Hiring a Virtual Assistant is Easy, Keeping a Good One is Not
4 important tips to follow before and after hiring a virtual assistant.
If you’re lucky to find and end up hiring a virtual assistant who meets your expectations, you have found a goldmine. Keeping a goldmine a secret will be difficult, as good virtual assistants are in demand. Below are 4 must-follow tips to ensure you have that relationship for a very long time.
1. Perform the Task Yourself 1st, Then Assign it to a VA
Is this a task you have done but you’d rather outsource it to someone else?
If you answered yes, you’re one step ahead of the game. Knowing the steps to take to complete an assignment will make handing it over to a VA much easier because you will be able to communicate each step concisely and be able to caution against pitfalls.
2. What if the Task is Outside of Your Knowledge Base?
Hiring a virtual assistant to perform a task that is outside your knowledge base will require you to clearly communicate what the outcome of the assignment must be. For example, you may not know a lot about bankruptcy, however, in hiring a virtual bankruptcy assistant, you can ask them to:
Give you the latest updates re: Chapter 11, & Chapter 7
List who is eligible for each chapter filing
Specify where online, to get the paperwork to file under each chapter
Do not assume that a VA will know what you want to be done. While they may be an expert, they still do not know YOU or WHAT YOU WANT. Leave nothing to chance. Be as specific in your assignment as you can. It makes their job easier and working with you easier.
3. Communicating Regularly with Your VA is Key:
Whether your VA speaks your language fluently or not, communicating clearly and regularly with your VA will influence the outcome of your assignment and your future working relationship.
The nature of a VA is that they work remotely. You may never meet them in person, see their working environment or speak with them on the phone. In fact, there’s a high likelihood that you will only ever communicate with them in writing, be it via email or instant messaging. Be it that you communicate via email or you do talk on the phone, setting the “communication-tone” of your working relationship is of the utmost importance.
Most VA work relationships will break down because there is a lack of communication, not because of poor workmanship, but because the communication was insufficient and it caused you or your VA stress.
4. To set the communication tone of your VA relationship, try the following, where applicable:
Let your VA know that you are available for questions. If you specify a time they can reach you each day, make sure you are reachable. This will build trust and make you appear reliable.
Ask your VA to give you a status update on work performed. Request that they send you an email by 9am each day with such updates. Adjust this based on how long the assignment will take.
If you leave town or are out of reach for any length of time during an assignment, send them an email to let them know. You can request that they do the same.
The VA relationship requires more communication and extra clarification, more so than a relationship with an employee who works in your office. Because that person doesn’t work face to face with you they will never see your facial expressions to know that you don’t like something or that because they haven’t seen you in a while it means you have been out of the office because you were sick. Keeping lines of communication open and regular will ensure that your project is on course for successful completion and you’re planting seeds for a long-term fruitful relationship.
7 Virtual Assistant Services was born out of our own frustrations: we found that it was hard to focus on growing a new business when mundane tasks interfered with our work. When we tried to outsource this work, we had to deal with time-zone differences, language barriers, inefficiency, and binding contracts. We thought there must be others like us, so we decided to solve the problem by creating a service for everyone.
Time is money and we save you both.
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