If you’ve never worked with a Virtual Assistant before, the idea of doing so can be daunting. You’re either used to taking on every aspect of your business yourself and may be reluctant to hand over control, or you’ve previously utilised the skills of your in-house staff and have delegated to them, meaning you’ve still been able to oversee their work physically.
Working with a Virtual Assistant is different. They don’t know you and your business. They don’t know your rules and procedures. How can you possibly work effectively with one?
We’re glad you asked! In our Ultimate Guide to Working with a Virtual Assistant, we’re sharing all our top tips and tricks for making working with a Virtual Assistant work for you.
Communication is key
Just because your assistant is now a virtual one, it doesn’t mean communication with them ceases altogether. They may not be in the same room as you, but they’re still a part of your team! Establishing effective forms of communication from the get-go and checking in regularly will ensure everything runs as smoothly as it should do.
When you first begin working with your Virtual Assistant, it might be an idea to give them a call or set up a virtual meeting in order to get to know each other a little better. Within this allotted time, it’s a great idea to share any of your company procedures and expectations. Your Virtual Assistant will do the same. By doing this, you’re ensuring all parties involved are singing from the same hymn sheet, and miscommunications will be avoided later on down the line.
Here at The Edwards Company, we spend plenty of time with our clients before we begin working with them to really get a feel for their business, and we also keep in touch to provide regular updates. This may be daily, weekly, or monthly – we always ask our clients which they’d prefer and adhere to this preference.
Remember to also let your Virtual Assistant know what your preferred method of communication is – it’s no good receiving email updates if you struggle to find the time to check your inbox!
Build a Rapport
We’ve established that communication is key. Add to these communication benefits by working to build up a rapport with your Virtual Assistant. If your VA is anything like the team at The Edwards Company, they’ll want to provide as much support to your business as possible which means its essential for you to keep them in the loop about the goings-on of your business – you never know what else they might be able to help with!
Take this, for example – during one of our weekly chats with a content creation client recently, they mentioned that some elements of their website weren’t working as well as they should be. Now, we’re no website designers – but we do have plenty of connections who are! We gave the client the name of our go-to website building company, and their new website is now under construction. Sometimes it’s not about what you know, but who you know!
If we or the client hadn’t made an effort to build up that rapport right from the beginning of our working relationship, they still might not have the new website they so desperately need!
Here at The Edwards Company, building a rapport with our clients is incredibly important to us. That’s why we developed our discovery calls – before working with a client, we give them a ring just to chat for an hour and start to build that working relationship that will benefit their business in the long run.
Ensure You’re Delegating the Correct Tasks
Deciding what to delegate can be a challenge, especially if you’re feeling the pressure of all the back-office tasks that come with running a business.
Occasionally, you can end up delegating the wrong tasks, meaning that having it removed from your to-do list by your Virtual Assistant really won’t make much difference to your workload at all. If you only complete one data entry task per month, for example, and usually have enough time to do it, you don’t need to outsource it. Credit control, however, may take up a good chunk of your working week and cause issues if not completed. This is the perfect task for you to delegate – not only will it free up some of your time, but it’ll also ensure that issues like aged debt are avoided later on down the line.
Assess your delegation tasks carefully – only outsource tasks that you know will make a difference to the efficiency of your business if a Virtual Assistant handles them.
Choosing the correct Virtual Assistant for your business is key to working with one successfully. You wouldn’t employ in-house staff who didn’t have the necessary skills or qualifications to fulfil the job role, so you definitely shouldn’t with your Virtual Assistant.
Find a Virtual Assistant service that has credible evidence of success and expertise in the area you’d like to outsource. The more refined the service they’re offering is, the better. For example, our content creation service sounds broad, but our niche is cleaning businesses. We’ve honed our experience in writing for businesses of this type; we know their industry like the back of our hands, and our clients feel reassured that the content we create will be perfectly suited to their business.
The key here is research – pick out a few Virtual Assistants whose services relate to what you’re after and have a close look at their websites. Many will have testimonials from clients or portfolios of previous work – ensure these align with what you’re looking for before making your decision.
Trust your Virtual Assistant!
Virtual Assistants like The Edwards Company have the best interests of your business at heart. It’s our job to support you in any way we can, and trusting us to do so is the best thing you can do to ensure you’re able to work effectively with your Virtual Assistant. At The Edwards Company, we have decades of experience between us in a number of business areas: credit control, content creation, general admin and data entry and have improved the efficiency of countless businesses across the UK and beyond. Handing over control may seem daunting, but by knowing you’ve selected the right Virtual Assistant for you, communicating with them and building an excellent working relationship, you’ll soon find that trusting a Virtual Assistant is one of the best investments you can make for your business.
Ready to work with a Virtual Assistant? Get in touch today to chat about the support we can provide you with – we’re looking forward to supporting your business!