Let’s be honest… The choice of title for this piece is deceptive. To begin with, if you are concerned about tracking the work of your Virtual Assistant (VA), it will very likely be for one of 3 reasons.
- You’ve never worked with a VA before.
- You are not the type of person to work with a VA and should consider a different option.
- You’ve had a negative experience working with a VA who has not been well matched to you.
I’ll briefly touch on the first two, and then we can do a quick deep dive into the third.
Firstly, to set your mind at ease right off the bat, a good VA will not need to be tracked. In a very short time, you should have complete peace of mind that they are producing results. They will be keeping a clear record of how your allotted time is being spent and will be giving you feedback regularly.
If you would like a clearer picture of what to expect when working with a Virtual Assistant for the first time, have a look at our blog on the right VA for your business.
On to the second point. The truth of the matter is, there are some people who are naturally very cautious about trusting others with their “overflow work”. Some people are generally quite disorganised and need support throughout the day – every day. Still other business owners are extremely busy and simply drowning in the workload of their thriving business and perhaps need a full-time office of additional staff.
We will be the first to sing the praises of Virtual Assistants and all that they can accomplish in limited time. However, the above people should probably consider a full-time Personal Assistant or secretary.
Virtual Assistants are independent business owners, and whilst they are highly equipped and ready to take on the work you may need to outsource, their time is very carefully balanced. Not many VAs will take on a full-time (40 hours a week) contract, and instead know very clearly how much time each assigned task should take.
With all that being said, it is also possible that you are still unsure about outsourcing your work as a result of having worked with someone in the past who left you more than a little scarred.
This is understandable. In fact, a number of VAs choose to become independent from any particular employer for this exact reason! Negative experiences in the freelance world can occur but are usually avoidable.
In a similar fashion to when you began your business, there is a point where it becomes important to be able to identify your ideal client. As you will know, this process requires first understanding how your own business is identified – how the brand will be portrayed in a way that you are proud of, and what you stand for.
Most importantly, when intending to work closely with an individual or organisation, it is vital that you have identified the values that your company represents and are able to appeal to and choose clients that align with these values.
In exactly the same way, it is absolutely vital that in choosing a Virtual Assistant to work with, you are absolutely sure that their values match yours before you agree to work with each other.
The chances are, that issues faced in the past were most likely a result of different expectations through personal or business values, rather than either party being of particularly ‘bad’ character. Communication issues, the importance of timings, general outlook on a project – all of these stem from where someone does, or does not, assign value.
It is unlikely that a single, 30-minute, online introduction will be enough to be sure that you should work with someone – and that is alright!
An experienced virtual assistant will spend your first conversation getting to know what you and your business represent, and how closely your values align. This will determine whether they think you may be able to ‘get along’ and what your quality and time expectations are for the work you want to outsource.
Your second meeting is likely to be where they suggest an hourly allocation or monthly retainer package that would meet the workload. It will also be where they explain, clearly, how they keep track of their time – Clockify is a very common tool used, and allows detailed reports to accompany your invoices and see what tasks can be accomplished in your time. This will also be the meeting where invoicing, payments and hours of business are clarified, and where you agree communication methods and set expectations for feedback and reviews.
When you meet the right virtual assistant for you, you will come away from this meeting confident about what to expect – that your work will be managed to the standard you require, in a timely manner, by someone who respects and understands your business vision and values.
And if you need help with any of the above, do get in touch. We’re here to positively impact passionate business owners like yourself by providing you with the support you need to grow your business effectively. So reach out and let’s chat about the needs of your business – you’ll find our contact information here.