Virtual Assistant Virgin? - How to work with a virtual PA
Updated: May 6, 2019
Do I need a virtual assistant?
If you lack time and feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks you have to run your business or busy life, it's probably time you sought help. Follow the steps in this post to make outsourcing pleasurable.
When is the right time to get help?
Initially it may seem nerve wracking to handover your precious business baby, whom you have single-handedly nurtured to for so long, to someone else. However, there comes a time in every successful business’ life when the anti is upped and new guardians step in.
As soon as you have some extra budget, no matter how big or small, is a good time to get help. Having support will enable you to grow your business and take it to the next level. It is not possible to do everything yourself and can be physically and mentally draining. Getting a virtual assistant means you can concentrate on the parts of the businesss you love doing, meaning you will be more focused and productive. You may also find that the VA can do a better job than you on the back office jobs you have been struggling with. It is also worth getting help if you are lacking certain skills such as organisation, editing, writing, graphic design and digital marketing.
Do I need a PA to help with my home life?
If you are thinking about getting a virtual PA to handle your personal and home life - think about all the hours you spend on life admin, researching and organising for your home and lifestyle. Even two hours support per week could buy you back that precious time so that you can spend it with friends and family or just relaxing!
Tips to ensure hiring your first VA is enjoyable and stress-free
Make sure your VA is someone you can get along with and will enjoy working with day to day.
Be honest. If you are someone who prefers direct over ‘fluffy’ communication, just say it. This will help to set expectations and avoid any future misunderstandings.
Start with handing simple tasks to your VA. Build up workload and complexity of jobs as your working relationship and their understanding of your business grows.
Use a web application like Asana or BaseCamp to view and organise projects and tasks with your VA.
Agree on an approximate amount of time you would like spent on each task. If your VA notices it is taking longer than expected you can readjust the time allocation as you go.
Decide on the best methods of communication from the beginning. Discuss your preferred types of communication with your VA, be it by Whatsapp, weekly Skype call or email.
Set boundaries. Come to an agreement with your VA on when you are happy to communicate and when you don’t want to be disturbed i.e. on holiday or weekends.
If needed, make time to train your VA by sharing your screen and teaching them tasks to be taken off your hands. Get your VA to create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for all business tasks which can be used as a guide for them and new team members. SOPs are also important for understanding the business as a whole and for looking at ways of improving processes.
Ask your VA to help with time consuming and tedious tasks such as data entry or social media scheduling to free your time for more pressing matters.
You can assign your VA tasks that will help ease your home life as well. This may include ordering flowers, finding the perfect gift, sending cards, researching tradesmen or holiday destinations, booking travel and accommodation or arranging personal appointments.
Learn to trust and value your VA, they will grow to be a vital driving force behind your business, success and happy work-life balance.