Working with Virtual Assistants

how virtual assistants help in business

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The importance of virtual assistants to a busy businessman cannot be taken for granted. VAs not only frees the businessman from doing mundane tasks but saves time so that focus on the important aspect of running a business can be made. But in order for virtual assistants to do their jobs well, they must be trained and delegation of tasks must be clear. Newly hired VAs need to be monitored but once they get familiar with the task and routine, less and less supervision time is needed.

Make sure you have clear instructions

Entrepreneurs must provide concise and clear instructions to VAs. The absence of this important rule is a reason why VA work will fail. An operation manual/guidelines may be needed so that details of every process assigned is given. This may take time on the part of the entrepreneur but it is worth the effort and would save time. Fewer or no errors will result.

Be patient with your VA

No one can absorb instructions at the same time. Give out one task at a time and monitor each task at the beginning. Patience coupled with clear instructions will have positive results.

Provide the right tools

When the right tools are used, processes will go on smoothly. Communication and training will be more efficient. As an employer, you are supposed to equip the virtual assistant with the necessary tools to work efficiently. Examples are Dropbox for storage, Trello or Asana for tasks monitoring and updating or Evernote for easy access to files.

Communicate with the VA

It is necessary to communicate as much as you can with the virtual assistant. Document, schedule one on one on one meetings and ask if they are encountering difficulties. Sometimes, VAs fail to communicate because they do not know which channel to do so. Establish a time for discussion every week and you will be getting better results.

Allow them to ask questions

Virtual assistants tend to impress the employer and will not ask questions about work details. Tell your VA that you prefer open and honest communication. They should feel comfortable asking questions or clarification at any time. This is time-saving for everyone so that a task is not repeated due to an error.

Be realistic towards goals

Give your VAs tasks that range from simple to more complicated ones to gauge his or her capabilities. Not all VAs are knowledgeable or equipped with specialized skills like graphics manipulation. You should be mindful of their skills to be able to delegate the appropriate task.

Develop a plan

Before hiring a virtual assistant be sure to put a plan in place. Determine which tasks would be done first and gradually move to the ones that may be complex. Develop a plan that phases in performance expectations. You can discuss this with the VA too so that he or she knows what is expected.

There are many business processes that virtual assistants will prove to be invaluable. These can be from specialized tasks like bookkeeping or ordinary ones like answering emails. Whatever the outsourced process would be, always remember that training is important as well as monitoring and guidance. With these put in place, you will have efficient virtual assistants.

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