Posted July 7, 2014 - Emma Mills in General
Finally, your growing business has got to the point where it is necessary to bring in a Virtual PA. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for: the moment you can create more time to do the things you love while delegating the essential (but often low value) tasks.
The flexibility of Virtual PA’s makes the service perfect for growing businesses. The turn-on, turn-off nature of the service plus hourly availability allows entrepreneurs to test the service to see how it works best. Virtual PA’s also allow for some very innovative time management techniques (#8 below for example).
Before engaging with a VA, read our top tips for optimising the service and your experience. Follow these guidelines for Virtual PA success from the very start.
1. Set expectations
What does success look like for you here? Why are you hiring a virtual assistant and what do you want them to do for you? Stipulating not only clear deliverables but also expectations in terms of how they are met ensures everyone is reading from the same page. It also allows you to measure how your Virtual PA service is performing.
2. Keep it simple
Simple, straight forward instructions leave zero room for interpretation and ensure tasks are done the right way, first time around. That means those expectations are met faster, and your business benefits sooner. Work with your Virtual PA to define the brief together for best results.
3. Let it go
When you’ve been managing all these tasks you’re about to hand over, by yourself, for so long, it can be really hard to let go. But remember the fall out: more time for you to concentrate on what you’re good at, to reprioritise and grow your business. Letting go is an essential part of that process.
4. Play to your strengths
Virtual PA’s are there to make your life easier, so hand over the tasks you don’t like doing and spend more time doing the things you love. We inevitably excel at our natural talents so, if you dislike detail, doing the books, proofreading or writing proposals, hand those tasks over to your Virtual PA.
5. Measure and adjust
While Virtual PA’s are adept at quickly understanding and interpreting briefs, allow room for human error. Be prepared to tweak the process with your VA – it’s a learning curve for all concerned – and continue to do this as you progress to ensure the service always delivers.
6. Invest well
Look to work with a well-established Virtual PA company. They will have the infrastructure and support network to ensure continual, first-class service. Your VA will have access to training and appropriate software systems while holiday and sick cover mean your service is never interrupted.
7. Add value
Virtual PA’s can do so much more than answer the phone and manage your diary. Savvy business owners make call answering services a part of their marketing process, keeping Virtual PA’s up to date with product and service developments. This means every opportunity to communicate new ventures to customers, recommend additional services and shorten, and even close, the sales cycle is optimised. Be sure to work with a Virtual PA service that has the appropriate skills to deliver these extra benefits – don’t ask a Virtual PA skilled in book keeping to sell for you unless they’re have the appropriate experience and training.
8. Use time differences to your advantage
Using a Virtual PA service in one country while you’re in another means work can be done while you’re sleeping, eating breakfast or enjoying dinner. Imagine sending a proposal to be proof-read at 6pm, to find it completed when you wake at 8am. Magic! How can you use your travel itinerary to your advantage?
Are you ready to grow your business with a Virtual PA? Have you used a Virtual PA before? What would you add to this list?
For more ideas on how to work with your Virtual PA, read our article ‘13 Unexpected Ways A Virtual PA Can Bring You More Business‘.
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