Remote work is on the rise and employers of all sizes are turning to virtual assistant services. A virtual assistant for your business can save you time, money, and headaches. Many businesses are finding it easier to rely on virtual assistant businesses to supply talent in view of the tight labor market and continued hesitance of many workers to return to on-site positions. It can also provide flexibility given uncertainties about the strength of the economic recovery.

Here are some answers to questions you may be asking as you consider whether a virtual assistant could help you.

So, how do you work with a virtual assistant?

Step 1) Find a Virtual Admin Assistant

Anyone who has attempted to hire a team knows that the interview and hiring process can be painful, time consuming, and expensive. The time and money you are spending on placing job advertisements, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, and checking references can turn into a full-time job itself. There are Virtual Assistant Services that will take care of that part for you and let you jump to the next step. Let someone else do the legwork of finding you a virtual assistant that is a perfect match for you and your company. When you find a virtual assistant service that you trust, you avoid vetting hundreds of people and you prevent high turnover.

Step 2) Train your Virtual Assistant

Once you have a qualified virtual assistant, make sure that you are clear about the tasks you need them to accomplish. This doesn’t mean you need to engage in lengthy preparation or develop manuals before moving forward with a virtual assistant. A bullet-pointed email so that your virtual assistant knows what you want to achieve is a helpful first step.

One easy way to help train your virtual assistant is to set up a screen share using Zoom. This allows the virtual assistant to watch as you do the tasks and learn from your example. They can also ask questions if you go. Other clients have found Screencastify or TinyTake to be easy tools for recording training videos that can be shared with your virtual assistants. If you’re using a Virtual Assistant Company, see if they have a client experience manager who can help provide further suggestions for bringing your virtual assistant up to speed.

Consistent communication is important as well. Keep open lines of communication, answer questions, and set regular meetings until your virtual assistant is acclimated.

Tips for working with a virtual assistant:

*Schedule regular meetings for answering questions and checking in on progress.

*Make sure there is a reporting system for tracking progress on tasks and seeing how time has been used.

*Provide the tools and resources that the VA needs to understand the task and get a better understanding of your company.

*You may not arrive at the optimal way for delegating work immediately. Expect there to be some learning curve, both for you and the virtual assistant, at first.

*Give feedback so that your virtual assistant knows how to improve.

Step 3) Leverage your Virtual Assistant’s Skills to Help You Grow

After the onboarding phase is complete, figure out what you should delegate to your VA by asking yourself the following questions…

  1. Does the project require my expertise?  If not, turn it over to your virtual assistant.
  2. Can the project be broken up into parts? Are any of those parts administrative in nature? The fact that a project requires decision making on your part should not automatically disqualify it from being delegated. For example, you may need to be the one who outlines a blog post, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t have your virtual assistant write the first draft. As another example, if you are planning an event, have your virtual assistant do the initial research for venues and caterers then make your choices from the selection they put together.
  3. Is the task repetitive? If so, it’s probably a good candidate for delegation.
  4. How much time does the task take me to do and how long would it take to teach my virtual assistant to do it?  You can use this ratio to figure out if a task is worth delegating: N*PT/VT. PT is the time it takes you to complete the project, N is the number of times you do the project and VT is the time it would take to teach your virtual assistant how to do the task. The higher the ratio, the more likely it is that the task should be delegated.
  5. Is this a project I keep putting off even though I know it needs to get done?  This probably means the project is not time sensitive and it would be beneficial for your virtual assistant to make some progress on it.
  6. What is my virtual assistant an expert in? If your VA is fantastic with social media or scheduling a calendar, pass them the reigns on that particular task.

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’re constantly busy trying to run your business, grow your business, and balance your business with your life. You might have doubts about adding a virtual assistant to your team but it’s worth trying one out. With a clear plan of action, and a little bit of planning, you can easily hire a virtual assistant and identify tasks to delegate to them so that you can achieve that balance and growth in your business.