If you are trying to get your business off the ground, you are probably realizing there’s just too much to do for one person. You may be able to get it started and some cash coming in but every business hits a point where they need to hire additional staff. One of the best investments you can make if you are on a tight time crunch is to look into hiring a virtual assistant. You may need to do this before you feel 100% ready, but you may be very surprised at the affordability and impact it can make for you. You can start with just a few hours a week or jump to a full-time employee in the Philippines like I did.
**IDEA: If you can’t afford a full-time employee yet, find another new entrepreneur who can split one with you. Remember, always look for creative options to make things in your business work.
Here are 5 ways to make your relationship with your Virtual Assistant a great one from the start:
1) Make Time For Training.
Since the person you hire may not know anything about your business, make time to train them effectively from the start. One of the biggest mistakes is thinking that your VA can get up to speed much faster than they really can and handing things over without proper training.
Also, remember to teach them why they need to do what they are doing. This can make a huge difference! Get them on board with your mission and purpose, and they will want to work for you forever.
When I hire someone, I look at it as a long-term investment. Don’t treat the person as a slave, because they’re not. Treat them as someone who is eager to learn and eager to please. Give them feedback on their work. Give them praise when they do a good job and let them know that you see this as a long-term arrangement.
2) Start With a First Task
After you’ve hired someone, you’ll give him or her their first task to set the tone of the relationship. Make sure you tell them that you’re available to help them if they have questions or if they need something.
Send them an email with a first task and include step-by-step instructions and a deadline. I also recommend sending them an email with 5-10 questions before hiring them as well. Let them know you would like a response as soon as possible. If you receive a response within one day, that is who you hire ASAP.
3) Have an End of Day Report.
Every day I have my virtual assistants send me an end of day report with answers to the following questions:
1. What did you do today?
2. What problems did you run into today?
3. What can I do to make your job easier?
These answers will help you see what they are working on each day and what they need your help with. If you don’t receive an email, it usually means something is wrong, or they are scared to tell you something.
Read these email every day and respond to it, even if it’s just a quick thank you. If you have a virtual assistant, it usually means they are working by themselves, and you should try to make your team function as you would in person where there is daily interaction. This also keeps them accountable and helps your relationship grow.
I also recommend Skyping if you can on occasion to get to know them better. Treat it like a long-term relationship.
4) Give Bonuses and Make it Fun
Remember that you are in charge. Remember when you were in corporate and the boss did things you didn’t like? Do your best to be different.
You don’t have to follow the models before you of bosses and stuffy corporate environments. There’s no reason you can’t do something fun or creative for the people that work for you. Don’t worry about the expense because there could not be anything more worth having amazing employees working for you that truly care about you and your business.
My virtual assistants are so determined and devoted to our mission and they love the work and the mission we have. I love when I get to give them bonuses because I appreciate the work they do so much. They make my life so much better and easier. My business would not be where it is today without them.
5) Look Into Different Virtual Assistant Options
When I was overwhelmed trying to get my business off the ground with my full-time job, I turned to outsourcing. I used a company called Onlinejobs.ph because it offered training on how to hire virtual assistants from the Philippines. It also had a job search website that allowed me to post a job description and sort through job applicants.
There was a lot to learn about delegating to a different country, but it was the best decision I have ever made. I started creating my mindset as a leader and a CEO when I hired my virtual assistant, which dramatically changed the direction my business went. I lucked out with the first girl that emailed me back. I hired her, and she has been with me ever since.
The most important thing is to try it. Delegate your administrative tasks and work on revenue generating items instead. You may be surprised at how amazing your VA does. I know it’s hard to let go when you think you can do it better than anyone else, but I was surely surprised. I am amazed when I get things back from my virtual assistant team. They do so much better than I could do and I can focus on tasks in my business that only I can do.
Are you thinking of hiring a Virtual Assistant? Share your experiences below!
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