On-site and virtual assistants (VAs) have many things in common, including their inability to instantly know the tasks you expect them to perform for your business. You need to put in some effort to see optimum VA productivity. Here are some ways to receive the greatest benefits from your VA.
Outline the Specific Tasks You Want Your VA to Do
All of your staff members need clear goals and instructions to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. If you simply instruct your VA to take care of all invoicing, don't expect them to automatically understand the scope or scale of your invoicing system.
If you want your VA to handle your invoicing system, for example, they must know:
- Programs and apps used for invoicing
- E-mail accounts and passwords for invoice correspondence
- Bid specifics or other details that must be noted
- Contacts for vendors and/or customers
- Correct billing and payment addresses for accounts
- Payment terms for vendors and/or customers
Provide all necessary resources to your VA for the job they're doing. For example, when you want your VA to take over the job of managing invoices, write down the specific steps in your company's particular invoicing process. Don't assume that your VA has universal knowledge about invoicing or any other business task, since each company has its own checks, balances, quirks, and methods for routine business actions.
When your VA is given clear guidelines and goals, they have the information they need to complete the tasks you assign to them. If your VA has additional questions about their particular tasks after you explain your processes, note the questions they ask, and add their answers to a company-specific FAQ or to your VA instruction guide.
Thorough instruction guides for specific tasks become invaluable tools for your company. If you use VAs sporadically or during peak times, you may not always get the same assistant. Clear instruction guides for your present-day VA ensure that you always have up-to-date, company-specific training materials for future VAs.
Know Your Own Trust and Anxiety Limits
How much of your company's sensitive information are you willing to share with a virtual assistant? Do you expose yourself to problems when you let down your guard and share passwords and other vital company secrets?
For example, if you want a VA to handle your accounting duties, you must be comfortable allowing the VA access to the following company-specific information:
- Programs and technology used
- Accounting practices
- Data-entry and data-retrieval processes
- Payment amounts for products, services, and taxes
- Lists of clients and suppliers
Likewise, if you want your VA to take over your social media accounts, you must trust the VA with passwords and login information for the sites that present your company's image to the world. You may worry that being too loose with your company's social media access could set your company up for heavy future damage control.
However, if you try to micromanage a competent VA whom you've tasked with posting your social media updates, you waste your and your VA's time. You don't gain any benefit from your VA's skills, but only add to their frustration and your dissatisfaction with your workload. So what do you do with your anxiety when you hire a VA to help manage your business tasks?
First, know that when you hire a VA from a reputable company, the company screens and performs background checks on the VAs they recommend to you. Second, you build trust with a VA just as you do with any employee. Give the VA small jobs, rate their performance, and increase their responsibilities as your trust in their ability grows.
Know your anxiety levels where your sensitive company data is concerned. If you don't feel comfortable allowing your VA too much access to your company information at first, be honest with yourself about your hesitation. Create introductory tasks for your VA that free up your time but don't make you feel like your security is compromised.
Don't delegate tasks to your VA if doing so will make you feel overly anxious or snappy toward them. Take your time to adjust to the VA's presence in your business, and you will find delegation of important tasks to your VA becomes easier.
Ask Your VA About Their Unique Skill Sets
Trained, competent VAs perform a variety of tasks for small and large businesses. A skilled VA may manage real estate listings or specialize in researching overseas manufacturing facilities. Some VAs are experts at resolving customer complaints, while others can sort and organize overstuffed email inboxes.
Bilingual VAs can help your business in myriad ways. For example, any business in the automotive sector benefits from having Spanish-speaking VAs for their customer service or social media jobs. New car sales to Hispanics are estimated to grow by 8% over the next few years, so an auto business would benefit from a bi-lingual VA who can reach that audience.
Take the time to ask your VA about their interests, hobbies, and education. The VA may be able to perform key tasks for you that you didn't realize your company desperately needed.
Free up your workday but keep your company in line by contacting Uassist.ME today. Hire our virtual assistants and solve your business problems with the best available bi-lingual English-Spanish online help.