7 best practices for managing a virtual assistant

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

By Rangoli Roy

Hiring a virtual assistant for your business can be highly beneficial whether you are an established business owner or starting as a solopreneur with a small retail store. Your “hired hands” pick up all that you don’t want to invest your time into and add value to your business. To bring out that value, you need a plan that can help you manage your Virtual Assistant.

Incomplete tasks, money waste, and loss to the business are a few of the conditions that you might have to go through with an unmanaged virtual assistant.

Let’s understand seven simple but effective practices to manage your virtual assistants and keep everything smooth.

Train before you delegate

Training is one of the most important parts of the VA hiring process. To ensure the best results, you need to train them as per your business needs. Keeping training materials handy in the form of written and visual tutorials can also help your VAs understand the steps and the expected outcomes.

Sign a mutual pledge

Fear is usual in business. Sometimes entrepreneurs fear that their VA might not show up one day and VAs fear that their employer might just run without paying for the work done. The ideal way to counter such anxiety is to sign a ‘Mutual Manifesto’ that clearly states the expectations of both parties involved.

Define how long the task would take

It is indeed important to define the duration of the tasks that you want your VA to accomplish. A clear deadline not just saves your money but also help your Virtual Assistants to prioritize your project as required. Remember, a VA might be managing a bunch of other projects at a given point in time.

Create a standardized procedure

Any process that is built into steps is easy to understand and achieve. As an employer, make sure that you have a standard operating procedure so that everyone is on the same page about daily or monthly expectations. Whether you have one or a hundred Virtual Assistants, you can continue to fine-tune ways to manage them with clear communication if you standardize your entire process.

Everyday briefing

Entrepreneurial life is undoubtedly hectic but does not forget to host a brief meeting every day when work starts. This could be just fifteen minutes meeting where you plan the day and delegate tasks. It’s also a great time for your VAs to solve any doubts they might have so that you do not get a cloggy inbox full of questions, frequently.

VAs are humans and have emotions

Getting furious at mistakes is inevitable but, remind yourself that your VA is a living human being who has emotions. Fuel trust and build a positive relationship with your VA by empathizing with them whenever needed. You can also choose to provide timely feedback with a blend of positivity and constructive criticism to subtly nudge their confidence.

Don’t prepay for work

This is another way to keep you guarded against outsourcing anxiety that your virtual assistant might just run with all the money without completing the tasks. To avoid such negativities, offer to pay them weekly or step by step. Once both the parties have earned each other’s trust, you may amend or re-arrange the payment process as and when required. Make sure to document it in the mutual pledge — as it’s about your hard-earned money.

No matter how efficient your virtual assistant is, be aware of their limitations so that you do not over-burden them with other tasks and hamper the initial motive for which you hired them. At times, allow them to share their inputs related to your business. This boosts their confidence and gives you a different and additional perspective that might help you improve the business somewhere.

You can take such ideas and customize a list of best practices for Virtual Assistants as per your business requirements.

You may need to take a lot of risks for your business to succeed but it is always better to prepare and take a calculated one. Similarly, while you hire a virtual assistant, do your research on not just how you can screen the best one but also how you plan to manage them productively and efficiently after hiring.

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Rangoli Roy works as a content specialist for a BPO company based in India named Acelerar Technologies. In her free time, she loves to express her creativity through poetry and art. You can find her spreading positivity through her art on her Instagram Blog called ‘thepoetesswithblackbindi’.

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