Have you been so busy hustling in your business that you’re losing sleep, your quality of work is suffering, or you feel like the admin tasks are eating up your ability to do the work you’re most passionate about? It might be time to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) then. By delegating the tasks that are keeping you up at night, and taking away hours from your day you’ll be investing in your Flow. This can ultimately save you money, time, and energy while enabling you to grow your business.
Learn how to successfully hire and work with a virtual assistant so you can get back in your flow with these 5 tips:
- Invest time in hiring the right VA
- Prepare: document processes, delegate (don’t micromanage), know + set reasonable deadlines
- Regularly communicate + build rapport
- Invest in shared systems/records
- Set expectations + reward skills you value
How to Hire the Right Virtual Assistant for You
Ask around. Your friends, colleagues, and network will likely know people who work as virtual assistants and they will be more likely to be vetted and recommended since they’ll be coming in through your own network.
Know your budget while you’re conducting your search. Virtual assistants’ rates vary based on level of experience and specificity of skills. But, it won’t be like hiring someone full-time. VA’s typically offer packages of hours and then contract with you for a set number of months with the option to extend. This allows you to pay only for what you need.
Interview your VA options and make sure to not only ask about skills but how they prefer to work, what lights them up, what type of clients they prefer to work with. Questions like these can help you find someone that you vibe with, allowing you to truly get into your flow because you’ll feel more comfortable delegating tasks. By finding someone who you mesh with , you will be creating a partnership with someone who can match your tone of voice for email replies, someone who cares about your business and understands your vision and can help you find ways to do what you do even better.
Ask for references of current and/or former clients to make sure that what you learned during the interview is how the client feels as well.
Once you’ve selected your ideal VA, it’s time to get started. If you haven’t prepared in advance, the first thing your VA could help you with is getting organized and prepared. They can help you sort through all the tasks that you do in a given day and determine which tasks to delegate their way no and in the future. They can help you document your processes in order to replicate them and/or automate them with templates, etc.
Another aspect of being prepared is to know when you need tasks completed by. Start by setting reasonable deadlines for the tasks that you clearly define with your virtual assistant.
Communicate Regularly and Build Rapport
The key secret to successfully working with your virtual assistant is communication. DOn’t overlook effective communication. It’s imperative that you provide clear instructions for all work that needs to be done. You will also want to schedule regular meetings to check in and check up because this builds rapport and trust in your relationship. By spending that time prioritizing communication, you’ll increase confidence in one another’s abilities and form a solid working relationship that will endure.
Invest in Shared Records / Systems
In order to track the work that needs to be completed, a shared system is important for files, emails, and documents. If you already use some of these systems, then add an additional user so that your VA isn’t logging in as you (safety first, am I right?). Something as simple as Google Drive might be all you need depending on the work you have your VA tackling. Other systems that might be worth investing in would include project management software (i.e. Trello or Asana), social media planning (i.e. Later or Metigy), expense tracking (i.e. Quickbooks).
Invest only in the systems that you need. Those decisions are based entirely on the work you and your VA will be doing together.
Set Expectations and Reward the Skills You Value
You’ve hired the right VA, you communicate regularly, and deadlines are being met, but something is still not quite right. Ask yourself if you’ve clearly set expectations. Do you need access to your VA at specific times of the day or days of the week and maybe you’ve been unclear? Are the templates being created just ok and do you need more? Make sure that with every task, you’re clearly defining what success looks like. It isn’t just about getting the task done, sometimes it needs more and you need to make sure you’re specifying what that is.
When you see your VA going above and beyond in certain areas or some of the skills they brought to the relationship are valuable to your business, make sure to share your gratitude for them as well. Encouragement goes a long way to improving the relationship and the outputs too. It’s worth thanking them for doing these things even though it is “part of the job”.
These tips for successfully hiring and working with a virtual assistant came from an interview we conducted with Heather Kirk of Business From Home Mom. She teaches virtual assistants how to get into and successfully run their own VA business. To learn more about Heather, check out her website or follow her on Instagram.
Every month, Haven Collective members have the opportunity to learn from experts in their field about a topic that will help them level up their businesses. To learn more about these Signature Events or how to become a Haven member, connect with us today. We’d love to meet you!