Posted June 9, 2014 - Emma Mills in General
Hiring a Virtual Personal Assistant is a sign your business is growing, your idea has taken off, you’ve won more clients and you need more support; perhaps you’ve recognised your strengths and need someone to fill in the gaps.
These are all great indicators of growth and success, and a Virtual PA is a strategic addition to any business.
Here are the most common mistakes business owners make when hiring a Virtual PA – and how to avoid them. If you’re thinking of hiring a Virtual PA be sure to follow this advice to ensure you’ll get maximum benefit, right from the off.
1. Not setting expectations
What do you need your Virtual PA to do? Write a list; scope it out; discuss it with potential candidates. Consider how you expect it to be delivered and in what time frame. Defining your expectations will help your Virtual PA achieve them and avoid frustration and disappointment for you both.
2. Over-complicating the process
Translating a process that’s been in your head until now can be daunting and often leads to very detailed instructions. Trust your Virtual PA (common sense will be their forte) and simplify the process as much as possible. Think about the desired results and leave the details to us!
The number one reason for hiring a Virtual PA is to save time, so it’s curious to see a client micro-managing after handing over tasks. Using those expectations you set, work with your Virtual PA to create deliverables for each task and ask for weekly activity reports.
4. Not handing over enough
You didn’t get into business to book appointments, chase late payments or make travel arrangements. Concentrate on what you’re passionate about and leave as much as possible to your Virtual PA; you’ll see your business blossom with this approach.
5. You get what you pay for
Ensure the Virtual PA you choose is worthy of your organisation. Working with a company rather than an individual means your Virtual PA will be part of an infrastructure that supports you and them. Training, insurance, holiday and sick cover will have been considered. This is rarely the case for an independent Virtual PA.
6. Play to everyone’s strengths
Many of our clients come to us because they recognise what they’re good at and want to outsource their weaknesses. For some people that’s writing, proof-reading, detail; for others it’s communication or process. They know how to play to their strengths. Make sure you choose a Virtual PA, or Virtual team that knows their strengths too, so the tasks you handover will be done by the right person.
7. Be prepared to tweak
Even when these common mistakes are avoided the biggest mistake is not being prepared to test, learn and adjust. Be prepared for a two-way learning curve; you’re hiring a person after all, not a machine! A professional Virtual PA service will continually seek to improve the relationship and process with you, in order to deliver a better return on investment month on month.
If you enjoyed this post you might like to watch this short video Who Uses A Virtual PA.
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