The talk around the Virtual Assistance industry is that working with a VA will make your life easier. In fact the role of the Virtual Assistant is to make your business life easier, however sometimes it just isn’t as easy as it looks.
So why do some people have a bad experience with a Virtual Assistant and how can you avoid bad experiences working with a Virtual Assistant.
There can be many reasons why working with a Virtual Assistant just doesn’t work for you. Reasons could be that you both had different communication styles, perhaps there was lack of organisation on either side.. or that the VA just wasn’t suited to your business.
Communication with your Virtual Assistant is Critical
This is without doubt the biggest issue that you face when working with a VA. More often than not the only communication you have is by phone or email.
So it is important that your communication styles complement each other. Ensure that this is something discussed from the outset.
There is absolutely no point in taking on a Virtual Assistant if you communicate differently. Perhaps you like phone calls and they prefer emails.. Whilst it might be ok to start with but generally it won’t work out in the long run.
We recommend using a task and project management system like Asana to communicate together and keep each other abreast of changes and deadlines. Asana will also keep track of your conversations so nothing is missed.
Be Realistic with Deadlines for Your Virtual Assistant
Most VA’s have a minimum of 24-48 hour turnaround times, this is dependant on the size of the job and the nature of the task.
Administration tasks can usually be done quicker whilst website management might take longer. Unless you are hiring a VA for 20 hours per week then you will need to expect a 24 hour turnaround time.
Overtime and as your relationship builds a VA can do it quicker but you need to have realistic expectations from the outset.
If you are after someone to do urgent work all the time then communicate this upfront and set your expectations with the VA prior to starting work.
Learn the Art of Delegation
I am one of these people, so I totally get this one. It is hard and I mean really hard to actually delegate to someone outside of your business.
I have had so many clients in the past who start with good intentions and then never delegate any work to me.
Sometimes you get into the trap of thinking ‘oh it just quicker to do it myself’.
But the more you delegate the better you get and the more organised you will become.
Choose a Virtual Assistant Based on Experience
So important that you get a VA skilled in what you need. There is no point in hiring a VA to look after your WordPress website if they have zero experience in WordPress maintenance and support.
Make a list before you start looking for a VA and see what type of tasks you need more help with. If they are admin tasks then look for a VA in this niche.
You could potentially need to hire two VA’s if the work varies too much.