Following on from our post explaining what a Virtual Assistant actually is, if you haven’t worked with a VA before, it may require a change of thinking if you’ve been used to working as part of a team who are all in the same office.
Here are 5 of our Top Tips on tools & good working habits that can you help stay connected with your VA:
1. Set your stalls out early!
- Don’t assume anything! Before you even sign a contract with your potential VA, make sure that their working hours and capacity are in line with what you need. If you’re happy for them to work flexibly if the work is done then great, but if you need someone who is going to be available on certain days/times then you need to make that clear. More and more VA business owners include a welcome pack or set of principles that they agree to adhere to – a bit like a code of conduct! Ask your VA if they have one and it will give you an idea if you are likely to be on the same page.
- Secondly, make sure that you read your VA contract carefully. Yes, it’s easy to skip to the end and sign but there’s lots of information in a contract that will cover things like payment terms, what will happen if your VA is ill and… if things don’t go well, how you can end your contract together.
- Agree with your VA on how regularly you want to touch base and how you like to stay in touch… if they have lots of clients they won’t be checking emails constantly (they’ll be head down in client work!) so make sure you know the best ways to communicate if something urgent comes up and agree on a regular call to catch up on tasks.
3. Get tech savvy
- There are lots of apps available that may cut down the need for calls and emails. Your VA will be able to recommend systems such as slack for team communication or they might recommend Trello or Asana to log tasks & projects so you can see how work is progressing without you even needing to speak. There are lots of clever integrations available that can help save even more time if you use theses apps… but that’s for another blog post! Introducing systems like these with your VA now can also make life a whole lot easier as you continue to grow your team!
4. Help them feel part of the team
- If you really want your VA and to feel part of the team then bring them in on your vision! Most VAs have a significant amount of experience and knowledge and some will support their clients in a way that is more familiar to that of a Business Management role. This should mean that you need to pay a little more (the average rate for a UK VA is £25 her hour) but you will see the return on investment through the increased support that you receive.
- These days you can usually create a new business email address really easily and cheaply (if not for free!). So, if part of your VAs role will include customer service or liaising with your clients then it is really important that they have their own email account for your business. If you have a particular tone of voice or brand guidelines that you want them to adhere to in their communications then make sure you share this information with them as early on in the relationship as you can.
5. Say hello
- A real benefit of hiring a VA is that you can take on the best person for the job without the limitations of needing to find that person on your doorstep so make sure you ask for recommendations or use a service like our VIP VA client matching service to find the best person to support you. Then connect, get to know each other and go from there!
- Despite modern technology and the reliance on email and apps nothing quite beats F2F contact or a chat on the phone. Communication with your VA is so important and you lose things like tone of voice and body language when you only rely on the written word and sometimes this can lead to crossed wires or a 30min email exchange that could have been solved by a 5-minute call. To get around the fact that your VA isn’t in the same office as you, we highly recommend video conferencing software such as skype and zoom. Using even just using their free plans you have access to features such as screen sharing (great if you need to teach your VA a new skill or visa versa!) and zoom even allows you to record the call so, once you are done, it can be referred to at a later date.
We hope that you have found these tips useful but if you need more advice on how to make sure you hire the right VA you can read further blogs. If you need VIP VA to give you a helping hand, please get in touch about our VA matching service.