Previously I’ve talked about the process for hiring a Virtual Assistant, but once you do, how do you work with your new VA?
First, realize your VA doesn’t know your business. She’s brand-new and just learning you, your business and your work style. Be patient and clear in your instructions. Essentially, for at least the first few weeks (and perhaps longer depending on your business), you’re training her – not about how to do tasks but about your business and perhaps some tasks that aren’t standard.
Be straightforward with your expectations and the timeline for receiving responses and projects. I have a client that wants me to respond “Got it” for every email he sends me, even if I haven’t yet completed the work. For him, I don’t have to respond a second time when the work is completed. I have other clients who just want to know when it’s done. And yet other clients that don’t want a response and assume it’s received and done. Which are you?
Communicate clearly, openly and candidly with your Virtual Assistant. There’s one thing I’ve tried to perfect over the 18 years I’ve been a VA, but just haven’t been able to – mindreading! That’s right – Virtual Assistants cannot read your mind! Who knew??
Schedule regular phone calls. How often can depend on your business, but if you have a lot of moving pieces, you may want to do two or three calls a week. You can do Mondays as a long strategy-type call, Wednesday as a quick check-in call, and Friday as a debriefing call. As you two work together and the workflow falls into place, you can certainly cut back on the calls, although I still recommend weekly calls.
Do you want to keep your newly hired VA from jumping off a bridge? Try not to overwhelm her with too much information, too many tasks and too many different aspects of your business at one time. This can be hard if you’ve been doing things by yourself for many years and you’ve reached the point of overwhelm and have come to the realization that you need help. You’re ready to get rid of all those tasks right now!! But be patient and progressively assign projects to your VA.
Think of it this way; you know how to drive a car but when you get a new one it usually takes a little bit of time getting accustomed to how it operates and where the controls are located. You and your new VA are basically getting a new car here!
However, if you follow these transition tips, you should have a great foundation on which to build a successful relationship with your VA… one that you can develop together!