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WHY HIRE A VA?

For many of us trying to build a business or career, time is the one thing we’re short of. And, in the midst of trying to juggle work and life, we can often feel overwhelmed.

Imagine having someone else to take some of the pressure off by handling some of your workload or the personal tasks that drain your brain and your time. This is where a Virtual Assistant or VA comes in. By outsourcing your tasks, you can free up valuable time in order to do what you do best and focus on the bigger picture of your life and business. 

READY TO OUTSOURCE?

Many people resist outsourcing at first, reluctant to give up even the tiniest portion of their work for fear others can’t do it as well. Your business is your baby, and trusting someone else to manage your social media, communicate with your clients, and manage your inbox can be scary. However letting go of some tasks and letting someone take the reins for you is often one of the best decisions you can make. Of course, you need to make sure that you hire a trusted individual who is the right fit for you and your business. 

 ESTABLISH YOUR COMMUNICATION PREFERENCES  

In a virtual world, communication is most definitely key. Good communication will be a determining factor in the health of your relationship between you and your VA. To avoid any mishaps, it’s good practice to establish your communication preference during the onboarding process. Do you prefer to use WhatsApp, email, or have weekly calls? Make sure your assistant understands how you prefer to communicate, and how often.

Remember virtual assistants are not mind readers. That job you sent through may require a bit more information. Especially in the beginning stages, it’s important to include too much information rather than too little.

BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR EXPECTATIONS 

Don’t underestimate the time a job takes 

It might feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders once you start outsourcing but that doesn’t mean the task will be completed within half an hour. To avoid uncertainty and potential frustration, establish a time limit with your VA per task, and check with them whether the allocated time is feasible before they begin work. 

Depending on the size of the job, anything within one week is considered a fast turnaround. VA’s usually work with multiple clients and need to manage their workload accordingly. 

ASK WHAT OTHER SKILLS THEY OFFER 

Before spreading out various tasks between various employees, check with your VA if they have the skills and capacity to help you first. For example, you might have a VA working with you on social media management but they may also be able to help you with the graphics and video content for your website as well. And if they can’t help you with a particular skillset they may well be able to find someone else who can.

GIVE FEEDBACK 

As with any profession, it’s important to receive feedback in order to improve and provide a better quality of work. If you feel that your VA isn’t quite on the same path as you, it’s important to have a constructive conversation about what you’d like to achieve and how they can better support you. Also remember that feedback goes both ways, so if your assistant is doing a great job, tell them. 

PROVIDE YOUR ASSISTANT WITH EVERYTHING THEY WILL NEED 

As part of the onboarding process, you should provide your assistant with anything they might need in order to complete work for you. This includes logins and passwords, email access, shared folders, etc. If you’re hiring an assistant to do design work for you, whether that be a website, flyers or social media graphics, make sure you give them your media kit including brand guidelines, logo and font files. 

DON’T EXPECT YOUR VA TO BE AT YOUR EVERY BECK AND CALL 

Understand that a good VA will be in demand. Although we are very efficient, we do have other clients and each task needs to be managed and prioritised accordingly. Please do not expect your VA to reply to every email within minutes of you sending it. Your VA might consider a reasonable response time to be within 24-48 hours during busy periods, but you might think otherwise. This is why it is important to establish these expectations during the onboarding process, so you can set up your working relationship for success. 

NEED A HELPING HAND? 

I can help with many things including proofreading, blog and newsletter writing and social media management. 

If you require some assistance, get in touch! email [email protected] to arrange a chat. 

Kate Vayle
Author: Kate Vayle

Hi, I am a Virtual Assistant and I help busy business owners by taking some of their work to give them more time to focus on what matters most to them. I specialise in creating and scheduling social media posts, blogs and newsletters, but with 20 years experience in high level customer service, I can help with anything from booking in appointments to dealing with complaints. I also have years of experience creating documents for compliance and process structure within organisations.

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