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.
My Journey as a Virtual Assistant by Jenni Plaistowe
There was a time in my life where I loved the hustle and bustle of the corporate world. I have always been in admin positions, but in various roles from being the receptionist to managing the boxes at the rugby and cricket stadiums. Then the company got taken over, then that company got taken over and so on and so forth. Eventually, I became a number….literally….any queries within the company had to be followed by BUILDING NUMBER, FLOOR NUMBER, DESK NUMBER. Never a name.
It was time. I then had the wonderful privilege of being a stay-at-home mom and that came with a whole new set of challenges. During this time, I did a few work-from-home admin jobs for people I knew and got involved in charity work. But, children aren’t at school forever and things changed again.
I started the search of work-from-home ideas and the internet threw reams and reams of information at me. Sadly, a lot had to be filtered out thanks to the unscrupulous folk out there, but I came across virtual assistant work. The first thing I did was an in-depth course on Medical Transcription. This course took me from “how to open your laptop” to “learning the English language” to “The Anatomy” to “Pharmacology” and everything in between. So, I started doing some work for a couple of companies on and off. In a technology advanced world that we all live in I realised I had far more potential. It is at this point that I “started” again. I found VA Connect!!!! Now let‘s get down to serious business.
I know my strengths and I need to utilise them to the fullest. I want to be able to have that feeling of satisfaction for a job well done and I want my clients and potential clients to have the same, knowledge and comfort that their work is in very capable hands. Working in harmony with VA Connect can give me that. Let’s not kid ourselves though, working from home is fantastic and the only traffic I want to deal with is the cat and dog down the passage. I can do this, I will be disciplined, I will be accurate, I will be professional (slippers and all) and I will deliver to each client’s expectation. My new journey has begun and I am excited, nervous, anxious, confident all at the same time.
I look forward to new challenges, learning new businesses and new courses on how to better myself in the world of being a Virtual Assistant.
My Journey as a Virtual Assistant by Michelle Wilbraham
I recently joined the team at VA Connect as a Virtual Assistant and in the short time I have been with them, I have really enjoyed the experience thus far.
I started my career as a Medical Secretary and gained 10 years of experience and knowledge in the government sector. After the birth of my son, I resigned as we decided that the early stages of a child’s development are crucial and I was privileged to stay at home with him for 4 years until he started day-care.
After this I returned to work and had been working as a personal assistant/office manageress for the past 17 years, basically ending up running the office for the company that I was last with.
I was working in a half day job which suited me at the time as I had a school going son. They decided to make the position full day so I had no other alternative but to resign, so that I could be there for him. He has since left home and I now found myself having so much more time on my hands and suffering a bad case of empty nest syndrome.
I was searching for something that I could do from home and by chance came across Tammy Nortier on a facebook page and she mentioned VA Connect to me.
I have been working for VA Connect for a week now and am absolutely loving it. I have gained so much valuable knowledge and skills during this short time and been exposed to many new software packages and applications.
Working as a VA gives me exposure to new clients and and I am currently working for a USA based company which despite the time difference is easily manageable and a great opportunity.
I love working from home and don’t miss the daily commute to work like everyone else.
I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with both the client and VA Connect.
Technology in the Virtual Assistant’s world by Rene Blanc
Now a days technology is improving faster than ever before. In the past, we had to communicate with each other either via a pigeon or a messenger on a horse. Today we can communicate with each other at the push of a few buttons or by tapping the screen of our cellphone a few times. It is even further made easy with apps like WhatsApp, email and Facebook.
At the beginning of the internet everything was slow to get around but as time went on it just gets faster and faster. On a normal telephone dialup connection, downloading a 20Mb file took about 2 hours, today you can download a 20Mb file on your cellphone in seconds.
You can also share more between people than just text messages. You can also send pictures of family and friends or even of projects, you can even send video clips of the cat getting scared of a cucumber or the precious moments of the birth of a child on the other side of the world or even your favourite love song.
For the Virtual Assistant, all this is great news. We can communicate with our clients over WhatsApp, email and Skype to name just a few. The secretary no longer has to sit in the same office as the client and can still do all the same work as the average secretary. Documents and spreadsheets are easily set up and sent to our clients in a matter of seconds. Video calls over Skype makes instant meetings a reality from anywhere in the world.
Through apps like WhatsApp, we can communicate with our clients and or customers communicating our clients’ wishes to them, collect outstanding debt or even sign up new potential clients/customers.
Thanks to technology we now have better control and input over every aspect of our lives. From finances to the wellbeing of friends and family through social media. Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter allow us to not only share in the love and lives of our friends and families but also allows us to promote ourselves as Virtual Assistants to people who have never heard of or never considered something called a “Virtual Assistant” and thereby increasing the amount of people making use of a Virtual Assistant.
I have only been a Virtual Assistant for a short time but I have enjoyed every second thereof and being able to help my client to expand and increase his business. Since starting with my client I have received a great recommendation from him and helped his company grow by implementing new procedures and steps to assist in collecting outstanding debt from customers.
Being a Virtual Assistant has opened my eyes to an entire new world of possibilities and is helping me to reach my full potential. I have always enjoyed helping people and doing this job has given me the ability to achieve more than I have in the past. I only wish I could have become a Virtual Assistant earlier.