Until recently many entrepreneurs and businesses in general have viewed using the services of a Virtual Assistant as a luxury more than a necessity. However, the outbreak of Covid-19 has changed the way people view working from home and thrust the Virtual Assistant role into the limelight.
I am not a ghost
I find that when you start working with a new client there are always a few teething problems, given that you are asking two or more people to work together who in all probability are sitting in different areas of the country or even the world and there are different personalities that need to gel. It is a tad difficult as you cannot have a chat in the kitchen while you make your first cup of coffee for the day. A VA is to all intent and purposes a “ghost” employee, and it is important to remember that although I do not physically sit in the office, I am a person. So many times, I have heard other remote assistants say “My client has no idea who I am.”
It sometimes takes a while for clients to get their head around the fact that you as a VA are an individual who works remotely on tasks and projects that you have been assigned by the client. Very rarely is there that personal connection.
My working hours
Utilising the services of a VA is the best way to move forward. I find that one of the first issues to address is working times. Clients sometimes need to be reminded that you are a “free-lance worker” and as such you will normally have more than one client, your priorities will be slightly different to an office-based employee.
I need it in writing
Communication is key to a long term, successful working relationship. I always remind my clients I am not physically in their office and therefore unable to raise concerns face to face. It is always good to give written instructions. This way I can revert to this document should I need clarity on what you expect from me. It helps to provide me with a timeline. It is a way of holding everyone accountable for their actions. With working from home becoming the new norm, there are plenty of online management tools and apps that one can use to assist with managing both client and VA expectations. It is a matter of time and trial and error to see which one works best for you.
How am I doing?
I have found in the past, that the more detail I am provided with the better my performance will be. Certain clients that I have worked with have provided specific feedback along the way and this has always been a good way of getting to know one another and addressing areas that might need to be changed.
My theory is simple, I will work hard for my clients, if we keep the lines of communication open and we regularly check in with each other, we will become an awesome team. I will be able to assist you in the day to day management leaving you free to grow your company and move from strength to strength.