13-Month Bonus is the average income of a Dedicated Distant Assistant for the current calendar year, divided by 12. This amount is provided to DDA’s during the month of December. Our payroll department sends out an email reminder in November with additional details.

How do I pay my bill?
Answer
We offer several subscription plans for part-time and full-time DDA’s. Visit our Pricing page for more information.
 
Project-based plans are invoice-driven, while subscription-based plans are automatically charged to your preferred debit/credit card. All invoices/payments are sent out/processed in advance.
What if I want to cancel?
Answer

Should you wish to cancel your partnership with us, please reach out to payroll@bottleneck.online. We will suspend your subscription, discuss notifying your DDA (it is customary to give a 2-week notice) and alert you to the final day your subscription expires. We will also ask for feedback as this is crucial for improving our services in the future.

What if I want to increase/decrease my VA's hours?
Answer

If you wish to adjust your virtual assistant's hours, please contact payroll@bottleneck.online and schedule a meeting with our payroll department. They will discuss your options for pricing, timing and alerting your DDA to the changes.

When are paydays?
Answer
Our clients’ payment due dates are dependent upon what program they select and when they begin.
 
DDA’s are paid bi-monthly on the 1st and 15th of the month through third-party exchange software. Generally, funds are available on that pay day. Sometimes they post early and sometimes there can be a delay of 1-3 days for the exchange.