Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

To delegate or to partner with? Decisions Decisions.

What a title eh? Let’s talk about Virtual Assistants for a second and what they can be.

  • A virtual assistant can be someone who follows instructions for specific tasks.
  • A virtual assistant can be someone who takes a goal or objective by the horns and runs with it to do anything needed to get the job done.
  • A virtual assistant can be your partner and collaborate with you on short and long term goals and objectives.
  • A virtual assistant can be a project manager, online business manager or staff manager and be the buffer between you and other employees – so that you have one person reporting to you, not dozens.
  • A virtual assistant can manage or operate a specific department – similar to ‘outsourcing’ (i.e. your human resources department or sales department).
  • A virtual assistant can work under your internal staff to handle excess work to be off-loaded as needed.
  • A virtual assistant… can pretty much operate in any way you want, but what is important is that you understand what the best option for you is.

You can’t be a micro-manager and then be upset that your VA is not able to grab things by the horn and do it themselves. They are being micro-managed, so they can’t!

You can’t be a macro-manager and then get upset when things are not done the way you specifically want them done (i.e. getting the same results but taking different steps).

You can’t be contradictory in your statements and actions, because it confuses both parties.

Why am I writing this?

Because all too often I see clients come on with certain expectations, but the expectations are not met because they either change mid-stream or their actions and statements are contradictory.

A VA can be any of the above (at least our VA’s can) but we assign you the VA based on what you want. There are VA’s that operate best under specific situations – some VA’s are great at collaboration, while other VA’s only take orders really well. So if you tell us you want a collaborator, we will assign you to a collaborator. Make sure that you clarify your expectations so that we can appropriately assign a VA to you.

Likewise if you are out shopping around for another VA (which is fine, we understand that too!), make sure that you know your expectations before you get on a call – these same things apply. You will be more successful with a VA when you both are on the same page.

That being said, here are some pieces of advice that I have received from current or previous clients about working with Virtual Assistants:

“Don’t treat them as your subordinate. You can hire any high school student to file paperwork. These VA’s have a more managerial and entrepreneurial mindset, utilize that. Ask them to review your website, promotional materials, social media sites and give feedback – then use it. Don’t toss it out the window because you think that they work for you so they don’t know… that was my mistake, and it was a stupid one!” >>Business Coach from California

“Spend time with them. I know it’s billable and everybody is always thinking about the bottom line, but the second I started having weekly talks with my VA about my life, my business and her life, we started to understand each other more and we just work better together. We mesh. Now I can’t live without her.” >>Affiliate Marketer from Michigan

“Build a VA team, ask CVA (or whomever you are working with) for multiple VA’s: A leader that is your point of contact and then assistants for her. This assures you have coverage across your business in a variety of activities, but only have to communicate with one. That lead VA is in charge of assuring everything is done how you want it before it even gets to you.” >>Serial Entrepreneur from California

“Respect them. When I first started working with my VA, I was giving them things morning, noon and night – quick turnaround jobs (and quite honestly was very demanding). The work was good, not stellar. (Sorry, but you wanted the truth!) I did not mean to be that way, but I had a backlog of things and I needed them taken care of. Then I realized as I started becoming more organized the results became stellar. I realized when I gave advance notice, clear deadlines, and reasonable timelines, I was wowed with the results in every way. I complimented my VA because of it and told her how impressed I was. When I did need a rush job or had an emergency, it was done with enthusiasm and urgency. I realized the second that I started respecting my VA by giving her praise when it was due and respecting the fact that she likes to keep an organized and pre-planned schedule, that the output I received from her was high-value.” >>Lifestyle Coach from New York

Posted on September 1st, 2010 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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