Tammy, yours is a common complaint.
What I`ve found in my 10 years of business, listening to clients and the marketplace, is that they haven`t known how to go about the process of hiring the right service provider. So what happens is that they fall back on the only things they know, which is to go about it as if they were hiring an employee (which doesn`t work because you aren`t hiring an employee when you hire an independent professional and there`s a whole different set of criteria involved), or they shop by price (which leaves out just about every other more important aspect for meeting your business needs and finding the right fit).
To help business owners find the right Virtual Assistant and give them a process and understanding for doing so, I wrote an article titled "How to Hire a Virtual Assistant: Your 10-Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Fit."
You can find that here: http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com/how-to-choose-a-vi rtual-assistant.htm
Your other other comment, about it being easier to do yourself, is also a very common sentiment. What I like to get business owners to do is put some math to that. What do you consider your hourly rate as the business owner and entrepreneur? Multiply that by the number of hours you spend on non-revenue generating work (such as administrative tasks). That`s the number of hours you are NOT making money for your business, and the total you get after multiplying that is the amount of money that`s been expended on that work.
The questions to ask yourself are, Is that a sensible, profitable and strategic use of your company finances? Could someone else do that work more quickly, more efficiently and more cheaply than you doing it yourself? Would that freed time be more beneficially spent by you on growing your business? And how much would your profits increase if you allowed yourself to focus your efforts there instead?
Yes, some things could be just as easily handled yourself. But as the idea person and profit-maker in your business, is that the best use of your time and attention? What is that wastefulness really costing your business?
Danielle Keister, The Relief Virtual Assistance
Administrative Support Services for Business Consultants and PR Professionals | Founder, Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce