It is exciting to get to a point in your business where you can outsource.
Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is often an important step for a business. By delegating tasks that are time-consuming, complicated, or just downright tedious, you gain more time and energy to focus on the areas that really deserve your attention.
But, there is a bit of an art to communicating well with your virtual assistant.
Knowing how to delegate tasks effectively is an essential part of your business success. It is not simply a case of handing something over with the instruction to “do this”. There is far more to it than that!
You must firstly choose appropriate tasks for your virtual assistant to handle, communicate correctly about them, and have the right systems in place to ensure everything goes smoothly.
If you are not sure where to start on effective delegation, then read on for our top tips.
How To Effectively Delegate Tasks To Your Virtual Assistant
Choose The Right Tasks
Knowing what to delegate may be the most challenging aspect of hiring a virtual assistant! To get your head around it, write a list of every task you have to deal with during the week – whether it’s a big job or small. Don’t forget to include those monthly tasks that might pop up.
Once you have your list (which will likely be far longer than anticipated), highlight the tasks you hate doing but are a necessity to keep the business going. Then mark the tasks you feel aren’t the best use of your time, or you are not equipped to do.
These jobs are the first ones you should try and automate or outsource.
Even when you choose a virtual assistant who is highly skilled, don’t assume they will magically be able to read your mind. Every business has different processes and systems, so ensure you communicate well with your virtual assistant to get them started on the right foot.
When delegating tasks, be very specific about the requirements, your expectations, and deadlines. To help your virtual assistant understand your business, chat with them about your vision and strategy on top of the list of tasks.
Where possible, it’s also a great idea to provide them with your expectations around processes in the form of a standard operating procedure. You can even have them help you document these processes using software like Loom to record your screen while you complete these processes or walk your virtual assistant through them.
Develop Processes For Working Together
Outsourcing to someone who works remotely means you will need to come up with processes for communicating and sharing. Will it be via email, a chat programme, phone, or online cloud sharing? Discuss an appropriate system for checking in, communicating, and submitting work.
Online collaboration tools like Slack or Asana are great for clarifying workflows and operating like a well-oiled machine. These systems don’t only work for virtual staff, but your entire team also.
Find Your Balance
When choosing to work with a virtual assistant, you need to approach it with the right mindset. It requires a unique balance of letting go while retaining a connection. Trying to micromanage defies the purpose of outsourcing work in the first place. However, you do need to regularly touch base and check in to make sure everything’s going to plan. This particularly important in the early stages of the working relationship.
Build A Good Relationship
Remember that even though you may never meet your virtual assistant in person, they are a human, not a robot! If appropriate, introduce them (virtually) to the rest of the team and make them feel welcome. Help them understand and be invested in your business, and they will become an integral component of your success.
Choose The Right Virtual Assistant
When choosing to work with someone, it has to feel right for both yourself and the business. There is no point trying to force a relationship if there isn’t a good connection. By forcing it, you will always question if you have made the right choice, and if the work will be completed as it should. Ensure you have a good human connection with your virtual assistant and communication will be a breeze.
You should also consider their skill set. While many virtual assistants are skilled in a variety of disciplines, make sure you delegate the appropriate tasks for their areas of expertise. So, before you hire anyone, ensure they can do the work you need them to do!
Here at Admin Army we have a wide range of skills available in our team. Not only do we handle administrative tasks, but we also do bookkeeping (it actually accounts for about 70% of what we do). We value the excellent relationships we have with our clients and would like to form a great working relationship with your business too.