Previously we look at the 3 Essential Steps to follow before hiring a VA as well as How to ensure you hire the best VA for your business. This week focuses on starting your working relationship with your virtual assistant.
Once you have appointed your Virtual Assistant, it is important to have realistic expectations. You both need to adjust to working together. Plan for a trial period and gradually inch your way into outsourcing.
Learn when to outsource to a virtual assistant and when it’s faster to do it yourself
It’s almost always faster to do it yourself if it is a one-time thing. If it’s a repetitive task, it’s probably worth training the VA to do it.
Communicate clearly with your virtual assistant
Clear communication cannot be emphasised too strongly.
No one knows your business as you do. Communicate clearly and often with your VA and make adjustments as you go.
At the start, let your VA know what your goals for your business are and how you intend to use their services to best support your needs.
First, assign the tasks including all the relevant information and clear and concise instructions that will contribute towards the success of the project. Be sure to indicate your deadlines – most Virtual Assistants need a 24 – 48-hour time frame to complete assignments, so plan accordingly.
Provide your contact information and indicate the best way to contact you.
Provide training where necessary for your virtual assistant
Although your VA is a professional business person, it is a good idea to schedule some one-on-one training to help him/her to understand how you like things done. This also gives the VA a chance to ask questions
Create a manual of key processes for your virtual assistant
This works especially well with repetitive tasks. It will speed up the training process as well as provide a benchmark for a job well done.
Expect an accounting of the time spent on your business
You don’t have to micromanage your VA, but it is reasonable to expect a summary of the week’s accomplishments or tasks completed, as well as any problems the VA may be experiencing.
Make use of online collaboration tools
This is an awesome tool with allows for online backup, syncing, and file sharing. It is super easy to share important documents like marketing materials, digital signature files, contracts, and more.
Google Docs provides a free online word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and form service that makes collaboration a cinch.
It allows you to quickly create training videos (including screen captures) on various things you need your VA to do.
Skype allows you to have quick chats, phone calls, and video calls with ease. If you need to record your Skype conversation, there are free tools like MP3 Skype Recorder.
Asana is a great online productivity and organisation tool. It allows you to create projects and tasks for your VA, and to track progress in real-time.
This is an online appointment scheduler with automatic reminder and Outlook and Google Calendar integration. You can simply provide people with your own personal URL so that they can set up an appointment based on your calendar availability.
Before long, the work will now get done that you didn’t have time to do before. It feels great when you actually have time for yourself. Maybe with the extra time you have created by working with a VA, you can plan for that much-needed vacation – No, wait. Your VA can do that for you too!