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The Ultimate Guide On How To Train A Virtual Assistant Successfully

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The Ultimate Guide On How To Train A Virtual Assistant Successfully
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The Ultimate Guide On How To Train A Virtual Assistant Successfully

With the rise of the internet and increased competition in the corporate and entrepreneurial space, hiring and training a virtual assistant has become increasingly popular and accessible. This development has led to virtual assistant coaching and training becoming a valuable asset to any company.

Growing a business takes a lot of work, and the repetitive tasks can become overwhelming as you continue working to expand. These often take up large amounts of your working hours, leaving you with little time to focus on tasks that provide high growth opportunities. When you delegate your lower reward tasks, you remove the pressure they put on your schedule and can refocus your energy on those that matter most.

This is where hiring a VA can become a highly beneficial step in your business, and learning how to train a virtual assistant becomes a valuable skill (we’ll tell you how in a minute!).

What Does A Virtual Assistant Do

What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?

The role of a virtual assistant will vary depending on their individual skillset and the needs of their client. To put it simply, a VA follows a predetermined system you have put in place for them.

The type of services they offer can come in 3 distinct forms. These include:

  1. Task-Based
    This is a VA who has been hired to manage very specific individual tasks behind the scenes. This can include sending emails, editing correspondences, or scheduling essential appointments.
  2. Project-Based
    A virtual assistant who has been hired to manage a specific project. They would have a more robust set of expectations that relate to one singular project. This could include creating content such as blogs, gathering quotes for upcoming projects, or curating travel itineraries prior to a scheduled trip.
  3. Ongoing Role-Based
    When you hire a VA who is taking on a specific role for you. They would be focusing on a more specialized area where you require continual support such as daily, weekly, or monthly tasks. These roles could be bookkeeping, supporting customers, data entry, or managing your social media across all platforms.

Overall, a virtual assistant is hired to make your day-to-day life less stressful. The goal is to free up your time to tackle the more valuable tasks that have a higher rate of growth potential for your company.

Benefits Of Having A Virtual Assistant

5 Benefits Of Having A Virtual Assistant

While hiring a virtual assistant comes with a range of benefits, there are 5 that stand above the rest.

  1. Increase Productivity
    Hiring a VA to manage the smaller, repetitive tasks of your day, allows you to focus on the most important aspects of your business. This will let you use your working hours more effectively, focusing on tasks that are aimed to grow your business.This not only benefits your working hours, but it can expand the functioning hours of your business entirely. Hiring a virtual assistant from abroad provides a unique opportunity for you to have work completed while you sleep. For example, you could hire a few VA’s who are in opposite time zones as the rest of your staff to allow for 24/7 customer support. This creates an opportunity for your business to provide services your competitors may not be offering.
  2. Reduce Costs
    Virtual assistants often work on a contract basis, removing the financial expense of hiring staff in-house to complete the desired tasks. This removes the requirement to pay for sick days, holidays, or lunch hours, as a virtual assistant is not a full-time employee. This reduces the overall cost of completing the assigned tasks.Additionally, VA’s usually work remotely. This is a growing trend across all workplaces, as remote work reduces the overhead costs of a business. Removing the need to provide a physical workplace also lowers your expenses.
  3. Reduce Stress
    Hiring a virtual assistant reduces your workload. When you delegate tasks you don’t enjoy, you naturally reduce the amount of stress you experience. This also occurs because hiring a VA frees up your time to take necessary breaks and recharge after long periods of hard work. This time can be spent engaging in highly rewarding activities, such as spending time with your family. Allotting yourself time to rest is essential in setting yourself up for success during your working hours.Better Scalability
  4. Better Scalability
    By hiring a virtual assistant you reduce your onboarding time when you require a role to be filled. Many VA’s are highly skilled in particular areas and usually work on a project-to-project basis. This gives you the flexibility to hire someone with the skills you require for a short period of time to complete a specific project. This is especially helpful when you have a sudden increase in work, or the demands of a project are changed unexpectedly.
  5. Higher Quality Of Work
    When you have a virtual assistant, you can offload undesirable tasks and create a work environment you enjoy stepping into each day. When you genuinely want to do the work you’re doing, you naturally apply more effort and increase the quality of your work.

