Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Virtual assistants can be beneficial to small business owners in several ways. They can help schedule appointments, manage social media accounts, and send emails. However, before hiring a virtual assistant, it is important to have a clear plan. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying for tasks that don't necessarily align with your workflow.
It is important to remember that virtual assistants are human beings too. They are not mind readers, and they cannot work magic. For them to be effective, they need clear and concise instructions. By planning before hiring a virtual assistant, you can save yourself both time and money in the long run.
How to Plan Your Business Tasks for Maximum Productivity
Before you even think about hiring a virtual assistant, it's important to take some time to plan out your business tasks. This will ensure you can maximize productivity and get the most out of your VA.
Start by creating a list of all the tasks you need to complete to run your business. Once you have this master list, you can start breaking things down into smaller, more manageable chunks. For example, if you need to create a social media strategy, you can break this down into tasks such as researching competitors, crafting posts, scheduling content, etc. Don't forget to factor in any administrative tasks that must be completed regularly. This could include anything from handling customer service inquiries to managing your email.
Once you have done this, you can prioritize each task by importance. The final step is to make a star next to the tasks you are struggling to complete. You would outsource these tasks to your virtual assistant (VA).
By planning out your business tasks, you can avoid the costly mistake of hiring a Virtual Assistant without any direction. Not only will this save you money, but it will also ensure that your VA is effectively helping you to grow your business.
What questions to ask during your VA consultation
During your initial consultation with a potential VA, you should ask a few key questions to gauge whether they're a good fit for your business.
Ask questions based on the tasks you have identified as a need for your company.
What processes do they have for communication and collaboration?
What is their average turnaround time for similar tasks?
Inquire about their availability and ask for a detailed schedule of their hours. You'll need to make sure that they're available during the times you need them most.
The Importance of a Contract with a Virtual Assistant
After you've decided that you need a virtual assistant, it's tempting just to jump in and start hiring. Most Vas will have a standard contractor's contract that you would need to sign before services will begin. However, thinking about what you need in the contract with your assistant can save you a lot of headaches down the road. A contract helps to clarify expectations and duties and can serve as a reference point if problems arise. It also helps to protect your business interests by outlining confidentiality agreements and intellectual property rights. Furthermore, a contract can provide much-needed structure for an otherwise informal relationship. By taking the time to plan and develop a contract, you can set yourself up for success when hiring a virtual assistant.
Hiring a virtual assistant can be a great way to save time and money. However, it is essential to have a clear plan before hiring a VA. This will ensure you can maximize productivity and get the most out of your virtual assistant. Furthermore, be sure to develop a contract that outlines expectations and duties. This will help to protect your business interests and set you up for success when working with a VA.
What questions do you still have about hiring or working with a virtual assistant? Let us know in the comments below!