Starting any working relationship with anyone can be a tough time unless you have found the right fit and working with a virtual assistant is no different. The main reason for a successful working relationship with a virtual assistant is hiring the person that right for you and your business.
BUT, OF COURSE
There are other ways to ensure success, so I am going to provide you with my main tips here. There are plenty of conversations I have had with both prospects and clients where they have had a really bad experience with the virtual assistant they had chosen, so they were sceptical about working with another VA. I am worried by these conversations, why? Because they are more regular now the VA market is growing.
DO NOT MICROMANAGE
Micromanaging is a big issue when working with a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants have their own company, they are highly skilled professionals that work well independently and micromanaging them like they are a member of staff is counterproductive not only for you but for them too. Why use your hours you have paid for to gather an update three times a day?
Business owners sometimes look at virtual assistants as ‘just administrators’ when in actual fact many VA’s have a great amount of knowledge that you could benefit from. Afterall, they work with numerous businesses and see an overview of great systems etc which could help you. Two heads are better than one right?
AGREE ON A WORKING PROCESS AHEAD OF TIME
Virtual Assistants usually have a long list of clients which they are juggling and you need to be mindful you are not the only client the VA has and quite often an immediate response is not practical when it is not an urgent matter. Allow your virtual assistant to schedule their work and have the trust that your work will be completed within the time frame provided. I personally always overestimate when agreeing to a deadline for work to ensure I can achieve it – Its better to be early than late!
DO NOT CHOOSE THE ‘CHEAP’ VA
More often than not if you hire a VA that’s a lot cheaper than the industry average of £25ph you will not get the best value for money. You can find yourself in a position where the VA doesn’t stick to deadlines, treats their business as a side hustle, the VA not trading with the required cover and even ‘guessing’ when completing the work with no experience which can all mean the work takes longer and therefore you end up paying more! I know this all too well with some clients I work with that have been stung before – You wouldn’t choose the cheapest hairdressers in the UK and let them loose on your hair, would you? You would think well what is wrong with them.
FINALLY, MEET THE VA IN THE MIDDLE!
You get the most from people when they feel appreciated and valued, but if you are not even taking things into consideration then it can make them feel undervalued and they will not provide suggestions which could, in turn, help you and your business. Communication is essential and that does not mean having a call every day, it could just be a regular email update etc. But if the VA feels there is an area of improvement, try it out you could be pleasantly surprised!
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