Running a business alone takes a lot of time and energy. It can be very stressful and overwhelming sometimes. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. You can hire an experienced virtual assistant to take some tasks off your plate so you can focus on the most important things.
A trained and experienced professional can become a major asset to your business. However, hiring a virtual assistant for the first time can be scary. But if you learn how to make the most out of this experience, you will optimize your productivity and have more time to run your business smoothly and strategically.
3 Ways To Work With a Virtual Assistant Effectively
When I started as a VA, I went through some hard times with one of my clients, but after learning and applying what I’m about to share with you, we improved our relationship and continued working together for a long time.
SETTING UP SYSTEMS & WORKFLOWS
Systems and workflows are extremely important to make your working relationship with a VA more efficient. It’s easier to share essential information about the company or project quickly and confidently, so it won’t be necessary to bug you with too many questions all the time.
The best way to organize everything you need your VA to accomplish is by using project management software—my favorite system is Click Up. You can create checklists for the tasks you’re delegating and provide step-by-step guidelines on how to do those tasks, what needs to be done, and when. This will help you establish a highly productive and collaborative relationship.
Creating SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) is crucial to keeping track of all processes and workflows in your business. It can take many forms—written instructions, videos, presentations, or diagrams. To be effective, keep them up-to-date with any changes or additional information. It also needs to be easy for people on your team to understand and use. If you don’t have anything laid out yet, that’s something your virtual assistant can help you create and maintain. But I highly recommend starting them before hiring your first team member. It will make all the difference!
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Communication is the key to success in any situation, especially in a business environment. It helps you build relationships, get your point across, and get the job done. Before getting started with your VA, ensure they understand how everything will be organized and how you will communicate with each other.
There are many ways to communicate with people, and you must choose the right one for each situation. Communication is a two-way street. It is not just about the speaker but also the listener. You may need to be assertive and direct when you need something from someone or show respect when talking about a sensitive topic. Feedback and constructive criticism are essential to help improve your working relationship as long as you keep it professional and respectful.
How To Communicate Effectively With Your Virtual Assistant
Many of us work in different time zones because we are constantly traveling or living in other countries, so many tools help us keep in touch with our team members. Here are some of the most popular ways that most VAs use to stay in touch with their clients:
- Weekly check-ins using a Project Management System, like Click Up.
- Regular teams meetings via Zoom.
- Messaging platforms for daily communication like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or WhatsApp for business.
- Voice messaging platforms like Voxer or WhatsApp.
You don’t have to be available all the time, but make sure you keep in touch with your VA. We’ll talk more about boundaries below, but it’s vital to check your systems regularly and ensure everything runs smoothly. So if something is not going well, you can take action quickly.
SETTING GOALS, BOUNDARIES & EXPECTATIONS
Establishing goals, boundaries, and expectations is the first step in building a solid foundation of trust for a successful team. You should have a kickoff meeting with your virtual assistant during your onboarding process. In this meeting, you will go over the tasks you’d like them to complete, goals, due dates, and any other information they need to complete the job.
Establish clear boundaries. This means you have to communicate with them when you’re available to answer calls, do meetings, and the best way to reach you. It’s important to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. And vice-versa. The goal is to ensure you are both happy and have a respectful working relationship.
Ensure you also discuss expectations and what you can expect from them regarding timelines and deliverables. It will help you know how long it will take before you see results and what you can expect from them regarding work quality.
As you start working, you will see how everything plays out, and you may have to adjust a few things here and there. Everything is not going to be perfect all the time. Sometimes you will have great moments, other times not so great! But make sure you communicate openly and honestly as much as possible and respect each other.
Most importantly, don’t treat your VA as your employee. This is a big mistake! They also have a business of their own and are here to provide a service to you. So you can not expect them to be available whenever you need them and work on your terms. Respect them as professionals if you want to make the most of this partnership!
You’ll be amazed at how your business will benefit from a virtual assistant. However, consider a few things before starting to interview people to make this relationship effective. Maybe you will need to make a few adjustments in your business and get ready before bringing someone on board. You can both benefit from this working relationship. I’m sure you can scale your business while helping someone else grow professionally.
If you want to learn more about my work and how I can help you, just click here and check out my services. You can also fill out this form, and I’ll contact you to schedule a virtual coffee chat! I can’t wait to get to know you and learn all about your business!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to purchase through my links at no cost to you. I only recommend products or services I use and believe will benefit you!