I wrote this article for my August newsletter but I felt like it deserved a blog post all on its own.
August was a huge learning period for me as I started outsourcing some of my own work, which is part of my master plan with baby number two on the way. I need a team around me to help give me that support over the months when bub has arrived. It will not only mean I won’t be a stressed out crazy lady, it also means that my clients have the best support possible as well.
I have been experiencing first-hand the hesitation to let things go within the business. Ironic in the sense that it is one of the things I preach about being a Virtual Assistant. So I am actually taking my own advice that I give to clients and starting out slowly and building on things as I go. I think that this experience will also make me a better Virtual Assistant as I am going through the same situation/s that my clients go through on a regular basis.
I have to say that even though I am going through a big learning phase I am LOVING it. I really do love that I have people to back me up and help me out when I have too much on my plate. It feels amazing to send the work out and know that it is going to come back completed and ready for me to quality check prior to sending back to the relevant client. It is giving me more time with my clients and also giving me more time to spend with my family. I am proud to say that over the past two weekends I have been able to keep completely work free and isn’t that what outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant is all about… gaining time back for YOU.
The hardest thing about outsourcing is that feeling you are losing a little bit of control over your business, but it doesn’t have to be the case at all. So I wanted to share my top tips for working with a Virtual Assistant.
1. Start out small
Don’t dive in head first straight away, test the waters beforehand. This might seem obvious but it is very true. Building a relationship and trust takes time so start by handing over smaller tasks first. This will help on several levels, you are able to gage the work ethic of the VA, you see the standard of work they produce, and you get to see if you are compatible in the way you work together. Not all VA’s will be right for you, so you need to choose one that fits in with you and your business.
2. Provide specific instructions and deadlines
Again this might seem very simple, but the amount of work that I am sent that doesn’t specify deadlines is amazing. This really helps to eliminate misunderstandings, the more specific the better!
3. Letting go
VA’s understand this point, we really do. Your business is your baby, we completely understand as our business is our baby as well. So relinquishing that ‘control’ can be really difficult at first. Be open with your VA about how you are feeling and they will be able to guide you through this stage. The points I made in number 1 also help with this point, starting out slowly at your own pace will definitely help ease this feeling. I promise once you do let go and hand over the work you will feel a huge sense of relief.
4. Always remember why you are Outsourcing
Always keep in mind exactly what you are trying to achieve by outsourcing. Perhaps you want to work less hours or you want to focus your time on other projects but always keep this in the back of your mind and it will help you to achieve your goals.
5. Stay in regular contact
Communication is essential working with a VA. Set up a schedule of when you want to be in contact with your VA. Perhaps you want to be in touch once a week or as regular as once a day, but be up front from the outset and both you and your VA will know what to expect.
6. Your VA is a professional
Remember your VA has done this before and they know what they are doing.
Working with a Virtual Assistant could be one of the best decisions you could make for your business.