Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

4 Tips for Delegating to Your Virtual Assistant

To Do's
photo credit: Courtney Dirks

So you have finally decided that you need a virtual assistant. Congratulations! This means your business is thriving and you can now increase your team!

Now, however, there are a few more decisions to be made, such as what you can delegate and how. For many small business owners, this step can be even more difficult than deciding to use a VA. Which tasks do you trust a virtual worker with? How do you leave your “baby” in the hands of a stranger and rest easy? Never fear! Your virtual assistant is here to help – starting with these 4 tips for delegating successfully!

1. Get to know your VA
One of the biggest qualms an entrepreneur may have with delegating to their VA is trust. How do you trust important tasks with someone you’ve never even met? Luckily, with the advancements in technology this does not have to be a problem.

First, schedule a “getting to know you” phone call with your VA. Write down a few questions you’d like to ask about their work schedule, preferences, and personality. Expect a good VA to also have questions for you as you are both learning how to make the arrangement a great fit! This all-important call can help you and your VA begin to figure out where and how they can help you.

Some clients request daily or weekly calls. Others request a video chat for the first meet and greet. Decide what would make you feel more comfortable and help you trust your new virtual assistant with your business.

2. Decide what really needs to be done by you
The next step is to decide the tasks that absolutely have to be done by you. You would be surprised by how few and far between those tasks actually are! It is expected, of course, that there will be tasks you simply prefer to do yourself, while others you are completely okay with giving to someone else. You just might be surprised by the range of skills and tasks a VA can handle for you. Here are just a few:

The list just goes on and on!

3. Define and communicate

Remember that your VA is wonderful at their job, but not a mind reader! When delegating tasks or projects, be sure that the goals, timeline, scope, and purpose are clearly defined. This enables the VA to find the most efficient way of completing the task and that it is done exactly the way you want.

For example, handing your assistant a list of candidates for you to interview and telling them to “contact them all” may not have the same positive outcome as handing that list over with specifics such as the intention of the interview, how long it should be, how it will be conducted (in person, online, via phone), and how it will benefit both parties.

4. Follow up

Finally, follow up on tasks and projects, or decide how often you’d like your assistant to follow up with you. Do you want a daily report of progress? Or do you simply want your VA to contact you if he or she has questions? Remember to respond to a phone call or emailed question within 24 hours if possible. Open communication between you and your VA is the most important ingredient to a successful partnership.

Overall, it is important to remember that the relationship with your VA is meant to make your life (and job) easier. You don’t have to throw your entire business on them right away – or ever. Allowing yourself time to slowly delegate is 100% your right. Try giving out a handful of tasks at a time if you need some “convincing” that your VA can handle them. You will be pleasantly surprised with the result!

Posted on June 1st, 2011 by Team CVA

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