Quite often many people think that simply the action of hiring a Virtual Assistant will change everything in their business.
They often assume that miraculously their work will get completed with minimal effort on their part. Once they get started they quickly become disappointed to discover their work isn’t magically getting completed as they thought it would. What most people don’t realise is that how the working relationship between them and their VA is managed is what is key to making things a success.
There are some simple strategies you can put in place to make sure you don’t end up frustrated after hiring a VA. Here are my top tips to ensure working with your Virtual Assistant is a success:
Delegate like a pro
This tip is first as it is by far the most critical thing to get right when working with your VA. Imagine you send someone to the supermarket for you and say to them: “I need some food picking up and I need it within the next hour”. What do you think you would get back?
The request was so vague that it would be almost impossible to guess what the results would be. You could end up with a trolley full of shopping but then again you could also end up with just a little basket full. It could be full of healthy fruits & vegetables or it could also be full of junk food.
If you were to do this for real you’d probably write out a list of the things you needed and give that to the person doing the shopping!
When it comes to business and delegating work to a Virtual Assistant the vague scenario I mentioned above is what quite often happens! People rush their instructions and as a result they end up too vague and very broad in terms of the possible outcome!
Make sure when you delegate tasks and projects that you take a little more time and really think about:
- What you specifically need to be done
- What your desired outcome is
- What tools your VA will need to do the job eg your mailing list, your logo file, a document with the relevant info, etc
Taking just 5 minutes more to really think through what you’re delegating can make the world of difference in the quality of the work you get back!
When you delegate tasks do you put a deadline on them?
Are you the “always urgent” client or the “whenever”?
It’s important to understand that your Virtual Assistant most likely supports a number of clients as well as you. They have to prioritise multiple tasks and projects to ensure everybody gets their work completed on time.
- Don’t mark anything “urgent” unless it truly is. If you find you genuinely need to mark everything urgent then perhaps look at planning ahead more and getting projects/tasks to your VA earlier. Many Virtual Assistants charge double the hourly rate for last minute, urgent tasks so not planning ahead could be quite costly for you!
- Always put some sort of deadline on work you delegate to help your VA to prioritise it’s completion no matter how far away it is! This will also help you avoid turning a non-urgent project into a last minute “I need it now!” scenario!
Keep in touch
Whatever you do – don’t delegate and disappear! It’s important you keep the lines of communication open to make sure the work you get back is high quality. For example, if you asked your VA to create you some blog images and they come back to you with drafts to approve, ensure you make the time to review and feedback to them! I know this one seems a little obvious but it happens………
Likewise if you have delegated a fairly big project or process to your VA to manage ensure you make it crystal clear how often your VA will feedback to you – is it daily, weekly, etc?
Keeping all communication and files organised when you are working with a Virtual Assistant is essential. From personal experience there is no better way to do this than a Project Management space. Trying to make sense everything when you’re skipping from email to email in your inbox can be a nightmare – there is always an email that goes missing!
When clients sign up with Virtually Angels I always create them a complimentary dedicated area in my Project Management system. We categorise discussions by what project or task they relate to and keep the dialogue in it’s own area. There is an area for easy access of files and an area for writing and amending content complete with versioning. It’s so easy to see changes and developments within a project without having to use several applications and files stored in different areas.
If your VA doesn’t currently use a system like this maybe you could suggest it to them? You can create a project management space for your own company and simply add them to it to make collaborating on your work simple and easy to manage! I wouldn’t be without mine! I love Teamwork but there are lots available out there so do have a look around at the best one for you. (Just a heads up – that is an affiliate link but I do absolutely love it, use it every day and genuinely recommend as a great tool to others).