Regardless of whether you’re a start-up or fully-fledged business, you will inevitably have an endless to-do list. As an entrepreneur, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done – despite what you may think! One of the most effective ways to get to the bottom of your never ending to-do list is to outsource the repetitive and time-consuming tasks to an online personal assistant.
Without occupying any space or using any resources in the office, these virtual professionals are capable of handling all of your creative, administrative, and technical tasks. Due to the advancements of technology, small businesses are outsourcing more than ever. However, many entrepreneurs that do have an online personal assistant do not master the skill of getting the most out of them. Adapting to a new way of working e.g. not having an assistant sat directly outside your office, can be one of the first challenges to overcome. It can become difficult for entrepreneurs to communicate, collaborate, and plan the outsourcing process efficiently in a virtual setting.
At Virtalent, we have created some techniques for how best to use online personal assistant services in the most efficient manner. Follow these tips to get the best out of your virtual assistant!
Brief your online personal assistant
Before getting started with the any task, it is very essential to first talk to your virtual assistant. It should be a detailed discussion in which you should explain everything about your company, including its policies, your expectations and the type of role your online personal assistant is expected to fulfil. One of the barriers to a successful virtual relationship is that business owners do not brief their assistants about the basic tasks they ought to carry out. As a result, the relationship between the entrepreneur and their online personal assistant breaks down. An initial call with your VA will help them to understand your expectations.
Make a list of tasks
Making a list of everything you want to outsource is key. Entrepreneurs can often fall into the trap of not knowing what to outsource, simply because they have so much to do they don’t know where to begin (we all know that feeling!). Alternatively, they can feel outsourcing a particular tasks may take too long to explain, therefore they end up doing the task themselves – thus defeating the object of having an online personal assistant. Make it easy for yourself by creating a list. First, not down all of the tasks you are incapable of doing yourself, then the tasks that you don’t want to do yourself and finally, the tasks you shouldn’t be doing yourself.
Communication is king
Communication is essential in making any relationship successful, but especially so when you have a virtual relationship with an online personal assistant. Keep your virtual assistant updated about your company, they are a part of your team after all. This will help them understand how you like to work and how they need to adapt their role as necessary to the changes in your company. There are so many ways to stay connected with your VA, not only though email and phone, but by using Skype and WhatsApp you can stay constantly connected with them.
Supervise but don’t micromanage
Several business leaders make the common mistake of micromanaging their online personal assistant, simply because of the fact that they can’t actually see their assistant completing the task at hand. Trust is a key component in establishing a good working relationship with your virtual assistant. Provide them with as much information as possible, but trust in their capabilities to get the job done.
That said, ensure you don’t completely abandon your online personal assistant! A virtual relationship is about striking a balance between letting your VA do their job, but also about providing them with sufficient information and resources to allow them to complete the task properly. Be there for them when they need you, but allow them the space to be an efficient and effective online personal assistant.
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