How To Work With Your Virtual Assistant
Obviously, I’m a huge advocate of hiring your own Virtual Assistant for obvious reasons as I’ve listed here, here, and here. But, might you ask, how do I manage my VA? What are the “best practices” to manage them? Great question, and to that end, I asked my own Virtual Assistant, Angeline, to write a short article on her views and ideas regarding managing VAs, so that you might have a better idea on the best ways to manage your own VA. So, without further adieu, here’s what Angeline had to say:
You need to PRIORITIZE so that you can reach your goals. You need to alleviate many of the jobs that are not cost effective for you to perform – in other words, you have to cross out some things from your to-do lists and learn to delegate. Why would you do some menial tasks that are clearly hindering you from doing the most important things to improve your career or business?
It is indeed a fact that most of you are afraid to delegate tasks because you know that only YOU can do those things right. However, each time you do a mindless task yourself you make a statement about the value of your time. Always remember the basic rule in running your own business: learn to reinvest your earnings back into your career if you want to see some progress. In your own case, hire someone like ME – a personal assistant to work on your minor tasks so that you can focus more on your own BIG GOALS.
VA [off-site] versus PA [on-site]
The use of internet has been widely known to operate major business ventures around the globe. However, recently the internet is used not only for inter-company communication but also for hiring or staffing purposes already. One of the most popular jobs that are already utilized across the NET is the Virtual Assistant job.
A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client’s office through phone, email or instant messages using different internet platforms. A VA usually works off-site, but is still able to have access to the necessary documents required to keep the business running. Its use has become more prominent because of its contractual nature – thus, relieving the client from paying the “would-be” monthly office’s rents, equipments and benefits required by the law as opposed to the benefits and rights that are indulged by full-time onsite personal assistants.
Best Practices to Manage a VA
Yes, we know that ONLY YOU can make meet your own expectations. We also know that you are the boss and that you are always right. But you’ve got to learn to trust and delegate the tasks that are not part of your major goals. Having a virtual assistant will save you time, money and headache. We, the VAs are like virtual superheroes and we can both reach your goals to the optimum level if you follow some of these:
- Don’t limit the tasks you delegate. We can make your life more convenient by booking your tickets, hotel rooms and meeting appointments. But you’re definitely missing a lot when you LIMIT the tasks you delegate. Most virtual assistants are highly educated and are skilled in various areas like customer service, content writing, lead generation, human resource, social media, marketing, event planning and research. Make use of their skills that are necessary to your career or business. You will be surprised that some of them can do magic.
- Be available. One downside of offsite virtual assistance is the absence of constant communication between the assistant and the boss. Sometimes, time differences can be a hindrance too. But having the multiple lines of communication such as email, Skype and other instant messaging business channels are good communication tools. Make use of them.
- Set deadlines, priorities and expectations clearly. Explain to them your reasons why these are tasks are important and urgent. However, you will also need to give your VAs the chance to agree, refuse and voice out their opinions regarding your standards. Giving us this privilege to form an opinion and share them to you makes us feel important and respected. And in that way, you could both come up with something that is more agreeable – thus, you could both work efficiently on the project.
We all understand that a long distance professional relationship is never easy. It needs a lot of time, patience, practice and most importantly – a stable internet connection to make it work. But a virtual assistant can definitely save you time, money, and possibly your career one day.
Great tips from Angeline on how to manage a VA from a VA’s perspective. I think she’s spot on with her management tips, and my personal take on these tips is that its essentially just the same as managing anyone else in your office, with the twist of doing it online. If you same rules about treating on-site office staff apply, i.e. the Golden Rule, and treat your VA well, he or she can help maximize your time so that you can unlock and liberate the perfect life inside you.
If you’ve found this information helpful, please share it with your friends, family, and colleagues via Facebook Google Plus, Twitter, or another favorite social network.
About the author: George Smolinski, M.D. is a physician, father, husband, athlete, and entrepreneur who has worked diligently to achieve what so many search for: true work-life balance. Spurred by major life-changing events, he has revolutionized his life, leveraging the best mental and technological tools available to maximize his personal efficiency. His mission now is to help his fellow physicians and medical providers embrace these same techniques to liberate their own perfect lives. Visit his blog at Four Hour Physician.