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3 Important Points to Remember When Working with Virtual Assistants

Posted on October 15, 2014

Virtual Assistants extol the benefits of outsourcing repetitive work (or tasks which clients aren’t good at or don’t enjoy so they can focus on their most valuable tasks). VAs can handle a variety of tasks, including transcription, audio and video editing, uploading and formatting blog posts, sharing articles on social media, writing interview questions, and more.

If you opt to hire one or simply aim to improve your working relationship with the ones you’re currently contracting with, here are three important things to consider:

1. Scope out your tasks. Before you hire virtual assistant, it’s beneficial to make a list of tasks that you’d like them to perform for you (e.g. booking travel arrangements, uploading blog posts and sharing infographics or contents on social media). Creating an accurate task list can also help you select a VA with the right experience and aptitude.

TIP:  Be very precise when delegating the tasks and instructions. Anticipate questions your VAs might ask. This can save yourself a great deal of trouble later if things go wrong.

2. Create a system. This helps enable an easy transition and avoid having to reinvent the wheel. One of the best things you can do is develop a “ virtual assistant’s manual” prior to work. Here, you can write down step-by-step procedures for the most common tasks and put all the relevant information, such as log-in details or flier numbers. When one takes on a new task,  you can also instruct your VA to write up the procedure and include it in the manual so that it could become a reference tool.

TIP: Aside from writing a manual, you can also make online videos to easily demonstrate procedures to your VA. This ensures that he or she won’t constantly barrage you with basic     questions and could quickly become self-reliant.

3. Review their work. It’s good to think that once you hire a VA, you can designate the task and then forget it. But that’s definitely not how it works, especially for starters. Some VAs may be hesitant to alert you if they’re struggling or  when they don’t fully understand your instructions. Thus, constantly  monitoring their progress in the early days can ensure they’re not going down blind alleys trying to follow instructions they’ve misconstrued.

TIP:  Plan at least 30 minutes per day to review their work to give them timely and actionable     feedback. It will save you big bucks as they’re less likely to redo tons of work.

You’ll never harness the real benefit if you’re constantly having to clean up mistakes and do things over again. So plan ahead and set up the systems that will enable your virtual assistants to succeed.