If you’ve been managing your own business for quite some time now, chances are you’ve probably thought of getting a virtual assistant (VA). And if you’re thinking about hiring one right now or you’ve already hired a VA who’s starting very soon, congratulations - you are on the right track!
Here are some things that we highly suggest you do before your VA’s first day. These tips will not only be helpful to your new worker, but also for you to ease through the adjustment period.
VAs can have a very extensive background and knowledge regarding their tasks, and they have the ability to adapt to their responsibilities quickly. However, conducting training and providing orientation sessions at the beginning could go a very long way into using your time efficiently, and ensuring that your VA can adjust easier and more efficiently.
Besides starting off at the right track, initial training is also a great opportunity for you and your new VA to get to know each other’s work habits and personality too.
VAs are also human beings who need to balance work, family and social life. Before working with one, you have to be be clear with the number of hours they need to work in a day, and what time they need to be online. This is highly important especially if your VA lives on the other side of the world (or a few hours away, like in AwayTeam’s case).
You can also ask them to send a weekly breakdown of tasks they’ve done and the amount of time it took them to finish, so you could adjust and prioritize accordingly.
When we say clear, we mean be as specific as you can. Create detailed instructions for each task or responsibility that you need your VA to do. Provide step-by-step guidelines, and even a sample output for their reference. You can create tutorials through recorded screenshare videos or marked-up screenshots too.
Remember though that a VA’s responsibilities are bound to what is agreed upon in their contracts. So, make sure that the projects that you have lined up for them is in line with their job description and do not overlap with another team member’s role.
Decide beforehand what your preferred communication platforms are and have the necessary software or programs downloaded and provided for before your VA starts.
Email is usually the way to go if you want to be more formal with your VA and have an online record of your conversations. This is also best for giving out long instructions or assignments, or when you don’t need a response right away.
There are also instant messaging, voice and video chat, and video conferencing apps that you can use so it’s faster to speak to your VA, especially if you need to relay important and time-sensitive information.
VAs provide their skills and services to you with the utmost competence and dedication. Treat them as you would any regular employee, despite them not being physically around you and working from the comforts of their home. They can work just as well, and sometimes even better than office-based staff, so work with your VAs as the professionals that they are.
As they say, preparation is half the battle, so have these things accomplished and a smooth-sailing start with your VA will be on its way.