The Importance of Continual Study and Improving Yourself
I feel that it is very important to keep studying and learning not only more skills but also more apps and programs as you continue your career as a Virtual Assistant. If you do not do so you will get left behind and never progress any further with your career as a Virtual Assistant.
New Apps and other Tools
Constantly your client finds new techniques and ways to do things or implement new programs and even cell phone apps into their day to day workings and it is up to you as the Virtual Assistant to learn, not only how to install but also how they work, how to implement them in the way that your client expects and even to maintain this programs and sometimes in the worst case scenario to even do some basic fault finding regarding these programs.
For the lucky few of us this might become a little bit easier if you know a friend or someone in the business that is currently working on these programs and is able to assist you in doing so, but for the rest of us it takes a lot of research and skill development to be able to implement these processes. This may include skill advancement courses, YouTube videos and even some self-taught “tinkering” and seeing what happens. Often times your client himself will be a huge resource and help whilst implementing this new “technology” into your day to day activities. Showing and teaching you how he/she wants the newly added programs and/or apps to work and how he wants you to implement it. On the job training is an excellent way of learning but can also be hard being thrown into the deep end, so be very cautious so that you do not find yourself under too much pressure or feel too overwhelmed.
On the other hand, by doing skills advancement in terms of doing online courses and training in new software and techniques can also boost you’re “CV” and thereby you can make yourself a lot more attractive with potential new expertise and the more you stand out to new potential clients. So it is better to rather do more online courses. Continually increase in skill development can at the end of the day ensure that you have a bigger earning potential with additional clients.
Having the right attitude
However often times doing the course and actually working with this new programs, skills and techniques mean little by having it on paper if you do not have actual hands-on experience in working with this skill set. For example, it is one thing for a dental assistant to know how to mix different materials work together, but to actually be the most effective you need hands-on training and experience to know what consistency and relations make for a better mixture. Nothing beats good old hands-on experience. And often times that counts more than a whole wall full of certificates showing that you have the theory but you have never put this theory into practice. So rather try, even if it is just for a short time to actually use and try to implement that theory that you have learned into practice so that you can with confidence add it onto your CV and know that when someone calls, you are ready, willing and able to do the job required by the potential client.
We’ll show you how to become an Outsourcing Master with these tips
When I first on boarded clients it took forever to sort out the schedule and to get everything working properly. We all make mistakes when we first start out. I wanted to really understand how the on boarding could be sped up, so I took the time to interview my first few clients. What you see below is lessons they learned when on boarding their first Virtual Assistant and understanding the outsourcing world.
Ask yourself why you want to outsource in the first place?
Reverse engineer the reason why you want extra help in the first place. If you understand where you are headed, then you’ll know what is required to get there. It is easier then to delegate appropriate tasks to your Virtual Assistant.
What don’t you want in an assistant?
This is quite an important question to ask of yourself. When I did my interviews, my clients brought the following to my attention.
- They wanted someone who easily volunteered status of tasks, so they didn’t want someone they had to keep hounding to find out how far things are.
- They wanted someone who was always available. But what they realized after the fact was they never carried that message across when they first interviewed their Virtual Assistant.
- The client didn’t want to make the time to train the VA, so they ended up doing everything themselves. Be prepared to train your Virtual Assistant, it’s the same concept when you on board a new member of the team. This kind of training refers to how you want correspondence dealt with, times you are available, etc. It is not your duty to train your VA on certain apps and general software.
The best way to on board your Virtual Assistant
- Have a job description ready. This negates missing steps in the support required, plus, you are able to weed out chance-takers.
- Ask your potential Virtual Assistant to do some tests. This can be anything from a trial test to see how well they communicate, can navigate certain software to personality profiling to ensure that you are a good match to work with. Some of my favorites are Roger Hamilton’s Genius Test and Tony Robbins DISC profile test.
