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How to Work with a Virtual Assistant

January 28th, 2009

One of the first questions I get when speaking with new or prospective clients for the first time is “how does it work?”.  Although every virtual assistant or “VA” works differently, there are a few basic guidelines that you can follow to optimize the benefits of working with your VA:

1. Delegate, delegate and delegate some more!  Create a list of tasks that either take you away from the money earning aspects of your business, or that you simply don’t like to do.  Review your list with your virtual assistant and discuss how he/she might be able to take some of those items off of your plate.

2. The basis of any good client/virtual assistant relationship is communication.  When you begin working with a VA, let them know how you prefer to communicate and what your communication style is.  How will you be contacting him/her? Will you call, email, use a chat service? Do you plan on being in touch frequently each day, once or twice per week, or a couple of times per month? Some virtual assistants set a schedule for communicating with clients in order to remain efficient and may not be able to respond within your expected timeframe, while other answer calls at any time throughout the day.  These are all things that should be discussed up front in order to prevent any surprises down the road.

3. Once you and your Virtual Assistant have worked together for some time, you will both know what is expected of you.  In the beginning though, it will be a learning process for you and for even the most seasoned virtual assistant.  Until your VA learns your working style, it’s best to give clear, concise instructions.  He or she might not feel comfortable taking the reins (so to speak) on project ideas when they don’t know how much leeway they have.

4. Discuss task turnaround time.  If you hire a virtual assistant and expect that each task given will be completed the same day, you might be in for a surprise.  Unlike an in-house assistant, you are not the only person a virtual assistant is working with.  He/she may have to juggle numerous clients and thus numerous projects each day.  If you have a deadline, discuss it with your VA to be sure they have the time to get your job done on schedule.

Working with a virtual office assistant is a great way to grow your business without the stress, hassle and cost of hiring an employee.   Ensuring that you and your assistant are on the same page is an important way to make certain that not only will you begin the working relationship on a positive note, but that you will also improve the chances of a successful long term association.

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3 Comments so far:
  1. Bill Bill says:

    Excellent article! Excellent website. Keep up the good work.

  2. Additional info: At times and in special cases, however, Virtual Assistant can do more than your everyday technical work for you. They can also be very good in being creative most especially in coming up with ideas, solutions and recommendations to improve your current set-up. In handling with your valued time plus the overcoming number of tasks you have to do, they are your silent partner in taking care of the details you need to have a hand on a daily basis and your best weapon to take on the world. Read more information here: offshore virtual secretary.

  3. Very Good Article.Explains how to work with the Virtual Assistants

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