We all want to believe that everyone is as smart as we are, however that is never the case. When delegating tasks, you have certain expectations about how you want the delegated work done. If you had all the time in the world you could do each task to your own idea of perfection, however this is not possible. At some point you need to let go and start delegating the dime job so you can focus on the dollar. This means letting go of certain tasks and responsibilities. Below is a list of ways to best manage your Virtual Assistant and your own expectations.
- Communication is key. Before you delegate work to your Virtual Assistant make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want. Don’t leave it up to the VA to determine what you were thinking. The more clear you are the easier it will be to explain what you want to the virtual assistant, and the better they will understand what you want.
“ If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein”
- Manage your expectations. It is important that you have an idea of how long it would take you to do the task, so you can have a reasonable expectation for the VA. If are delegating a task that takes you 1 hour to do and you have done that task a thousand times, it will take the VA longer to do the task. As you work with a dedicated VA and they perform delegated responsibility for you over and over again they too will get faster as you did, but it will take time. Don’t put unreasonable expectations upon your VA that will only frustrate them and the delegated work you get back will be sub par.
- Give your VA a limited amount of work at first. Then have them check back once the first bit of work is done so you can check up on them and their work. This will help you see how well they work and they can see what is expected from you. Often times we delegate work too large for your VA and hours later the task is done, but wrong. If you would have had them check in at the beginning the mistake could have been caught and hours of wasted time could have been avoided.
- Use google drive, dropbox or similar platform so you have access to the task if something goes wrong or your VA disappears. That way you don’t have to try and track down a file. Our virtual assistants work for us and we manage them very closely and haven’t had a problem with them leaving, but it is always a good idea to be safe rather than sorry.
- Security: This is always tough when dealing with anyone other than yourself. Even family members cannot always be trusted. We understand this risk ourselves and manage that by only giving the information to our VA’s that is pertinent for the task. Sometimes this is passwords, usernames, and CC info. We haven’t ever had a problem with any of our VA’s, however it is important that you take the necessary precautions when giving out sensitive information and that you monitor things to make sure everything is being handled properly. As a safe rule don’t give out any information that you don’t want misused.
- We provide virtual personal assistants, not masters of every subject under the sun. Once you sign up we take a list of potential work you need to delegate and find a virtual assistant with as much knowledge and experience in those tasks as possible, but not always are they proficient in everything. If you need a specific expert in a certain area, we have on staff VA’s who can do those things, try not to expect your VA to know everything about everything. If they don’t know how to do it we have someone on staff who can.
- Best Practice: Here are the 6 questions you need to ask before you delegate work. Your job may not require all these questions and it might need more explanation depending on what your task will be. Use these questions as a basic outline.
1. How long do you anticipate this task taking?
2. Is there a specific time you need this task completed?
3. How should your dedicated VA get a hold of you if they have questions?
4. Is there anything the VA will need to complete this task? (login credentials, reference materials/samples, tools, etc…)
5. Will they need any special instructions to complete this task? (target market, certain email address to use when making queries, etc…)
6. How would you like your dedicated VA to report back to you after they are finished with the delegated responsibility? (email, skype, google drive, etc…)