Tips for Working with your Virtual Assistant
January 17, 2018
The other day on the blog I shared tips for finding a good Virtual Assistant (read that here!). Finding a good VA is only half the battle though – you have to be able to work well with them to make the investment worth your time and theirs. Usually this is the biggest fear of new clients – how does this work? Will they do what they say? What do I have to do? Does it really get easier? I promise you, if you work hard with your VA upfront, things will get easier and come off your plate quickly and they will get done and done well (if you hire the right person!). Here’s my 5 tips for working well with your new VA!
1) Understand they’re there to help you – not make it harder! If your VA is causing you more work or you’re spending time micromanaging, then maybe a VA is not for you or your business. A VA should be able to take the tasks you want them to off your plate. You should be able to give them some feedback and then they should be able to run with the tasks you assigned them. I’m not saying not to check in on them at first (or at all!) but if you review every single thing they do, are you really getting more of your time back? After your initial feedback is received and corrected, TRUST that they will do their job. And if you find they’re not? Cut them loose. It’s not worth it for either of you.
2) Remember, there will more work up front as you get set up initially. The first week or two with my clients is always full of the most work on THEIR part. We have to figure out how to make my tasks fit into their workflow. For a lot of one woman (or man) shows, this can be tricky. I highly recommend using Dropbox for file transfers, sharing logins and chatting about what works or makes sense and what doesn’t right off the bat. Once a system is in place, things should move a lot faster for both of you and make the process more seamless. I promise, it will be less work for you before too long!
3) Give them the tasks that you DO NOT enjoy! VAs are there to help with the tasks you find to be time-consuming and soul-sucking – which is different for everyone. When interviewing your potential VA, it’s good to ask their experience or comfort level with the tasks you hate. If they hate them too, they’re probably not a good fit. Ideally by giving up these tasks, you’re free to do more of what you enjoy in your business (and probably what you’re best at!).
4) Be open + communicate! From the moment you hire your VA, begin communicating WELL with them. Make sure expectations are set from the start – whether that’s work hours, work turnaround communication limits or systems… the list goes on and on. Remember, they’re a business owner too so there’s going to be some give and take, but by setting up expectations early on, there’s a lot less confusion later when things are going well (or not). Honestly, communication throughout the entire process is key. If you aren’t happy, communicate. If they’re doing well, communicate. Did they help land you a new client? Communicate that too! It’s all helpful to know what is and isn’t working.
5) Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. A good VA should be able to take your feedback (for YOUR business) and adjust. If they’re on autopilot, things aren’t going to work. Don’t be afraid to tell them if you’re not happy, want more, want changes, etc. That’s how we learn your preferences – especially when it comes to social media posts and blogging – learning another person’s voice can take time. Don’t be afraid to tell us if something isn’t quite what you wanted. A VA is there to help your business grow. In the end, you still have final say over what’s going on (just again, try not to micromanage – so that you actually enjoy having a VA!).
So there it is! Working with a virtual assistant should be a great experience (although we all hear about the bad ones!). Just remember this person is coming on as a part of your team and you should treat them that way. Trust them, encourage them, listen to them but also remember this is your business. It’s totally fair and reasonable to want things done a certain way – so set those expectations up front. To me, setting expectations and good communication plus systems are the best way to make having a VA on your team work in your favor. I hope these tips help you and your newest team member do great things!
Got questions about how to find a good VA or interested in working together? Send me a not here!!
Images thanks to SC Stockshop
See other posts on Virtual Assistants here!