Virtual Assistants are a valuable investment for any busy business owner who needs an extra set of hands. A Virtual Assistant can be a huge asset to your company by taking on more time consuming and mundane tasks that you don't have the time to handle yourself. Our job is to help your business stress less, get more done and succeed! Here are 7 best practices for working with your Virtual Assistant.
Let Go of Your Negative Mindset
No business owner wants to admit that they need more help in their business, I completely understand that, but sometimes you need to ask for help from a Virtual Assistant. The main tip that I have for you is to let go of your negative mindset. Asking for help is not at all admitting defeat, asking for help is actually a very smart move in your business and can definitely maximize your productivity. You're only one person and each member of your company has their own important tasks to complete, they shouldn't have to take on more than their job description entails. A Virtual Assistant will proactively take on those tasks that you need to delegate and they will help you get them done in a very timely and professional manner. A Virtual Assistant will never think of you negatively, we're here to help - it's our job!
When working with a Virtual Assistant it's very important to be as detailed as possible with any project or task that you delegate to them. If you know exactly what you want you should communicate that to your VA and they will be happy to comply. If you don't know exactly what you want, ask your VA for input. They will be happy to have a brainstorming session with you to come up with the best plan for your task or project.
Know What You Want to Delegate
Once you have a discovery call with your VA you should make a list of tasks or projects that you want to delegate to your assistant. You want to ensure that your VA can handle the tasks, that they know how to handle the tasks and you want to make them aware of the workload. Depending on the VA's pricing model, this may also help them to determine a price for you. Knowing exactly what you want to delegate and communicating that to your VA will make the process go smoother and they will be able to get started on your work as soon as they get the list!
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communication is key when working with your Virtual Assistant. There is no such thing as too much communication between a VA and a business owner. You can check up on your project as much as you'd like, you can send updates that you might need and you can ask them for advice when you feel you need some advice. Virtual Assistants are very open to communication and most use many different platforms for messaging their clients. (Skype, Slack, IM, Text, Etc...) Make sure you know what platform they use and get their messaging information before they start working with you. That way, you will know the best way to contact them when you need to.
Micromanaging is ok in a normal work environment but remember that your VA has their own business and is an independent contractor. While you can communicate with your VA as much as you'd like, many VAs do not like micromanaging. We completely understand that you want your work done a certain way and we are happy to do the work however you'd like, but we are professionals and very skilled at what we do. We will definitely make sure that your work is done to your standards and very professionally. If you have any concerns once a project is done, voice them to your assistant and he/she will be happy to tweak whatever you feel needs to be tweaked.
Treat Your VA as a Team Member
Even though your VA is an independent contractor it's important to have a good working relationship with your VA and treat them as a valuable part of your company. After all, your VA is helping to make your life and business easier by taking on tasks that you want to delegate to them. Thank them as you would thank a regular team member and let them know how grateful you are to them for helping you out. Most businesses are very thankful and sweet to their VAs, but this always should be said since there are some who treat their VAs as a few tiers lower than them.
Understand Your VA’s Schedule
Most VAs have a different schedule than the normal 9-5 so make sure that you know your VAs schedule ahead of time. Ask your VA if they accept after hour calls/texts and ask if they can work on emergency projects as they arise. Make sure that their schedule flows with yours so you can work seamlessly together and get work done! After all, that's why you're working with a Virtual Assistant, isn't it?