Why would you want a Virtual Assistant in the first place?
Well, for some, it’s about allowing someone to take care of small things, repetitive things, that they're not very interested in doing … so that they can free their time up to focus on the things they love, the things that will bring them the most long-term benefit, and to increase their effectiveness.
It’s about simplification, really.
It’s not an idea that’s for everyone, but if you’re interested, here are the tips:
1) First and foremost, determine why you want a virtual assistant (VA). It is important to think through your goal in hiring a VA so that you can determine if it is a good fit for you. If your answer is to have more time, think about how you would use that extra time. If your answer is to get more done, think about your top priorities to make sure you are getting the “right” things done.
2) Answer the question: What should I use a virtual assistant for? Combine your busy work and home schedules with the annual holiday rush, and this question seems to answer itself. However, it can be daunting to define, exactly, what you’d have a personal assistant do for you. Here are a few ideas for both personal and work-related tasks:
* Travel Plans—Have your VA create the ideal itinerary for your next business trip or family vacation.
* Transcription—Record a business meeting or classroom lecture and have it transcribed by your VA.
* Event Planning—Have your VA research the perfect restaurant, resort or conference room and manage all the logistics for your parents anniversary, a company off site or a romantic evening out.
* Presentations—Use a VA that has PowerPoint skills to make your presentations look more polished and professional.
* Update Address/Contact List—Make a New Year’s resolution to stay in better touch with your family and important business contacts. Have your VA update your address list, contact information and even create labels and reminders in advance.
* Birthday/holiday gift buying—Never miss another birthday. Set a budget, give a few guidelines and let your VA track down the perfect gifts or online cards for everyone on your list.
* Market research – Identify and research local businesses you could partner with to reach new customers, or create a list of tradeshows and industry events you should attend.
* Online marketing – Research blogs and websites for potential advertising opportunities and get pricing.
The list could go on and on, but this should give you a few ideas. Now that you have the Why and the What, let’s talk about the How. There are a few easy-to-follow tips that will help you get the most out of your virtual assistant.
3) Clearly define the task you want your VA to accomplish. This will help you determine the qualifications your VA should have.
4) Provide specific guidelines and time lines for the project. Write down exactly what you want your VA to accomplish. Then, think through the steps that you would take to accomplish the task. Write those down as well.
5) Remember the “Why.” Realize you have more time! You hired a VA to give yourself more time with your family and friends or to focus on growing your business or to take that weekend away. It is easy to replace “stuff to do” with more “stuff to do.” Check in to make sure you are spending your additional time as you had hoped.