Frequently Asked Questions
Unlike most Virtual Assistant setups where one VA works with multiple clients on a transactional-based relationship, a DDA works solely for you, builds a long-term relationship with you, supports you, and grows with you as your business grows.
Dedicated Distant Assistants don’t do other client tasks while working with you. They are present during the hours you need them, and they focus on you and your business' administrative tasks so you can do more high-level work.
If you find yourself constantly working late or on the weekend, missing deadlines, or late for meetings, or doing work that drains your energy rather than work you like doing, these 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.
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 for 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.
We work with fast-growing US-based Digital Marketing Agencies that have at least 10 employees and have been in the industry for at least 3 years. These people love what they do but they do not have enough time and they badly need Assistants to support them.
Our DDAs are trained in Personal Assistance, Project Coordination, and Customer Service. All our DDAs are trained in documenting the step-by-step process of the tasks you are training them on. You’ll find this very beneficial if you’re building or updating your systems and processes.
You can choose to start your DDA for a minimum of 20 hours per week (part-time commitment) and then build up to 40 hours per week (full-time commitment).
No, we don't require a minimum commitment. You may cancel your subscription anytime, just give us 2 weeks’ notice for us to be able to find a new position for your DDA.
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 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 assistant to focus on their tasks better.
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). With ISP, you can pursue a project outside the scope of your DDA’s expertise. We train our DDAs in project coordination. 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 ISP Subscriptions package. Your allowable ISP hours are dependent upon whether you are full-time or part-time. For more information, visit our Integrated Services Program page.
Recruitment & Hiring
Most of the Dedicated Distant Assistants at Bottleneck hail from the Philippines, where English is a second language. Almost all subjects in schools and universities are taught in English, particularly in higher education.
Our 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.
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 to 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.
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 ensure they can perform the job 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.
Yes, you dictate the work hours for your DDA. Our assistants are used to working on graveyard shifts, usually morning in their clients’ time zone.
If you selected the full-time subscription, your DDA will be working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Should you opt for a 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.
After your consultation with us and you decide to hire a DDA, the sourcing process would take around 2 weeks to be able to find candidates that fit your needs.
Once you are able to interview the candidates and decide whom to hire, allow at least 2 days for payment processing, signing of Memorandum of Understanding, and training of your DDA.
All our applicants undergo rigorous screening and reference checks before we pair them with our clients. You can have your DDA sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) during the onboarding.
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.
You may also sign up for our security program. Security is huge for Bottleneck so we came up with this unique service to protect our clients. Our security software is monitored by our Security Administrator on a daily basis, who will also assist your Dedicated Distant Assistants with any computer and security issues they may encounter. For any threats or security issues detected, Bottleneck’s Security Administrator is alerted to ensure that your DDAs devices and connections are fully protected against malware, threats, and attacks that can steal your data and information.
Onboarding & Managing a DDA
We have a step-by-step onboarding process to aid you in preparing for your first day with your Dedicated Distant Assistant. By the time you finish our step-by-step onboarding process, you will have every single thing needed to ensure the assistant you hire can perform up to your standards.
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 hire, 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.
In case your DDA gets sick, we do not offer a temporary replacement for your DDA. In worst-case scenarios where your DDA can no longer work due to health issues, we’ll source a DDA replacement for you.
If your Dedicated Distant Assistant does not meet your expectations or the current setup is not working out for you, inform us right away so we’ll start finding a better fit based on your needs.
One of Bottleneck’s unique services is that all our DDAs are trained in documenting processes. We advise that all training with clients is recorded so that at the end of 60 days, our DDAs should be able to produce a documented Workflow Manual of the tasks they have been trained on.
In the unlikely event that your DDA should leave for any reason, we can source another DDA for you and you can have them trained on your processes using the recorded videos and Workflow Manual created by your previous DDA. You’ll still have to train the DDA but the process should be much easier.
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 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.
Payment & Billing
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.
All our Clients are billed in US Dollars (USD).
We accept PayPal, ACH (bank transfers), and debit/credit cards - but we prefer payments via credit cards.
A payment link will be sent to the client to create an account and subscription to the service. The credit card in the record will be automatically charged monthly for the service subscription purchased.
PayPal or ACH (bank transfer) invoices will be sent out in case the client was not able to create an account and/or had a missed payment/change of card details and technical issues.
Should you wish to cancel your partnership with us, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
We highly recommend that you reward your DDAs if they are performing well. We have bonus options on our payment portal where you can choose from. The full amount would be received by your DDA less a transaction fee of 25 dollars.
Bottleneck has a Paid Time Off Policy (PTO) for our DDAs. Our goal is to reduce unscheduled absences and the need for supervisory oversight. In any case that your DDA gets sick, you are not obliged to pay your DDA however, you are welcome to do so at your discretion. If you decide not to pay the PTO, Bottleneck will still pay your DDA.
During the onboarding, we’ll present a list of US and Philippine Holidays. It’s up to you to approve or not approve of the Holidays. You may opt to provide a list of your company’s Holidays as well.
Your DDA is obliged to file a Leave of Absence form 2-weeks prior to their leave.
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