How hiring a Virtual Assistant can benefit your business
Is running your business or department making you feel like you are drowning ?
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a simple solution and will allow you time to spend on managing the important aspects and tasks within your business while outsourcing many of the mundane time-consuming tasks. The effect on your productivity will be obvious.
As an entrepreneur, business owner or executive, your time is precious and you need to be able to delegate certain tasks to your Virtual Assistant allowing you to focus on what really matters.
Benefits of a Virtual Assistant include the following :
- No need for office space – a virtual assistant works from home
- Ensuring your staff are always busy – a virtual assistant can work flexi-time based on your requirements
- Saving you money – a Virtual Assistant is less expensive than a full time employee
- Freeing up your time – a Virtual Assistant can handle all the less important tasks & admin allowing you to concentrate on the more important issues
- Reducing your workload and need to manage employees
A Virtual Assistant is simply an online employee and will allow you to take the load off and help you scale up your business to the next level.
Tips to Get More from Your Virtual Assistant
Whether you have hired your first Virtual Assistant or have had one for years, there’s still more you can do to make sure she’s functioning at her fullest potential. In this blog, we will discuss what you can do to get more out of your VA!
Train Your VA
One thing you should never let go of is training your Virtual Assistant on your processes and systems. This is even if she’s been working with you for years. Sometimes assistants have their own way of doing things which may affect their productivity. It’s important to teach her tips and tricks to get her work done quicker.
Besides your personal training, you should also enroll her for some online courses. These courses can help your VA bring a new idea to your business.
Also, request your VA to document her process. This will not only help you to identify where the productivity inefficiencies are, but it will also help you to transition to a new VA quickly when your VA is sick or when you hire a new one.
Offer Coaching Sessions
Training and coaching are two different things. When coaching, you want to focus on building up your VA’s confidence in her abilities. This will help her to do her work more efficiently.
Coaching can take the form of one-on-one sessions, courses or even advising her to listen to a motivational CD for 30 minutes daily. Include this as part of her job and soon enough you will have an excellent assistant.
Give Constructive Feedback
If no feedback is given, your VA cannot grow. Similarly, if you give destructive criticism, it won’t help either one of you.
Focus on giving constructive criticism. This is when you point out both the good and the bad, and recommend ways for improvement.
Here are tips for giving feedback:
- Make sure you give written and verbal feedback.
- Use the feedback sandwich method (Positive-Improvement-Positive) often used at Toastmasters and the corporate world. This is when you begin by laying out the positives, then you criticise, and finally, end off with another positive.
- Criticise the work, not the individual.
- Be very specific. Instead of saying; “You need to pay attention to detail”, say; “You made grammar mistakes in your recent article. I pointed them out in red. Just make sure you focus on grammar and punctuation.”
- Only criticise things that can be changed. There is no point in telling someone they need to improve their voice for example.
Show Some Appreciation
Human beings love recognition. It pushes them to work harder to get even more recognition. Recognise any hard work or improvements made by your VA by giving something of value. Gift cards, days off and verbal appreciation work well for a VA.
Throw Her in the Deep End
They say when someone is thrown into the deep end it’s either they sink or swim. Hopefully, your VA will swim when given a difficult task. Push her to take on projects that she hasn’t before. This will not only help her grow but keep her challenged in her role.
Make Room for Growth
If you want your VA to stay with you for a long time you must make room for growth in her role. Challenge her to take on more responsibility and speak to her about where you see her in the future.
That’s all the tips for teaming up and getting more from your Virtual Assistant. If you are yet to hire your first one, there are reasons to hire a VA:
- They are often highly skilled individuals who left the corporate world for work-life balance
- You can pay them per hour or per project
- There are no company costs involved
- They can work during off-peak hours and high seasonal periods
- They often give their all because they’re responsible for their own income
Ready to hire a VA? Give us a call!
How a Virtual Assistant Can Help You with Meetings
Are you preparing for a big meeting and sigh at the list of things you must do? Here’s a secret; with a Virtual Assistant, you can have stress-free meetings. In this blog post, we will discuss how a VA can help you with a meeting.
“A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible. “
Here’s how a VA can help you
It all depends on how much you want to delegate. Some entrepreneurs delegate the entire meeting preparation to a VA and others prefer to hand over only the less critical tasks.
