Things aren’t always going to work out between you and your Virtual Assistant. We all know just wanting something to work isn’t going to make it work. I’m not talking about money issues, personality issues or even capability issues. I want to talk about the three key problems that will kill your relationship with your VA that are all your fault. (Sorry!) The great part is that these three items are something that you can (and should) address even before you hire your assistant.
Before you start looking for a virtual assistant, you need to sit down with yourself and a piece of paper and pen and write out the tasks you need an assistant to do. Be clear. Be definitive. Your list should NOT look like this:
- Help me run things
- Customer service
- Social Media
That list is extremely generic and doesn’t tell the VA what is needed. It says that you don’t know what you need - you’re just buried and need some help. Take the time to define exactly what you need. Dig deep, drill down and be explicit in your task definition.
Not this: Customer Service
But this: Customer Service > Monitor and respond to customer service email inside customer service mailbox > Within 12 hours of receiving email on weekdays (ET) > Track problems within ticket software following documented procedure
The more clearly defined the workload, the more easily and quickly your virtual assistant can ramp up tasks with you and you can be free to concentrate on other facets of your business.
You Deliver Task Requests Chaotically and Haphazardly
Do not throw each and every task you need done at your new VA all at once. When you’re just starting out, you have to give your assistant time to learn you, your business, and your quirks. Ramp up. Pick a couple of tasks to start. I recommend things that will immediately ease some of the stress you’re feeling with work overload. Explain the tasks, the expectations for delivery, and allow for questions from your VA.
Do not email a task, and 30 minutes later send another email explaining the task in a different way, and then email again later on changing the parameters of the task. And then the next day change things again. That is chaos.
Gather your thoughts first, write concise instructions, allow the VA to deliver.
Your Initial Expectations are Too High
We tend to measure our workers by our own capabilities. “I can do this in five hours, so you should be able to, also.” No, not in the beginning. You’ve been doing these tasks since you started your business. Now your Virtual Assistant is going to do them, but she has to learn everything you already know.
She may have excellent skills, but that doesn’t mean she can know everything about your expectations and how you want your business to be run on Day One. Your expectations will grow as your relationship with your assistant grows. If you convince yourself that everything is going to be done in a day and how you want the first day your VA starts working, you’re going to be disappointed and end the relationship.
It’s like starting a web page. You build it, but you can’t expect sales to start pouring in on Day One. You have to nurture that page and give it the proper care and time to grow to the expectations you have for it.
Take the time to let your virtual assistant learn your business and grow into the position that you’re both going to develop together. You’ll be more assured of a long and productive relationship together.