9 Steps to a Successful Partnership with Your Virtual Assistant

working with a virtual assistant

You have too much on your plate and know you could use some help, but you’ve heard horror stories from colleagues about VAs that didn’t work out.

We can assure you that our members are all professionals who are good at what they do. Although problems occasionally may arise, it’s nearly always due to a misunderstanding rather than a lack of skill or expertise.

You can avoid those situations by first taking the time to find the right VA for your business. As you begin to work together, the following steps will keep you both on the same page and set the tone for a long-lasting and mutually profitable relationship.

1. Clarify expectations.

Misunderstandings can arise among colleagues in the same office. Imagine what it’s like working with someone without any face-to-face contact! Be specific about required tasks and goals. Set boundaries related to spending limits and confidential information.

2. Document procedures.

How-to manuals and video tutorials can explain routine duties and complex assignments. Ask your virtual assistant to write up any new processes to keep your library up to date.

3. Invest in tools.

Technology will make collaboration easier. Shop for software that lets you edit documents and manage projects without multiple back-and-forth emails.

4. Communicate regularly.

Staying in touch may require a more deliberate strategy when you don’t run into each other in the hallways and breakroom. Schedule one-on-one meetings at least once a week. Discuss the best way to reach you with urgent and nonurgent communications.

5. Encourage questions.

At the beginning of your working relationship, your VA may be reluctant to ask questions in case they come across as incompetent. Let them know that you’re happy to answer questions when anything is unclear.

6. Provide feedback.

Constructive criticism is essential for learning and high performance. Make your comments prompt, specific, and actionable.

7. Start small.

Virtual assistants need onboarding too. If time allows, introduce them gradually to their new role and help them to connect with the bigger picture. Make their first assignment something simple that they can excel at.

8. Respect their time.

Maybe your virtual assistant has limited availability or you’re one of several clients. Make the most of your time together by being prepared for the hours they spend with you.

Your virtual assistant can save you time and enable you to focus on tasks that maximize your strengths. Make your relationship happy and productive by choosing someone who’s a good fit for your business and helping each other succeed.

Photo by Haute Stock

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