Many successful entrepreneurs have already used virtual assistant services in running their businesses. Over the years, outsourcing to virtual assistants has become undeniably beneficial especially to startups and small businesses. Still, however, there are some who think twice about outsourcing. The reason? They are not yet familiar with how virtual assistant systems work.
Working relationship with virtual assistants becomes successful if you master how virtual assistant services go. In order to achieve the changes you desire with the presence of a virtual assistant, here are five tips to guide you accordingly:
1. Have a well-established workflow.
Do you want your assistant to be online everyday at a time you prefer? Or you want them to work at their own pace and just keep you updated regularly? This should be cleared before working with your assistant as it might affect both your productivity and efficiency. If you’re the type that wants to assign tasks as they come, then having your assistants work while you also work is a must. But if you’re always on the go and have needs that can be done anytime of the day, you can let them do it their own way. What matters is that you set goals and deadlines so as to reduce frustrations from not being able to contact your VA when you need him.
2. Start with different tasks to gauge your VA’s skill sets.
It’s a given that you hire a VA that can deliver what you need. Consider the fact that as your business grows, so does your needs. If you really want to have an all-around assistant, you should explore your assistants other skills. Give them varied tasks to gauge their skills set. Who knows, your assistant hired for email management only is also very comfortable answering phones and dealing with clients. That would be a missed opportunity if you hire another person to do the job! Don’t be afraid to test his skills because at the end of the day, you’ll just find out that you’ve got a person who could do more than what you expect.
3. Be specific with your instructions.
Be clear in giving instructions when delegating tasks to your assistant. Provide a step-by-step process on executing the tasks and assume nothing from your assistant. Aim to be understood. Do not assume that your assistant knows everything to avoid getting a wrong output in the end.
4. Let your assistant verify his understanding of the tasks.
Your assistant will do the tasks for you, independently as much as possible. It is important that you encourage them to ask questions and verify if they get your instructions right. Know their strategies in accomplishing the tasks as well as the estimated time they need. This way, you let them think on their own and deliver the desired output.
5. Check the tasks’ progress from time to time or every stage.
If you’ve delegated a long-term task to your assistant, better cut it off into several stages. This is a good technique for you to check the progress of the tasks from time to time. Doing it this way will let you discover things that need improvements earlier than knowing it when everything is already done. Check what they have finished at every stage, give your feedback, then give a go signal to continue if the output satisfies you.
These are simple things but, most of the time, ignored. You might say it will take so much of your time. Yes, at the beginning. Ultimately, when your assistant has known the ropes of your business, they can work with less supervision or none at all. Time is an investment, and taking some time with your assistant to learn your business, improve their skills, and become better part of your team is a good one.
So if you are a business owner, consider outsourcing as a choice. Virtual assistant services can bring great things to your company. You just need to learn how to effectively benefit from it!