- Sign a contract. This contract should include a NDA to cover any confidential information you may be sharing with your Virtual Assistant.
- Check their availability. If you know you’re going to require assistance certain times of the day, or you want your VA to be ready for a quick meeting every morning at 8am, then you need to address is when interviewing her. If you don’t mention it she won’t know that this is a priority for you.
- Sort out systems. Be sure to give your Virtual Assistant the access she needs to appropriate systems. If you are concerned about sharing passwords, LastPass is a great tool for this. Take the time to take your VA through these systems, especially if they are unique to your business.
- Be ready to back off. Allow your Virtual Assistant to do what she is great at. We are all control freaks at some point to some extent, however, sometimes wanting control everything can be counterproductive. Make sure your instructions are clear, that they cannot be misinterpreted.
Make sure that you use a template to outsource tasks, again leaving no room for misinterpretation and wasted time. Take the time to take your VA through what you need, how and when, then let her do what she does best, offering support to you, the busy Entrepreneur!
3 Things you can do in your business when your internet is down
Most businesses nowadays is internet based, so when your internet goes down it can be quite a challenge to say the least.
There are times this will happen and for the most part there is nothing you can do about it. Why not use that time productively whilst you wait patiently (so to speak) for your ISP (internet service provider) to give the all clear?
Relocating to the closest coffee shop is an option. However, if it’s not on the cards, what else can you do with this new found time?
#1 Re-strategise your business
This might be the opportune time to re-strategise your business. Grab a pen and paper and brainstorm new possible services or even re-align your current services. Devise possible upcoming promotions or define ways of streamlining your business.
Mind map your marketing plan for the next year, build your social media calendar with collateral or take the time to build a list of possible clients you would love to work with.
#2 Tidy up and Organise
Now’s your opportunity to take the time to tidy up your desk, re-organise your digital filing system. We know you’ve been putting it off, so now is the ideal time to take stock of what is on your computer, organise your desktop and even prepare your receipts sheet in time for the next tax year.
#3 Get writing
This is the perfect time to get writing. Start planning and writing your blog content for the next 3 months. Fortunately you don’t need the internet to do this. Or start writing that book you’ve been threatening to start the last 2 years. If there comes a point in your writing that you do require research, make a note and keep writing.
At those times when the internet is down, see it as a saving grace. You have now been given some breathing space to relax and to reassess your business, to reflect on how far you’ve come, to show gratitude for your many accomplishments that enabled you to reach this point. It’s an opportunity to make this time productive and your business better.
Securely sharing Passwords with your Virtual Assistant
There will come a time to share passwords with your Virtual Assistant. Yikes, I know! We’re all very aware of security measures when it comes to this kind of thing and we certainly don’t want to make any part of our business vulnerable.
The great news is there is a fantastic tool called LastPass! This nifty little app will not only make your life easier, but also give you the reassurance you’re looking for.
With LastPass you can share login details without ever sharing the actual password. If you want to you can provide the password through LastPass, however, there is no need to do that.
Let’s take you through a brief overview on how to do this.
How to use LastPass
- Go to LastPass and download
- Create an Account
- Then go to your browser, click on the LastPass icon and select your Vault
- Select the “Share” icon next to the website that you want to share
- When you hover over the site link in your vault you will see 3 icons, select the people icon, this is to share
- Enter your Virtual Assistant’s email address and request to share
- Your Virtual Assistant will get the notification and then she’ll be able to access that website without ever having seen the Password!
This is a quick walk through on how to share a password via LastPass. LastPass will also prompt you automatically to save information for any website where you’ve entered. Your Virtual Assistant will never see your data.
You can also upgrade your LastPass account to Premium so that you can sync across all your devices. If you still feel you require further instructions LastPass conveniently offers a User Manual on their website.
The key thing to remember is that LastPass is convenient, safe and reliable. Now you can safely share passwords with your Virtual Assistant. She can get on with your tasks and you can get on with life!