Congratulations! Your business is growing and you took the step to add a Virtual Assistant to your team. Good move! Now, you can concentrate more on the mission of your business, your clients, and growth while your VA handles the administrative tasks. You’ve got it made in the shade – but you can’t just “set it and forget it”!
Skilled VAs are highly adaptable and a fantastic resource to help you augment and streamline productivity. But a cake doesn’t become a cake if the ingredients stay on the counter and never make it into the pan.
The added benefit of having a VA is streamlining. The more ways that a VA sees you work in real time, with actual scenarios, the more likely they are to be able to make recommendations for improvements to your workflow. Here are some ways that just 10 minutes from your schedule can make your work easier!
Spend a minimum of 10 minutes daily communicating with your VA. Active, frequent, and consistent communication helps solidify your client/VA relationship. Especially at the beginning, or as a new task is added, a VA will have questions – sometimes many. VAs are incredibly savvy and you hired them because they demonstrate skill in your field. Chances are, the questions they are asking have a lot of forethought. Addressing your VA’s questions in a timely fashion helps you and the VA execute tasks with more efficiency.
Don’t be afraid to tell your VA how you prefer to receive questions, too! This focus helps you both avoid fragmented conversation, miscommunication, and frustration.
10 minutes makes your VA feel included on the team. Unlike a short-term, task-driven worker (think Fiverr, Craigslist, Upwork, etc.), a VA is more likely to be with you for the longer haul. In fact, VAs are apt to have a strong need for feeling connected to a team. Chances are that they will be speaking with your clients and working on your more advanced projects. The more successful VA/Client setups prioritize connection. [Learn more about differences between outsource providers and VAs here!]
VAs have often made the choice to become a VA. They may have relocated or have personal reasons which compelled their move to a remote model. However, they come from very impressive professional settings where they were a trusted member of very dynamic, interactive teams. They were afforded time to learn the nuanced curves of their employers’ operations, workflow, culture, and preferences – things that you know like the back of your hand but are brand new for your VA. Help your VA understand how you approach your work, your data, your logic models, your management style, etc. for the best outcomes.
Make 10-minute training videos for your VA on processes you conduct on a regular basis. You can record this via screen capture using apps Loom, Movavi, or even Zoom. (If you aren’t familiar yet with these features, your VA is happy to show you!) You can record while you are completing a task anyway, so you are not spending duplicate time on training. This helps your VA walk through your processes with a visual aid. When you delegate the task to them, they can rely on your guidance. This is much more efficient than your VA trying to figure out your systems by trial and error.
VAs enter your setting with a strong backbone of professional skill. Clients often make the mistake of minimizing the investment of onboarding time. For people who are hired into full-time jobs, the onboarding process can take anywhere from 3-8 months from onset to full integration/optimal performance.
Your VA (who may be balancing several clients) is already expected to accelerate their learning like they’re driving on the Autobahn. Think of it like this: even the fastest, most fully-loaded car at the Indy 500 needs to fill the tank and get a service check before they’re sent along on that next speeding lap around the racetrack.
Spend 10 minutes a day in maintenance and tune-up mode. Managing expectations will certainly position you and your VA for mutual success.