You’ve partnered with a Virtual Assistant. Congratulations, so what do you do next?

When you understand the benefits in outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant (VA), you also realise your time is valuable. This realisation makes your new partnership even more important. The more work you put into the initial partnership, the better it will be in the long term.

This article will help you get off on the right foot with your VA, making the best use of the time you have and your newly established partnership.

The first question is usually “What work do I hand over to my new Virtual Assistant?” Before you grab the first thing that comes to your mind, stop and take time to think about your typical day, week or even month. Think about the tasks that take up your time. If you’re not a list enthusiast, it might help to change your thinking – at least for this exercise!

Grab a piece of paper and write 2 list headings – Stop doing and Start doing. (Or download our complimentary Workload Evaluation Sheet.)

Stop doing.

These are the jobs you do yourself, but you dislike doing them. This can include tasks that really must be done for your business to continue to function – compliance or revenue related.

Start doing.

The tasks you’ve been meaning to get to, but they forever stay on your list due to time or expertise. When these tasks are completed your business with run seamlessly and with greater profitability.

Under each heading take a few minutes and brainstorm the tasks you should write down.

Ideally you would prepare this list before you start working with your Virtual Assistant, and review the list to ensure your new business support has the desired skills required.

Once you have recorded as many tasks as you can, number each listed task to reflect their priority. Starting with 1, being the most important to your business operations, and continuing until all tasks have been numbered.

Your outsourcing task list is now complete, including the order in which they should be delegated.

You may choose to share this list with your VA or perhaps, delegate from the list as your partnership progresses. Remember, while your VA is skilled, they may not be able to complete all the tasks you are looking to outsource. However, they are connected and will be able to connect you with other freelance professionals that can complete tasks on your list.

Next, you need to ensure your Virtual Assistant has all the support tools they need to represent your business seamlessly.

  • You may need to share login details or create a specific login for your Assistant. This could include emails, social media, website or other programs you use to run your business
  • You will also need to share your style guide. Depending on the work they will be creating they need to ensure your branding remains true to your business.
  • You will need to discuss how you prefer to communicate with your clients. If your VA is to represent your business consistently, they will need to know your communication style & preferences.
  • Share business policies, does & don’ts and specifically, any authority levels you plan to delegate.

As with any partnership, you need to consider how you will evaluate its success. The best way to do this is to consider the outcomes you are expecting from the partnership.
For example, if you are handing over your calendar management, ask yourself “What exactly do I expect to occur?” Are you wanting a calendar full of back to back appointments? Which appointment requests are the priority for bookings? How should requests be handled? Your Virtual Assistant needs to be clear on what you expect, so they can work towards the same level of success.

The more your Virtual Assistant knows about your business and how you like to operate, the better your partnership with be. This includes clear and timely communication with them, and providing feedback on tasks and projects.

by Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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