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Managing Expectations when Working with a Virtual Assistant

Working with a VA might be a completely new concept for you, so it’s therefore important to set realistic expectations about working with one.

Here are a few useful pointers:-

  • Allow for a settling in period, just as you would when taking on a new employee. Your VA needs to get to grips with how you work and learning any new systems and processes.
  • As a Virtual Assistant is also an independent business owner, it isn’t possible for you to set priorities for them in terms of their working week. Most VA’s will have more than one client to consider, so it’s unrealistic to expect a quick turnaround on everything, as you might with an employee. Your VA should have this set out in their Terms and Conditions.
  • Plan ahead! If you are a ‘last-minute’ person, you need to plan ahead the tasks you will be giving to your VA so that they can also plan their working week.
  • Don’t expect a VA to be able to read your mind. Communicate clearly what you want doing and give them what they need from you to be able to complete the task.
  • Deadlines are essential for things to work efficiently and sometimes it’s easy to under-estimate the time some tasks take to be done. Try and be realistic about the timescale within which you are asking for things to be done. The best VA in the world can’t fit into a couple of hours what should realistically take a day!!
  • VA’s are not available 24 hours a day (unless of course you’ve agreed this with them!!). The reality is that many virtual assistants are not available during regular business hours; they’ll do their work in the evenings and on weekends, with some VA’s working part-time hours on weekdays. This flexibility will undoubtedly be one of the many reasons they have chosen to work independently.
  • If you want to be able to call, text and/or email your assistant any time of day, this needs to be made clear from the outset during the initial onboarding process.

Ultimately, a VA has a vested interest in your business, but it’s important to remember that they are a fellow business professional and not an employee, so are able to set their own rules about how they work and manage their client base.

If you’ve been thinking about hiring a VA, but aren’t sure where to start, get in touch at michelle.srmvirtual@gmail.com

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