Having a VA (or virtual assistant) is not just about feeling awesome. It’s about getting more done. It’s about having the help you need. It’s know your business can be run while you are dealing with the stuff you need to be dealing with. Here is what you need to remember about working with and having a VA.
1. Do make sure you have work for them.
If you have a light week, find some research projects for them. Nothing is more discouraging then budgeting time for someone each week only to not have work for the week or worse, not budgeting time for someone and then scrambling because they give you a ton of stuff. Be consistent.
2. Do let them know in advance.
Put tasks up for them even if they are a month of so in advance. This lets them know what to plan for.
3. Do treat them like a real employee.
Send them bonuses at holidays. Understand when they have major life events. If you are constantly working ahead of time, there should be no hiccups.
4. Do use their strengths.
Are they really good at excel? Are the great at graphics? Do they know WordPress? Use that. At the same time, if they don’t know something, don’t give them that task. Better to find a second or third VA for a few hours a week who can handle those tasks.
5. Do communicate.
Daily communication is key. Just like with clients, when things go silent, it’s usually not a good sign. Check your email. Maybe they cancelled a meeting. Maybe they updated a project in Asana or asked a question which has held up a task’s completion. You can’t expect them to follow every direction if you are not doing the same.
6. Do give them their own accounts.
Set up emails for them. Use a generic one like firstname.lastname@example.org. This makes things easy for them when they need to sign up for accounts or information.
7. Do acknowledge great work.
Let’s say you asked them to do something simple and they went and did something super extra awesome. Let them know it was super extra awesome.
8. Do respect the 9-5.
Know what timezone they are in. Know when they are working. Understand that Saturday and Sunday (and even Friday in the summer) are not working days. Understand that they may have different holidays from you.
9. Do make it easy for them.
Give them everything they need and more to complete a task. Make it a template they need to recreate. You can’t finish building a house if you don’t have flooring.
10. Do give them appropriate tasks.
They shouldn’t be writing your blog posts. They shouldn’t be paying your bills. They shouldn’t be handling client work directly. They should be assisting you in communicating with clients, helping you publish your blog posts, and maybe doing some light data entry for accounting. They are an assistant. They are not the business owner.
This post is dedicated to my two wonderfully lovely VA’s who I could not live without and hope they know just how much I appreciate everything they do!!!!