Not all VA’s fit every business

So you need to outsource to a Virtual Assistant? How do you go about selecting the right one? Virtual assistants have different fields of specializations they excel in. It can be social media management, data entry, bookkeeping, lead generation, blog writing, graphic designing, and much more. However, many business owners are often misled with the notion that VA’s can juggle unlimited tasks. It doesn’t happen in the real business environment and the same in the virtual environment.  While it is true that VAs are there to lessen the workload, and can be a real asset to your business, mostly they will specialise in specific fields.

Before hiring your own VA, try listing everything you are doing in your business. Identify the tasks that overwhelm you and take up much of your valuable time. Be very specific in determining how you need things done. Once you have all the details, it’s easier to narrow down on what kind of VA you’ll need.

When onboarding your VA, orient that person on the tasks that they need to accomplish on a regular basis. Will it be a daily consignment or weekly/monthly? Assign tasks moderately rather than giving everything in one blow. List down projects according to priority and provide workflows. Having a system will definitely produce efficiency and productivity. They won’t be able to read your mind to ensure you have clear processes and procedures in place.  It’s about giving them proper training and then stepping aside while they take over the duties that once occupied your precious time.

The whole reason you are wanting to outsource your workload is to ease the burden.  If you are going to micro-manage your VA, then it is going to end with you tearing your hair out and an ugly ending. But it doesn’t need to be.  As with good leadership practice, delegate, instruct and then allow them to create. Then you will be able to focus on the other aspects of your business with peace of mind knowing that the job will be completed as instructed.

Don’t let it bother you when your VA is struggling with an issue, encourage them to communicate and always give assistance when needed. Just like you would for any employee. If you can direct your VA to source the answers independently, then they will be able to soon reward you with the benefits of outsourcing.

Then there is always the lure of outsourcing overseas and saving some money. Not all case studies end with savings for the company as there are more issues to deal with than when they are closer, especially when there are a bunch of other issues like:

  • Time zone issues
  • Language issues
  • Cultural issues
  • Skill level issues
  • Travel issues

You are just asking for trouble if you go this route. The savings may be minimal when you are having issues that interrupt the efficiency.

If you are considering outsourcing and still have questions, then shoot me a line and I’d be happy to assist you – without obligation.