First, I wholeheartedly agree. I love virtual assistants and part of my business includes offering team services to small business owners. I’ve spoken at their national association conference and have the utmost respect for the profession.
This article isn’t about virtual assistants. It’s about being a responsible business owner.
As soon as you’re able, even if it’s only for an hour a month, hire a virtual assistant, personal assistant, team, etc. to do some of the tasks that you don’t excel at/don’t enjoy/enjoy but is not best use of your time in order to free yourself up to focus on higher revenue/higher return tasks/projects.
The two “biggest” mistakes business owners make with their virtual assistants:
- Hiring a VA expecting her to hit the ground running knowing all about your business and your preferences. A good VA will have the skill set you hired her for and will still need to be trained on your business/your preferences. The best way to do this is to create a procedures guide/manual for your business.Start with what you’re comfortable delegating and increase tasks/responsibilities as your partnership grows
- Abdicating rather than delegating – we go into this more below.
Too many business owners wash their hands of “typical VA tasks” such as website maintenance, shopping cart management and email service management.
And, as a result, open themselves up to:
- a business on hold if, heaven forbid, something happened to their VA,
- a business ripe for sharp price increases if the VA should choose and
- the inability to make price changes/send out an offer if their VA isn’t around
The reason usually stems from the business owner being “too busy” or “not techie”.
Make a list of those things you absolutely need to know in order to run your business in the absence of your VA (pretend she is going to spend a month on a tropical island without phone or internet and you have a new product to announce) and then either get training on them or ask your VA to make a screen capture video showing you the exact steps.
Top 5 Items for Your List
- How to add a new product to your shopping cart
- How to edit a product on your shopping cart
- How to create an autoresponder
- How to copy an existing opt-in/sales page and tweak (much easier if you use this system)
- How to send out an email broadcast (“pretty” or not depending on your desire to learn a little tech)
With a little forethought and preparation, virtual assistants can be, and usually are, a blessing and huge time, efficiency and sanity saver to you and your business.
Please share your thoughts and whether or not you’d add anything below in the Comments section.