You’ve made the decision to begin delegating many of the tasks that eat up your time, which in the long run eat away at your profits. Good for you, you are hiring a virtual assistant!
In my last blog I gave a few suggestions on how to find a qualified virtual assistant and a few tips on finding the one who is right for you. This month I want to share how to successfully get the most out of your virtual assistant and keep her or him around to help make your business a success for years to come.
Get to know your virtual assistant.
Like any relationship, whether personal or professional in nature, it is going to take time to build a strong, trusting, mutually respectful association with your virtual assistant. Your virtual assistant is eager to please you and will be working hard to gain your trust and respect. I say this because it is really important for you to have the same mindset. Put the effort into gaining your virtual assistant’s trust and respect. She or he will take notice of your efforts, which is going to lay down a solid foundation for a successful relationship.
Clearly describe your needs and provide detailed instructions.
Now it is true that virtual assistants are all professionals and we are absolutely experienced in our niches. We don’t need a step-by-step manual on how to upload documents or – well, you get the picture. However, it’s important to take the time to explain your preferences. If your virtual assistant is going to take charge of your out-of-control email accounts, clearly state what stays, what goes, what receives a reply, what gets routed, etc. If your virtual assistant will be handling your calendar, please be clear about what times of your day/week/month are off limits to accepting invitations. This is where you really want to take the time to clearly explain how you run your business.
Include your virtual assistant in your business.
By this I mean just because your virtual assistant may only be performing certain tasks, invite her or him sit in (virtually, of course) on meetings, discussions, or other events going on with your business. If your virtual assistant has the time to do so, she or he will be more than happy to be a bigger part of your business. She or he will absorb all of this information like a sponge, ultimately providing you with an even higher level of support.
Honor your virtual assistant’s schedule.
In most cases, your virtual assistant has other clients. This does not mean you are not important – but remember that she or he is most likely working throughout the day with other tasks. Discuss the best times and ways to communicate with each other. Will you need to touch base each day? Will having a meeting once a week be enough? Personally, I look forward to my scheduled calls with my clients. Even if there aren’t pressing topics to go over, I still enjoy a small chit-chat, which I feel only enhances a growing relationship.
One of the main reasons you decided to hire a virtual assistant was to ease your workload. You needed to rid yourself of many of the tasks that were weighing you down and keeping you from being the success you know you can be. The above tips are only my own points of view. But if you remember that your virtual assistant’s goal is to help you and you remember that she or he is a professional just as you are, I can guarantee you that your virtual assistant will be around for you for many years to come.