When you hire an external consultant for your business you want to ensure you are getting value for your money and you are receiving all of the deliverable tasks you were seeking right? Of course you do! When you engage the services of a Virtual Assistant there are a number of ways you can ensure your experience is a positive one for both you as the client and your Virtual Assistant, because it really is a two way street and you want it to be a positive experience all round.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant isn’t like hiring a direct employee for your business, it’s more a mutually beneficial arrangement for you as a business and for your Virtual Assistant in providing their expertise and services to you. Here’s four things for you to consider and follow when you are hiring a Virtual Assistant for your business to ensure that your experience is a positive one.
Fully Understanding Your Business Needs
Before hiring your virtual assistant, be sure to have a clear idea of what tasks they might be able to take over from you and what they can do to meet your business needs. Virtual Assistants are fantastic assets, have great working knowledge in their varying specialist fields and generally are great at jumping in – but they can only do this when you as the business owner can be clear about what tasks you need the Virtual Assistant to complete. Having a full understanding of your business needs also guides you in selecting the right Virtual Assistant for your business, because if you need help with your social media and you go and hire a Virtual Assistant who specialises in transcription and data entry then things may not necessarily go very well for the both of you.
Keep Open and Clear Communication
Note this doesn’t mean micro manage your Virtual Assistant. Open and clear communication runs on from understanding your business needs. If you can clearly communicate your business needs to your Virtual Assistant then you will be on the same page in terms of what is expected from both parties. This applies to Virtual Assistants too, in order to be successful as a VA the lines of communication with your clients should always be open and respectful. Within this space being clear about expected timeframes and deadlines for tasks that you allocate for your Virtual Assistant is also very beneficial. I have had previous managers tell me that mind reader was on the job description but just not written on there (get it?), well I can assure you relying on mind reading capabilities with your Virtual Assistant is a one way ticket to being in a not too positive place at the end of the day.
I mentioned previously how hiring a Virtual Assistant isn’t the same as hiring a direct employee for your business. As Virtual Assistants work remotely they generally have a workload that incorporates work for other clients as well, they aren’t a 9 to 5 Monday to Friday administration person that will necessarily be there at the drop of an email or a phone call (depending on the arrangement you have with your Virtual Assistant). Building a trusting and respectful relationship with your Virtual Assistant will in time allow for urgent tasks to be completed as required but if you are leaving things to the last minute consistently and not allowing your VA the opportunity to undertake your work within a more realistic timeframe then your stress levels as well as your Virtual Assistants will eventually reach a breaking point – which isn’t a positive experience for anyone involved.
Don’t forget your Virtual Assistant is a human being and not a faceless robot at the other side of the internet connection! I personally love having a laugh and having a great relationship with my clients, because we are all doing what we do because at the bottom of it all we are passionate about our businesses and what we are trying to achieve. And as a Virtual Assistant it makes my heart swell when my clients are absolutely kicking goals and knowing in some small way my efforts are helping them to achieve that. And doing it while you’re having a laugh helps to lighten the mood and builds that two way communication that you need between you and your Virtual Assistant.
Life’s too short to take everything too seriously!
Korryn Haines is an administration ninja with over 10 years of administrative experience in a wide range of industries. Based in Brisbane and founder of Encore Admin Consulting, she provides virtual assistant services to small businesses and solopreneurs. She loves a nice big pot of tea, smashing out a BodyPump class and spending time with her young children, husband and lovable Cocker Spaniel. Connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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