5 Musts When Hiring A Virtual Assistant – By Vanessa Ragains

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Since May 2015, I have been working closely with a virtual assistant. She lives in the U.S and is in my time-zone. My Business was growing at a pace I was having a hard time keeping up with. The weekly emails confirming massage sessions, booking clients from the corporate companies I was working with along with my private clients! Managing many calendars while making sure they were all aligned and nothing overlapping! That can be a bit stressful, to say the least! After being assigned to my VA, I was eager to get some relief from some of these tedious tasks, but I was also skeptical that this in fact, would support my current workload. Here is a list of musts that I have found to be key features when working with your Virtual Assistant!
1) Crystal Clear Communication – When I first pulled the trigger on hiring a Virtual Assistant, I took initiative and read articles that were geared towards helping Entrepreneurs understand how to work with a VA. The main point was to have clear communication especially since they would not be near you in an office setting. I used Evernote to create a notebook that would be used as a reference for the tasks I was planning on handing over to my VA. I created multiple notes providing information on who I email, the email addresses, and all the login info for my social media profiles. I also provided a breakdown on how my business works, the services I provide and any details that would be helpful to know. This way, my VA was able to immediately get to work!

I also write daily emails explaining tasks that I have assigned to her, and how to address them. We are currently using CoSchedule as our marketing calendar that allows you to create the content for emails, social media posts, Blogs, sync with Evernote and can assign tasks. This platform has been incredibly helpful in creating solid communication with my VA.

2) Trust, Trust, Trust – When you run your own business, it is like your child! You want to protect it from any harm or dysfunction that may come your way, right? So how can you trust this stranger with all these tasks? I found it very helpful to start off with simple tasks for a few weeks to a month. After these tasks are being executed to your liking, add a few more tasks. If you are not satisfied with how the VA is handling those tasks, go back to the communication section. Find where the communication is lacking fix it so you can begin handing off more task so you can get back to what you Love; Running your Biz!
It’s been three months and I don’t know how I lived without my VA! She is fabulous, quick to learn, and checks in with me if she has any questions. We have built a solid working relationship. Every task I hand to her is dealt with promptly. The relief that has been lifted from my shoulders is amazing.
3) Chop-Chop Organization – Get your business organized! It was a huge learning experience for me to bring on my VA. It forced me to really take a look at how I run my business, what could change for the better, and what is actually flowing fluidly. HINT: Your VA can assist you in researching tools for this! My VA has helped me with large tasks like exporting all of my contacts to a new Email Marketing platform for me. I absolutely hate messing with that sort of thing. I handed this task to her, she had it completed in an hour! AMAZING!!!
Once you and your VA discover how to work best together, you will create a seamless workflow. This workflow will then become habit! It’s so awesome to see the Teamwork that can come from being organized in your business.
4) Patience – This is possibly one “Must” that cannot be neglected. Bringing on a VA to your team requires you to be patient with their learning curve as well as being patient with yourself. Remember, You are learning how to work with your VA as well. Once you master your Crystal Clear communication everything seems to just fall into place.
My biggest challenge here is when I become impatient with myself. I have to literally take a step back, review the situation, and remember to take each problem as a lesson and reflect on how you can improve the process next time. It’s a work in progress and you will learn what techniques are effective and which should be eliminated.
5) Delegate! Delegate! Delegate! – You invested in a VA for a reason. Use them to lighten your workload and add tasks when you can. I tend to ask myself “Do I have to write that response to a client, or can I hand that task to my VA?” Usually, I can delegate it out to her. If you feel that response should come from you, then handle it yourself.
I promise you, it’s worth having someone to delegate tasks to! Delegating tasks has given me more confidence in my business and the freedom to begin writing a consistent blog, teach consistent SUP classes, and be able to schedule time off for vacations.
Thanks to my VA, I am less stressed, able to lighten my workload, and focus on what I Love doing; supporting my clients with Massage therapy, Yoga, SUP, and Overall Wellness!
I LOVE YOUR QUESTIONS!! Please feel free to ask me a question or comment about what you read today. Looking forward to hearing from radical Folks like yourself!
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