Choosing Virtual Support
Previously, we discussed your options for office support. To refresh, there are basically three avenues to choose from—traditional employment, agencies, and virtual support.
We looked at the advantages and disadvantages of each. Virtual support was the clear winner because of the amount of time and money a business owner can save by choosing a virtual assistant instead of an agency or traditional employee.
The trouble in working with virtual assistants for many entrepreneurs is this: How do you choose which tasks to delegate to your virtual support professional?
Your business is your baby. You’ve nurtured it from nothing into something that is a vital part of your identity and financial security. It’s no easy thing letting go of any aspect of your business. Choosing which parts to release into someone else’s care can be a panic-inducing decision.
How do you let go? How do you make sure you’re doing the right thing and doing your best to make sure everything goes smoothly?
Here are helpful suggestions on how to make virtual assistance work for you and what to hand off to a virtual assistant.
How to Make Virtual Assistance Work
Everyone understands how traditional employment works: you hire an employee for a specific position and then they work within that position (hopefully) successfully. Hiring virtual support can be intimidating because the relationship between employer and employed looks a little different than traditional employment. Some business owners struggle with how to make the virtual support relationship work.
Hiring and then working with virtual support requires a bit of a shift in thinking. The start to a successful working relationship is to acknowledge the differences. Recognize the differences and then look at the facts of the situation.
Your virtual support professional is your personal assistant. That’s a fact. Being your personal assistant is what those of us who are virtual assistants do: we assist you personally to drive your success. Nothing gets more personal than that! As a virtual assistant, I work one-on-one with the business owner, developing a relationship with them, understanding how the business owner works and anticipating what they need.
You can build a relationship with your virtual assistant just as you would with a personal assistant. That’s a fact. You build trust and relationships through communication. Communication is easily handled through phone calls, texts, and emails. Skype makes even face-to-face communication possible.
Focus on communicating effectively. If you know your preferred communication style, then let your virtual assistant know what it is. An experienced virtual assistant will be experienced with shifting her communication styles to meet her clients’ needs. The more the two of you understand each other, the smoother your working relationship will become.
What to Have a Virtual Assistant Do
Once you and your assistant begin building a relationship, virtual assistance works very, very well. Now, let’s reduce your stress, make the business run efficiently, and increase your revenue.
Start your assistant with tasks that do not need your personal touch which you aren’t getting done. Tasks including:
- Adding information from all the business cards you’ve collected into a database;
- Scheduling and confirming appointments;
- Booking travel arrangements;
- Filling out expense reports and tracking reimbursements;
- Managing your email;
- Performing research;
- Following up with clients/customers;
- Creating reports;
- Preparing PowerPoint presentations;
- Acting as a liaison between you and team members;
- Setting up, managing, and updating social media accounts;
- Participating in discussion forums or message boards;
These suggestions are easy tasks to turn over to your assistant. Once you gain trust in your assistant’s abilities, you’ll find it easier and easier to turn more and more tasks over.
Before long, you’ll have a personal assistant who is invaluable, your stress will be reduced, your business will be running efficiently, and your revenue will increase. You’ll be spending more and more time doing the work only you can do that adds value to your business.