If you are overwhelmed you may very well have decided that hiring a Virtual Assistant is the way to take your business forward. But how do you ensure good communication with them?
The problem is that whilst you may have a very experienced VA working with you, if you are not willing or find it difficult to communicate or delegate to them this can be a problem.
The key to any good relationship is communication and this is no different with your Virtual Assistant. Just because they are not sat in the same room as you does not mean that you cannot have good lines of communication.
- Have regular catch ups. I like to catch up with my clients at least once a week (usually over Skype/Zoom) to go through diaries, emails and discuss tasks that are ongoing or new. It is important to make yourselves available for this. Your Virtual Assistant can book the time in but if you do not commit to it, it will be a problem.
- Be happy to share. To enable your VA to understand and assist you with different aspects of your business, you will need to be willing to open up your lives to them. Some people find this hard to do and are uncomfortable with this. The more access you give your VA the easier it will be for them to help you manage your time and your business. This may not come naturally at first, but the longer you work with the individual the more confident you will become. You just need to be open to the idea in the first place. A good VA knows the importance of confidentiality and you need to be able to trust them.
- Use shared information, this can be in the form of a CRM that you both have access to or simply a shared Dropbox folder. It allows you both to keep up to date in real time and removes the need to share important documents or information by email.
- Set your expectations early on in the relationship. State what you expect of your Virtual Assistant in your very first conversation. Different VA’s work different ways and it might take a while to find the one for you. You have your priorities and they have theirs. Remember they do not work for you, they work with you. You may need to speak to a few VA’s before you find one that will fit with you and your business.
- Be clear with your instructions. We have all done it, we have asked somebody to complete a task and then when it comes back it is not how we wanted it at all. Communication when talking about a task is vital. If you do not give clear instructions, you may not get what you asked for. The result of this is wasted time and money and difficult discussions. Make sure both you and the VA understand the parameters of the task.
- Most importantly, get to know your VA, they are a person with a life of their own. The more you get to know each other the more natural communication will be and this will help you to develop a long standing professional relationship with them.
A Virtual Assistant can be hugely beneficial to a business that needs that extra support but to ensure the relationship is successful, you need to be able to communicate what you need and more importantly let them get on with the job that you have hired them to do.