I see communication as the most crucial thing to the success of working in a virtual environment. Nonverbal cues are not present when working with someone virtually. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say is of the utmost importance.
Determine, upfront, how you will communicate with each other i.e. emails, phone, skype or an alternate system and put the right technology in place. It is also important to determine the frequency of your communication. Will you be speaking daily, weekly or on an as needed basis?
2. Be Open
Opening yourself and your business up to someone else can be scary. Before you start down a path, be sure you are ready and open to the concept of letting someone you don’t know “in”.
Also, many times your VA may have suggestions or ideas on how to gain efficiencies with certain tasks. Try to be open to their ideas and suggestions or at least be open to discussing them in further detail…you never know what can also learn.
3. Build Trust and Learn to Trust Your VA
A lot of times entrepreneurs are used to doing everything themselves. Their business is their “baby” and they want to see it grow and prosper. Trusting your VA may take some time, but remember you hired a virtual assistant to handle tasks for you to free up your time so you could focus on other things. In giving up some of the control you can delegate tasks that you hate and have faith that they are being handled in a professional manner.
4. Try to Plan Ahead
Virtual Assistants usually have a few clients on their roster at a time. Be aware that they may have other things going on and may not be able to respond to last minute requests. Try to give as much notice as possible of tasks you need completed.
5. Patience is a Virtue
Remember just like any new employee there will be a learning curve. Your VA will take some time to learn how you like things done and may have many questions for you at the beginning. You are also learning the best way to manage this new “employee” and the delivery of tasks. Being patient with each other through the learning curve will ensure your partnership succeeds.
The purpose of hiring a VA is to provide you with additional time to focus on key growth drivers of your business and freeing up your time to do those things you really enjoy. Embrace the new relationship and your new found freedom.
In my next post I will discuss some tasks you can delegate to your VA.