Part 1: 4 Pointers to help clients cut through the confusion
Member Blog Feature by Corne of Virtually Centred Solutions
You’ve in finally managed to source a Virtual Assistant – mission accomplished! Definitely not! Don’t get too comfortable yet. Signing on a VA is only part of the process. The keyword here being the process. Buying new computer software for your company won’t provide any solutions to the frustrations your business process until the software is installed and set up with your default settings of choice! Hiring and working with a Virtual Assistant works pretty much the same. Let me give you some pointers on establishing and maintaining a mutually beneficial business owner and virtual assistant relationship.
- Establishing your preferred procedures & process: I simply can’t overemphasize the importance of this first step! The operational process you choose to implement is extremely important in determining the efficiency and productivity of your VA and Business Owner relationship. You can’t expect to get the best possible results if there are no clearly defined guidelines for both parties to refer to. Let me just bring clarity on that point, there’s no need for it to be a 200-page Procedure Manual (unless that is what is needed). My advice would be to start with the basics. No operational procedures should be set in stone, however, it should be mutually agreed upon by both parties and it should be a collaborative effort to establish basic boundaries, guidelines and procedures to set up this professional relationship for success from the start. Stick to the plan!
- Communication is key: One skill that needs constant developing and refining is effective communication between the assistant and the owner or entrepreneur. Ineffective communication can be extremely problematic not to mention frustrating. Take into account that either you or your virtual assistant’s native language may not be English. Make sure that you find ways to communicate effectively. Keep in mind that you have known your business since you started it. General terms and phrases that you use in your business may not be well known to anyone outside that business or industry (yet).
- Set your standard for quality: It will not serve any purpose except create frustration and probably anxiety to hire a virtual assistant and not coach her on the quality service or products that are unique to your company. Any professional virtual assistant that takes her responsibilities seriously will want to deliver the absolute best service, content, marketing material or whatever it may be that she is handling for you. Make sure she fully understands the uniqueness of your company brand. Helping her to envision the bigger picture will also help awaken the same passion you have for your business in your assistant.
- Managing expectations: The most important of all the pointers I could give you today is to manage your expectations of this professional relationship. Remember you are at the beginning of building a professional relationship. Outsourcing work to a Virtual Assistant means that you have entered into a supplier agreement (and be sure you have signed a clearly defined agreement, before commencing). You have not hired an employee. There is a huge difference! You are collaborating with another skilled professional, an entrepreneur or business owner to form a business relationship that will add value to your business. Confusing a Virtual Assistant with an employee will only harm the relationship and cause unnecessary resentment.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and found my pointers helpful!
Feel you need some help?
If you’re stuck and you need help on getting your operational process back on track, feel free to contact me on LinkedIn, Facebook or WordPress. It’s my passion to help streamline these types of issues!!
Please be on the lookout for the next addition to this 3-Part series on Client resources: Empowering you to succeed.
For more on Corne and how her business Virtually Centred Solutions can assist you, please do visit our members page.