Here’s how a VA can help you with your meetings:
Before the meeting
- Schedule the meeting
- Make travel arrangements
- Hire caterers, food etc
- Coordinate speakers
- Manage the rest of the team
- Conduct research
- Proofread documents
- Prepare presentations
- Prepare and send out meeting materials
- Communicate with attendees
- Record the meeting and take minutes
- Be your right-hand woman so you don’t miss anything
- Monitor and troubleshoot if things go wrong
- Fill out expense reports and track reimbursements
- Follow up with correspondence
- Manage tasks assigned
- Communicate with attendees and other staff members
Not only can a VA do all of this for you, but they can give ideas and support you throughout the process as well. Doesn’t this sound so much better than having to do it all yourself? And the best part? It’s all affordable!
Many assume that such assistance must come at a high price, however, VA’s are a cheaper alternative to a full-time employee.
At VA Connect, we grow your business without growing your staff. We understand that the small business owner or entrepreneur may want to grow his business but may not have the resources to do so. Therefore, we have created a suite of solutions to suit almost any business person that just needs a break!
Why should you consider us?
We’re kind of a big deal (wink). We’ve been mentioned in large publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Day TV. More importantly, we have a large array of highly skilled women who are more than happy to assist you. The feedback we receive from our clients is exceptional. Give us a call.
How to Take a Break from Your Business
We hear ever so often that business people or entrepreneurs wish they could have more time to spend with family or to do things that they love such as hobbies or other recreational activities. Moreover, as much as they would love to take a break they just can’t because their office would fall apart.
In today’s blog post we are going to teach you how to take a break from your business without anxiety.
Step 1: Hire an assistant
The reason you are having anxiety or you feel that your business will fall apart is because you don’t have the right wingman in place. Delegation is key to becoming not only a great business person but a great leader as well.
What can an assistant do for you?
Well, anything you would like her to do really. From general admin to bookkeeping, virtual assistants are well-rounded people with plenty of skills.
Of course, you can’t just delegate to anybody, you need someone you can trust. Someone who has experience in your industry and a track record of successful projects. Contact us if you need a reliable assistant.
Step 2: Develop set processes
Another reason for you always having to be around is because you don’t have set processes in place. If everyone in your office is doing their work in their own manner, saving work in personal laptops and USB’s, using personal emails to conduct their work and simply not conforming to best practices, you have a process issue.
What you need to do is first develop a process. This should include:
- How the chain moves from the first contact with a prospect to successful sale
- Who does what?
- Which programs do they use?
- Who is responsible for checking the work?
- Finally, who reports back to you?
Once you and your whole office understand the chain of command and how information moves within the organisation, there will be less havoc if you’re not around.
Step 3: Take your break
Alas! You can now take a well-deserved break. Don’t forget to inform your clients that you will not be around and you have a fully-functional team that will assist them.
Switch off your phone! You will be tempted to read queries from employees while you’re gone – don’t. People have the tendency to ask when they know it will be quicker than just researching on their own. If you let them search for an answer a little bit, your team will be less reliant on you when you return…score!
Enjoy spending time with your family and friends and let us know what you get up to?
How Non-billable Time Affects Your Business
Did you know that if you have full-time employees, 30% of their time is not used towards client work? In any given work week, employees spend some time:
- Taking coffee or smoking breaks
- Having lunch
- Attending meetings
- Addressing technical faults such as a computer crashing
These activities can easily turn what’s supposed to be a 40-hour work week to a 28-hour one. Would you like to pay an employee a 40-hour salary for only 28 hours of work done?
In this blog, we’re going to give you an alternative – paying for what you get.
How to pay for what you get
The answer is simple, get a Virtual Assistant. Contrary to popular belief, Virtual Assistants are highly skilled and educated individuals who turn to this kind of work for a work/life balance.
With a VA, you can choose to pay only for work done. This means if your employee is taking a break or addressing a technical fault, it does not affect your billable time. The best way is to set up a price per project/task. So, you know that if someone completes XYZ task, you will only pay X amount for it whether it took them five or 10 hours to complete the task.
Total non-billable time=zero
What type of virtual assistants can you get?
There are all kinds of virtual assistants, some who focus on one niche and others who are all-rounders. The better question to ask is, “What kind of tasks can I outsource to a Virtual Assistant?”
Below is a list of common tasks that you can outsource to a VA (See more here):
Ready to hire your first Virtual Assistant? Let’s chat