I can see it now: Your business is booming and you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant. You find an actual unicorn, someone with the experience and skills you need to crush virtual assistant duties, and a bomb personality to boot. You’re relieved and excited, then, mid-happy dance *record scratch* you wonder, “Wait, what now?”
Hiring a virtual assistant, or VA, is a game-changing moment for creative entrepreneurs. But without planning and strategy for how the role will support your biz, and how you’ll work with them, your new hire might not be equipped to succeed.
Don’t worry, though. Today, I’m here to tell you exactly how to delegate virtual assistant duties and get back to running your shit.
Set Realistic Turnaround Time Expectations
If you take anything away from this blog, puh-lease, let it be this: if you want to delegate virtual assistant duties well and have a good working relationship with your VA, you have to set realistic turnaround time expectations.
Look, your VA isn’t a full-time employee. And if you aren’t paying someone to be available to you from 9-5 every day, you can’t expect your VA to be available and jumping to respond and turn around tasks. They’re part-time, independent contractors who have other clients and set their own work hours. Asking for or expecting immediate turnarounds isn’t okay–Capeesh?
At a bare minimum, give your VA one to two business days to complete tasks or projects. And if you find yourself needing things to be done immediately and instant communication? Pay them to be available all day for you, obviously.
Define What Tasks You’ll Delegate to Your VA
Before you delegate tasks to your virtual assistant, you better have a plan! Back when you started dreaming of posting that job description and hiring a badass VA for your budding biz, your wheels were turning on what tasks you’d want them to take off your plate. Lock that shit down!
Start by defining exactly which aspect(s) of your business you can delegate. Spell out precisely what needs to be done for each task you plan to hand off to your virtual assistant. What are the parameters, your goals, deadlines, and expectations? Knowing this, you can be sure to hire someone who you know has all the tricks up their sleeve to help you where you need it.
Share the Standards and Resources They Need
Putting together your standards, style guides, and processes might seem like a lot of work, especially if you haven’t formalized any of that stuff yet. And hey, your business is newer and still growing, I get it. But you’ve gotta just bite the bullet and take the time to create those references. That’s because they’re essential to delegating virtual assistant duties and having a productive team, no matter how small.
The most experienced, rockstar VA hasn’t been inside your business before. You have to set the stage and provide them with the guidelines they need to work in it. Plus, newsflash: You now have an assistant, and they can help you put these documents together. Schedule a session or two to go through everything with them and have them help you document it, so they, and any future hires, have them handy!
Give Good Instructions
Have you ever tried to assemble a random piece of furniture that comes with three steps of instructions and like 5,298 pieces? Yea. It’s bullshit, and the odds of you doing it correctly on the first try aren’t great. You waste a couple of hours and end up with a wonky end table.
When you delegate virtual assistant duties, don’t be like that crappy furniture manufacturer. Make sure your VA has the instructions they need to execute successfully. Clearly communicate expectations and essential details they should know. Know that some work will require more instruction than others. And in some cases, your VA might just have more experience doing something than you.
Giving good instructions not only sets your VA up for success, but it can prevent unnecessary back-and-forths and delays. Win, win!
Don’t You Dare Micromanage
No one likes a micromanager. Seriously. Even micromanagers, themselves, despise other micromanagers. First of all, they’re a pain in the ass. Second, they ruin any chance of creating a solid, trusting, productive relationships with their teams. If you think for a second that you might have micromanaging tendencies, here’s your wake-up call to cut it out.
I’m assuming you’ve hired an awesome VA (if not, we have bigger fish to fry here.) Invest in training them and helping them get acclimated, then give them a freakin’ chance. This is a person who is qualified and capable of doing their job. They know your expectations and standards, and you’ve communicated the info they need. Let them do the damn thing!
Provide Constructive Feedback
Want to set your VA up for success and build a Batman and Robin-level collaborative relationship? When you delegate virtual assistant duties, give your VA feedback! Yes, “thanks” and “looks good” are technically ways to acknowledge a job’s done. But providing legit, constructive feedback and input they can act on is a surefire way to help everyone get even better at what they do.
Did your VA absolutely hit that last project out of the park? Tell them that. Better yet, talk about exactly what they did well and what you’d love to see more of. Or, if a task wasn’t done to your expectations, discuss where things could have been done differently and what improvements can be made in the future.
As long as you approach those conversations respectfully with a goal of kicking ass and taking names together, your VA, you, and your business will benefit from them!
Ready to get back to that happy dance but need some help getting your systems and procedures in place for your VA? Hit me up for one of my Integrator Intensives or Strategy Calls. I’m your girl for perfecting your onboarding processes, automating your CRMs, and getting you set up to stop doing the shit you don’t want to do.