As a businessman, you’ve been there before, tight schedules, handful of meetings, mountains of paperwork, and others. You have a lot of work piled up on your shoulders, yet you can’t afford to hire a full- time worker to help you with all the work. If you’re short on resources and don’t want to go through all the hassle of hiring a regular employee, then virtual assistants are for you. They are as efficient and effective in getting the work done as any employee.
Find out how they can help you make running your business easier and more productive.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Before we discuss how to effectively work with your virtual assistant, it’s best to talk first about what they are.
A virtual assistant or VA is a self-employed professional who provides services to their clients while operating outside of their offices. Typically, these professionals work or operate from a home office. Nevertheless, these professionals have access to all vital planning documents, files, records, and the like remotely.
Individuals who are employed as virtual assistants commonly had several years of experience working in a normal office setting before working online.
Different Types of Virtual Assistants
- Real Estate VA
- Admin VA
- eCommerce VA
- Social Media Marketing VA
- Research VA
- Marketing VA
- Bookkeeping VA
- Technical VA
- Graphics Designer VA
Read our previous blog here to further understand each type of VA.
How to Work Effectively With Your Virtual Assistant
Once you already identified what type of virtual assistant you need. Here are vital key points on how you and your VA work toward the same goal.
Make Communication a Priority
We sometimes have this habit of keeping our communication at a bare minimum on individuals who we don’t usually see every time. Well, that will not work with your VA. Having good communication is a keystone for a relationship, especially for people in the virtual world.
As you keep it as a habit of talking to your VA through chat, emails, and video calls. Both you and your VA will become comfortable communicating. It would then be easier for you to point out potential red flags. As for your VA, it would also be easier for him or her to suggest some ideas make the project much efficient and effective.
Share Records or Data
Once you already have established a sturdy communication, then it would be wise to trust him with your business data and records. Before handing it to him, choose a file-sharing platform (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox,) that both of you can access.
What we mean when we say let him or her handle the data, is that you provide all the necessary data(depending on the type of VA you hired) needed for the work to be done. With access to all the necessary files needed, your VA will be able to work with each project efficiently.
Reward the Skill You Value
Everyone loves to be rewarded. In your case, acknowledging your VA for every job well done is always valued. To be more specific, compliment and provide incentive of any great work they’ve done that resulted in a revenue boost. Doing this will motivate your VA to work harder, like any employee, but at the same time you build a good relationship with him or her.
Aside from giving compliments, it’s also good to point out the skills you want your VA to develop. If you find that he or she has great potential in one skill, then encourage it. State clearly what skills you admire and need, and relay what you dislike. Open communication helps your VA improve and your business to flourish in the long run.
Share Your Expectations
Since you’ve already given the list of projects to work to your VA including the timeline for each project, he will be guided on what to work on first. Stating your expectations is vital to the success of the project your VA is working on. But, it’s important to keep your expectations realistic, your VA isn’t Superman. Don’t expect them to accomplish something even you can’t do by yourself.
Other than basic expectations for every task, you should also share with your VA the specific expectation of the project. Remember, that your VA is part of your team, if you want them to do their tasks correctly, don’t leave them in the dark.
In addition, they’ll have a clear picture of what you want to achieve out of the project.
Test Your Virtual Assistant
Before committing a long-term contract with your VA, try giving him or her a test to complete. If he did well and passed with flying colors, then it would be a good sign to have them on a long-term project.
Bear in mind that a good test will measure their capabilities and limits. With that, you can work around their weaknesses and further improve their strengths. Give them a test before hiring or handing them a task, otherwise you might just end up with more work instead of less. Good thing there are agencies like MartechVA who do quality control and regulate VAs, so you won’t have to do the sorting and testing.
Give Them the Right Tools
One of the problems most employers encounter when working with a VA is that they think their VA knows all the tools needed for the job. Well, most of them are not that knowledgeable in terms of tools and processes you do. Sure most have background on general tools, but for industry related tools they will encounter problems.
Remember that these professionals are only making a few dollars per hour. That is why they can’t afford accessing premium tools to increase their productivity and they aren’t working in the same field as you. You may also have processes and tools not commonly used.
You as the employer can make their tasks much easier by sharing them the tools you use for a particular task. Otherwise, it will take them much longer to finish what should have been an easy task to perform.
Establish a Good Relationship with Your VA
Even though both of you are on the opposite sides of the world, it’s still very crucial to establish a good relationship with your VA. To do this, try spending some time with them through chat on their free time.
Try asking common and friendly questions like, “What do you do in your free time?”, “What are your hobbies?”, “Where do you want to travel abroad?”, things like that.
It will not be long until both of you establish a rapport. Once that is built, your VA will value your projects and actually take it to heart helping you achieve your goals. It is essential to establish a good relationship with your VA that goes beyond work, in the same way you need to take care of your normal employees.
VAs no matter how far they are from you are still employees. It’s important to help them do their task so they can achieve the goals you want them to reach. These useful tips will help you build the correct attitude and direction when it comes to handling your virtual assistant.
Don’t want the hassle of testing, sorting and monitoring a virtual assistant? MartechVA will make things even easier for you! We’ll handle the screen and testing of all VAs, all you have to do is order the task you want done. Contact us today to learn more!