You have been running your business successfully and now it’s grown to the point where you cannot or do not want to do it all on your own. Yet you do not want to deal with employees, so hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is a good option.
A VA is a skilled worker who is also flexible. You do not have to manage them like an employee and you are less responsible for them. However, if you do not prepare appropriately, using a VA can be more hassle than it is worth. The #1 tip for using a VA comes down to expectations. The more you know what your expectations are for a VA, the more you can find the right fit.
- Do you want someone who is there right when you need them? One thing to remember is that usually a VA will support more than one person. If you want someone who is there right when you need them, you might be better suited to hire an employee. Or part of your screening for a VA should include set hours you will want them to be available for you. You will need to pay them for those hours, whether they are working or not, as long as they are available to you.
- Do you work on a whim? Are you the type who does not know what you want your VA to do until you want them to do it? If you so, you need to find a VA who is comfortable with ambiguity and figuring things out as you go along. Otherwise, much frustration will ensue on both sides.
- Are your systems oriented? If your systems are oriented, it is important to find someone who is willing to follow your systems. You want to make sure your new VA is capable of following your systems.
- Do you want someone who is an expert at everything? Often times, a business owner will post what they are looking for a VA to handle all aspects of their business. That is a COO, not a virtual assistant. Be sure you are clear on what tasks you want covered and are realistic about how many of them can truly be handled by one person, especially at the rate you are willing to pay.
- Do you have trust issues? There are parts of your business that others can do better than you. There are 2 ways to handle this effectively. 1. Hiring a coach or therapist to help you work through this mental block. 2. Delegate things you can explicitly outline and monitor. Check out Michael Hyatt’s 5 Levels of Delegation. Only delegate Level 1 tasks until you are more comfortable letting things go.
- What you want them to accomplish?
- By when?
- Preferred communication mode?
- Create Set It and Forget It Systems!!!
Discussing these expectations clearly will help you find the right VA and develop a successful relationship that lasts a long time. Most importantly, it will relieve a lot of stress and help you to accomplish more!
For further assistance in finding the right help for your business, take our Freedom Makers Task Audit Quiz.