From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center/Customized Virtual Business Solutions
Virtual Assistant Weekly Tips – Week of September 21 – September25, 2015
Not sure if you need or how to use the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA)? Hopefully, my weekly tips will help you or give you new ideas on how to use the services of a professional VA.
Weekly I provide you with all of the tasks a virtual assistant can do for you and thusly, your business. I have tried to help you envision all of the things you “should” do when it comes to hiring a VA. This week, however; we will take a look at three mistakes you “should not” make when hiring a VA.
This week’s helpful tips were taken from an article written by Dorie Clark. Dorie is a marketing strategist, speaker and professor and he has lots of experience working with VAs.
Dorie has mastered the art of delegating repetitive or administrative tasks to qualified VAs and has learned, sometimes the hard way, how and when to hire a VA. In his article, “3 Mistakes to Avoid When Working with a Virtual Assistant,” Dorie shares his mistakes and suggestions to hopefully make the process a positive one for both you and the VA you will eventually hire.
Before I share snippets from Dorie’s article, let me suggest this…the key to experiencing a high level of productivity from your VA and yourself, is pre-planning. Make sure you have all of the tasks, resources, expectations and standard operating procedures in place “before” you bring your VA on board. If you plan ahead, your VA can hit the ground running and partner with you to run a successful and profitable business.
I am providing Dorie’s short list of things to avoid when hiring a VA. The first suggestion is extremely important. VAs cannot read your mind or anticipate your expectations. You will need to define your expectations in depth and once you do, a qualified VA will take that explanation and run with it.
- “Failing to scope out your tasks. Well before you hire a VA, it’s useful to make a list of tasks that you’d like them to perform for you.”
VAs are multi-talented, but they are not mind readers. At least the one’s I know aren’t. Therefore, at least during the beginning of the relationship, you will need to make the time, take the time, to review the VAs work. Once you and your VA have worked together for a while, s/he will probability need less work review.
- “Not making time to review their work. It’s tempting to think that once you hire a VA, you can delegate the task and then forget it. But, at least at first, that’s definitely not how it works.”
Finally, you should have systems in place. You should already know how you want your business to run before handing the reigns over to someone else. Provide a blueprint and a good VA will build on that and make process improvements. But they must have a starting point. Read all of Dorie’s insights in his article for Entrepreneur.
- “Not creating a system. One of the best things I did with my most recent VA was developing an “assistant’s manual” prior to her starting the job. I wrote down step-by-step procedures for the most common tasks I’d be asking her to do and put all the relevant information, such as website passwords or frequent flier numbers, into one easy-to-search document. (Depending on the task, you could also consider making online videos to demonstrate procedures to your VA.)”
A VA can be your best asset and right hand allowing you to remain business focused. Pass those duties over to me today.
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