Author, Sian Winfield, Founder of PA&GO
Using a Virtual Assistant is becoming more and more of a regular occurrence within the Start-Up arena. With the opportunity to streamline the hours you work with your Virtual Assistant and on what tasks, this creates a very agile way to work which complements the Start-Up/Entrepreneurial environment. But how can you ensure that you are getting the most out of having them on board?
Communication, Communication, Communication!!
Setting clear overall expectations from the outset on how you will work together will help pave the way for productive and fluid working going forwards.
Virtual Assistants mould the way that they work around what you need in the way you need it. Therefore clear communication at the start will get the ball rolling in the right direction.
You and Your Business
At PA&GO we cannot stress more the importance of ensuring that you have a face to face set up meeting to get everything covered off from the outset. From outlining who you are and your journey to today, to understanding your business and your growth plan, these are all key areas which are fundamental to getting the most from your Virtual Support Services.
With the majority of online Virtual Assistant Companies today only offering virtual support based around basic administrative tasks and project management from staff they have never met, we stand out from the crowd. By managing myself the initial consultation and entire start up process, we work together to map out what services we can offer and how we can help you move your business in the right direction with the right Virtual Assistant for you from our team.
Working with your Virtual Assistant
The admin set up of your Virtual Assistant is pretty standard stuff and at PA&GO we ensure that they have everything that they need from you to work fluidly based on your requirements set in your start up consultation. This part then becomes background noise, leaving you to focus on the value-added tasks.
But how can you now ensure that you are making the most out of having them working for you?
1. Mapping Your Communication
Mapping out what you need to have worked on using clear communication may sound obvious and basic, but is it? One word to one person may mean something entirely different to another. Take this wonderful quote from the Hobbit as a prime example.
“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”― J.R.R. Tolkien, the Hobbit
Always be sure to include as much detail as possible so that your Virtual Assistant clearly understands your expectations and therefore can meet them spot on.
2. Task Setting
When setting a task or project if you provide as much information as possible this will then leave your Virtual Assistant in the position to run with your task. A good Virtual Assistant should also ask you the questions they need answers to to make this happen for you.
What needs to be done and why? Set clear expectations of what you want done. What is this task for and what is your end goal? What format do you need it in? Who is it for? Is it internal or for a client? What does your Virtual Assistant need from you in order to get this done?
When do you need it by? When is the actual deadline that you need to deliver the task by? Have you given yourself enough time to review and feedback before final copy deadline? Agree how your Virtual Assistant will get the work to you and clearly set by which day and time.
What Priority level is this? Don’t always assume that your Virtual Assistant will know the priority level of your task. An understanding of your priority levels for tasks takes time so always state this to them.
How much time would you like your Virtual Assistant to spend on your task? It is important to set time goals with each task. If it is an internal task do you want your Virtual Assistant spending time on making it look pretty or could this time be better spent on client facing tasks or task that bring clients or income into your business?
3. Monthly Meetings to Set Expectations
Meeting monthly to discuss your Virtual Support needs is vital. At PA&GO we come to you once a month and discuss your overall needs and what you need for the coming month. You can then take the time to ensure that they are working on tasks that help to keep your business moving in the right direction and adding value.
Again, setting these expectations from the outset will mean you will work well with your Virtual Assistant and you are getting the very most from having them on board.
Working well with your Virtual Assistant can take a great weight off your shoulders and leave you to focus 'on the big stuff' which is what you should be doing!!