Virtual Personal assistants are gradually becoming more and more celebrated as great tools for small businesses looking to grow and expand. Will variable skill sets, high attention to detail and reliable assistance, a virtual personal assistant can save you hours of work a day. But only if you nurture the relationship and utilise your time with them to make delegation seamless.
Once you’ve hired a Virtual PA it’s important to work on maximizing the benefits of working with them. Let’s take a look at our top 10 tips for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to get the most of out their Virtual PA.
Provide Clear Instructions
What can we say – communication is a key aspect of the virtual relationship that comes up time and time again. Without the access to a quick chat over coffee here or a breakfast before work to discuss work, the importance of communication is amplified tenfold. Not providing clear and concise instructions for delegated tasks will cost you more time and stress in the long run. While you are learning how to work with a virtual PA try to find a system or strategy that works for you both and make sure they feel comfortable to ask questions.
It can take time to find your feet with your VA and finding what works for you both. So, take time to get to know them with a quick informal chat to make sure you are both on the same page. If you need more help, find out how best to work with a virtual assistant before you get started.
As a busy entrepreneur or small business owner it can be easy to get frustrated when delegated tasks aren’t completed exactly how you want them. That’s probably one of the reasons you started your own business in the first place, right? But, remember the reasons why you are outsourcing a virtual personal assistant. It might be to gain back time with your loved ones or to expand your company or to ease the mounting administrative tasks. Either way, be kind and think of the process as one which deserves patience and kindness to flourish.
Document all your processes
Documenting your preferences and processes is a sure way to guarantee that deadlines are met and attention to detail isn’t overlooked. Keep a shared google drive with various documents which outline various processes and preferences. With documents like these to refer back to you, small FAQs will be easily accessible for your Virtual PA. Further still, with fantastic shared platforms like Google Docs you can both upload information and edit documents when necessary. This way an open line of communication is always open for you both.
Overcommunicate with your Virtual PA
This may seem counterproductive – but trust us, it is far better to overcommunicate than to let things slip through the net. With the nature of Virtual personal assistance being remote and flexible, you do not have the added employee acquisition costs such as providing an office space, PC or printer. Learn more about what a virtual assistant is and the benefits of outsourcing to one. But in order for this to work, communication is key. We recommend scheduling regular meetings in the early stages, perhaps even every day, to ensure that your VA feels supported and not left in the dark. Investing in this valuable time with your VA will ensure the long-term success of the relationship.
We all know that forward thinking is critical skill which, when mastered, can save you time, money and stress. So, for your virtual personal assistant, try to think in the long term. What do you want them to do able to do in a day, seven days or even a month? It’s important to think about your short-term, mid-term and long-term goals and how your Virtual PA can help you achieve these.
Delegate part-time jobs
Have you ever found yourself putting off a task because you hate it? Or simply because you know it’s not a strength of yours? We are all guilty of doing this. With feedback from clients we have found that by outsourcing these tasks for a virtual personal assistant they can concentrate on the more important aspects of their business without the worry about difficult niggly tasks. Not exactly sure about what to outsource to your virtual assistant? Use trial and error to see what works for you both.
Schedule a call to discuss new tasks before they begin
It’s easy to end up writing a page long email filled with enough detail to fill a book. But, in a world built on efficiency, sometimes a quick phone call can avoid confusion and back and forth emails. By having a phone call which gives a brief overview of the project, you can ensure that your VA is fully on board with the agenda before sending detail and specifics via email. Time efficiency is key here.
Set Explicit Instructions
As we mentioned before, communication is a necessary skill, tool and life saver when it comes to maximizing the benefits of having a Virtual PA. From the get-go, provide a couple of helpful templates and examples for them to read over or research. Then building on this, delegate some relevant tasks and see what needs improvement. Provide feedback and move on, ensuring they understand what went well and what went wrong. As time passes, micro managing in this way becomes less necessary as you learn what to outsource but while establishing the grounding, easy techniques like this save time and money in the future.
Maximising your Small Business with a Virtual PA
Lastly, to run, manage and grow a successful business, you’re going to need a team of talented people who ensure the smooth running of daily activities. On that team, you’ll need specialists in each field. As everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, you’ll maybe even need to outsource various tasks to reap the benefits of various people’s expertise. The main thing to remember is that outsourcing various niches, allows you to focus on your niche. Instead of spending time of projects or repetitive tasks that consume your energy, instead focus on tasks that look at business goals and generative consistent revenue.
So whether you’re looking to get the best out your current Virtual PA or would like to book a free trial, we hope these top tips help you to outsource some work and get focused on the overall success of your business.