Keeping your Virtual Assistants on Task

Hiring a virtual assistant can be a little scary the first time you decide to do it. Then again, any time you give up control to any aspect of your business can be a little scary. Still, a virtual assistant can save you countless hours on several tasks giving you time to work on the aspects of the business you care most about. Here are some ideas to keep your virtual assistant on task so that you will both be working towards a common goal:

First, give precise instructions and training for what you’re hoping to accomplish up front. Your assistant can’t help you if you don’t tell them exactly what you are looking for. Start with something small to make sure you can work together and communicate effectively. Only after the “sample task” should you assign bigger projects.

Second, check in regularly via Skype, Facetime or even Google Hangout. It helps to see each other face to face even if you’re hundreds or thousands of miles apart. Seeing each other’s face helps you each become human to one another making relationships feel more real and less like robotic engagement. If you have a huge project and expect your virtual assistant to be done with it in 30 days don’t wait until day 29 to see how they are doing. Check in every few days to monitor progress and see if they understand what you want. If possible break the large task down into smaller ones that can be turned in more frequently so that if there is a problem early on you won’t waste money on a second or (heaven forbid) a third or fourth attempt.

Some businesses that use virtual assistants even use software such as Teamwork Live, Toggl, Time Camp or a similar product to monitor time spent on tasks. If you decide to go this route let your assistant know up front and make sure they are trained in how to use the software.

Third, offer all the ways your virtual assistant can connect with you in the event they have a question or something goes wrong. Let them know its okay to ask questions as you would prefer they ask and do it right than for them to make a decision on their own and do it differently than you would have wanted.

Finally, give feedback regularly. Communicating the good and bad of how a task went will help you with future tasks.

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