The building blocks of a great relationship with your VA
Great! You’ve hired yourself a VA – you’ve already started assigning projects and tasks and everything is moving along just fine.
You might ask yourself, is your VA working out as planned? In order for you to build a good relationship with your VA, you need to be clear in what you need and you need to be sure that your tasks & projects are being carried out as you require. For example, does your VA perform the daily and weekly tasks that you need done? Do you feel that you need to go more into depth explaining the jobs that need to be done – something that you didn’t expect to have to do? Or maybe it’s going great and you think wow what took me so long to do this?
In the beginning, you could allot some time at the end of each week for a short discussion with your VA to see how everything is going? Cover tasks/projects, what still needs to get done?
How long does it take to see if it works or doesn’t?
Start with a TRIAL RUN – When you hire a VA, the best thing to do is to set a timeline, at which time you can decide if you want to keep working together or not, a sort of test period. Ideally, this is also a good time to let your VA know all the good things he/she is doing for you and also gives you the chance to talk about the other side and discuss those things that you would like to change.
How long should the test period be? Well, that really is for you and your VA to decide. Maybe you prefer one month, or 3 months or even 6 months if you think that is the amount of time you need to be able to make an informed decision. Just remember that sometimes it could be a while before you and your VA click, so you’ll probably need more than a month. After 3 months you will have a better picture of your working relationship and whether its working out or not, so that would be a good time-frame to follow.
One very important thing… Do not micromanage! If you want your relationship with your VA to work out you cannot let yourself be involved with every little detail because what is the point of having a VA? You originally wanted to get a VA so you can concentrate on other aspects of your business, like acquiring more clients etc. With a professional VA and regular meetings micromanaging should not be necessary at all.
I think it’s important to remember that you hired someone with experience, a professional, someone who has done this type of work before.
How to not micromanage?
One thing that would be helpful is to give your VA a project to do, explaining what end result you need, rather than detailed steps on how you need him/her to do it. Most VAs will ask you questions if things aren’t clear.
For example, instead of telling your VA; I need you to search for an image of a dog, a seeing-eye dog and a police dog working with their master etc. (silly example but you’ll get my point soon)
Instead you can say, I need you to search for images of ‘service’ dogs working and put it up on the blog and make it look nice. Your VA will know what to do, and if it’s not what you want, then you can use this chance to show him/her how you would like your blog to be done etc.
Another thing that helps is to create a system where your VA gives you a report on the job being worked on, whether it be every day or once a week so that you can feel comfortable knowing that things are getting done, this is where project management tools come in handy (see lasts week’s blog post) and it also helps with keeping up to date on completed tasks.
Something that is important to know – IF you and your new VA don’t click, that’s ok, just be fair and let them know what is and isn’t working. Things might change or you might have to part ways, however, by being honest with them they have a choice to make as well… Sometimes it comes down to both of you wanting different things.
If you want your business to succeed, then you need to have a VA (as well as other out-source help) that you can depend on - It is essential to have a VA that you can click with and feel comfortable with, it’s not easy, but after a few adjustments here and there, and some trial-and-error, you and your VA can end up having a great working relationship that feels right for the both of you.