Most business owners start off on their own, taking on multiple roles. However, working on several things at a time can be too much for an entrepreneur, and so delegating becomes a thing. When they do delegate tasks, it’s not with a full-time team member, but a virtual assistant.
In working with virtual assistants or being with a team, we don’t want to be too intrusive to the point of micromanaging. Micromanagement tends to limit your team and what they’re capable of and would make them demotivated as well.
Delegative Leadership is a type of leadership style in which leaders are hands-off and allow group members to make the decisions. When you find the right team, the right virtual assistant, you will find people who can make decisions and take action according to what’s best for your business, according to the way you’ve agreed and communicated with them.
Assessing the Right Virtual Assistant for You
To become good at delegating tasks, you need to be clear with what you need. When you know what needs to be done, what you don’t want to do, and what you’d rather assign will definitely determine which kind of virtual assistant is right for you.
Here are some of the more popular categories of VAs:
- Administrative Virtual Assistants handle office administration, scheduling, task delegation, email management, travel arrangements, and other business logistics.
- Marketing Virtual Assistants manage content, handle content calendars, sales funnels, and marketing platforms.
- Social Media Virtual Assistants will have expertise in one or more social media platforms, and have a lot of experience with marketing on these platforms, managing posts, engaging, and reaching out to your market.
- Industry-Specific Virtual Assistants are VAs who have experience in other niche industries such as real estate, consultation, or helping out life coaches as a point of contact for their clients.
- Writer Virtual Assistants are a big part of businesses because they involve good copy, captivating write-ups, and a lot of research that could take a lot of your time.
- eCommerce Virtual Assistants are experienced in handling and maintaining eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or Amazon.
- Technical Virtual Assistants excel at issues such as data management, data entry, security, and more. This could be a different side of the business for you. Instead of wasting time trying to find out the nitty-gritty of data entry, it’s best to assign these tasks to a Technical Virtual Assistant.
Small Business VAs have a wide range of knowledge and experience in supporting their clients, especially in business growth.
Getting Started: Onboarding
The best way to bring your virtual assistant onboard is by creating an “onboarding” document that has all of the important information for your virtual assistant. This not only helps them transition through the tasks smoothly, but it also helps you get organized.
Having an Onboarding Document helps with task turnover when it’s necessary. Here are some of the things that should be found in your onboarding document:
- A list of accounts they’ll need.
- Instructions for repeatable tasks.
- A list of contact information necessary for their tasks.
If you’re still a little lost as to how to begin a project with your new virtual assistant, don’t be intimidated. It can be frustrating at first, especially when you’ve been doing all the work on your own, but you’ll have to trust your va in handling some tasks in a proficient way. Think of this as a way to hone your leadership skills.
To start, you can:
- Begin with routine tasks
You probably don’t need someone to run analytics every day, or to come up with a new pitch, or do project management for you, but the little things such as handling calls, checking the calendar, and other routine tasks that take a lot of your time can be delegated to your new virtual assistant.
Create an Onboarding Period
This can be a few weeks to a month or more where while they’re working on your tasks, they get to ask questions and you engage and help them immerse into the system smoothly.
Giving and Receiving Feedback from Your Virtual Assistant
Starting out with a trial period gives you and your virtual assistant a lot of space for feedback from both parties.
Getting feedback from your virtual assistant will help you improve on details in your system that you probably have missed. Listening to what your virtual assistant has to say is a part of your business growth.
Make sure to also provide feedback for your VA to let them know how they’re doing with their tasks. This not only gives them space to improve as a VA, it gives them an idea how to adapt if you ever choose to keep working with them.
Building a Business Relationship with your Virtual Assistant
Here’s a checklist of how you can set a healthy and productive business relationship with your virtual assistant:
Set Clear Expectations
It’s good practice to be upfront about your expectations with your virtual assistant. They should also let you know what they’re expecting from their tasks and from you. Make sure to include details about what can change and what’s likely to be fixed.
Get into a Routine
Everyone appreciates a steady source of income and a little bit of predictability at work. Being able to plan their days and tasks ahead make your virtual assistant, and you, more efficient when it comes to dealing with tasks.
Keep Delegating to free up Your Time
When you become more comfortable with your virtual assistant, it’s time for you to check which other tasks you can delegate to unlock your own time. This is a good opportunity for you to practice delegative leadership. Now that your VA has proven to be reliable and efficient, you can move towards other tasks or projects that truly require your attention.
Provide a system where you and your va can send long-term feedback. This enables you to make adjustments over a long period of time.
If you already have a system planned out but are having a hard time finding a virtual assistant, or if you’re still trying to figure out the steps as a budding entrepreneur, Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company that provides virtual assistant services, and we’re eager to talk you through anything you need to know about hiring a virtual assistant. Click here for your free 30-minute consultation.