Planning Before You Hire A Virtual Assistant

Planning Before You Hire A Virtual Assistant

Before you begin looking for a virtual assistant, it is important to consider a few vital steps.

  • Consider why hiring a virtual assistant would be helpful to you. Ask yourself questions like how a VA would help you, and what you would do with the time they would be giving back to you.
  • Research the average cost of a VA, either in your area or abroad based on your needs. It is important that you know your budget for this expense and can be confident in your ability to afford these services.
  • Define the expectations you would have for a virtual assistant. Consider repetitive tasks of your daily routine or those you don’t enjoy completing.
  • Take a deep look at your personality. This will help you know the type of person you would work best with. For example, if you struggle to release control of your workload or find it difficult to trust someone to meet your standards, a VA may not be a good fit. However, there are ways you can combat this if you want to work towards delegating effectively (more on this in the next section).
  • Make a list of the required tools and software you may need to provide a virtual assistant to support you successfully. This would include things like scheduling or management software, customer support tools, or editing software.

How To Train Your Virtual Assistant

Once you’ve completed your pre-planning and have found a virtual assistant that fits your needs, you’re ready to begin training them. This process is essential in setting your expectations and standards while helping them find success in your partnership.

Define Your Expectations Clearly

This step is especially important if you struggle to relinquish control over your work or trust others to complete tasks to the caliber you expect. The best way to do this is to curate a strict list of realistic expectations. Include both their role responsibilities and the quality of their work with key performance indicators in this outline.

A great way to ensure your virtual assistant understands these expectations and can successfully meet them is by providing examples. Create a folder that is specifically for previous work that you would like them to review to get a better understanding of your personal style. Include notes in these documents that highlight specific areas you want them to focus on and emulate in future tasks.

Communicate In Various Ways

Communicate In Various Ways

Everyone learns differently, and it’s important to consider that when creating your training material and during all interactions. The best way to do this is to incorporate verbal, written, and video communication methods to convey your task and expectations in a clear, concise way.

VerbalVerbal

A great way to include this in your training material is through audio recordings. Tone will play a big role in how your VA understands your expectations and their importance to you. This will help you quickly explain your needs and expectations while highlighting important aspects of the project.

WrittenWritten

When writing your training material or curating an email, try to keep the length of them to a reasonable amount. Walls of text can be overwhelming and can lead to your main points easily being missed. To avoid this, try breaking things down into bullet points or steps making them easy to digest and follow.

Ensure you include email as a form of communication. This allows you to answer in your own time while also allowing your VA the freedom to do the same.

VideoVideo

This is a great way to introduce yourself and make the initial introduction to you and your expectations more personable. By including video, you’re building rapport and allowing your virtual assistant to get a sense of who you are and connect with you on a different level. This is especially helpful for VA’s that are visual people, as you can emphasize certain aspects by including screen recordings of important information.

Break Tasks Down Into Specific Steps

When you provide a task with a clear breakdown of how to complete it, you make the process easy to follow. This also gives your virtual assistant a reference point for how you like things to be completed. If you’re assigning a repetitive task, this can also serve as a template for completing that task each time.

As an added bonus, when you break tasks down into steps, it can serve as a way to review your process and improve it for greater efficiency.

Create Checklists

When you first hire your VA, create a detailed list of recurring tasks for them to easily track throughout their contract with you. This will reduce the risk of tasks being left incomplete, and also provides your VA with a way to easily schedule and plan around them. This not only tells them you value their time but also provides an opportunity to review and optimize your repetitive tasks.

Give Feedback

Let your VA know how they’re doing on their various tasks. This will help them learn how you like projects to be completed, and adjust their style to match your own. Mistakes, large or small, provide great learning opportunities. If there is something that was missed, or that you would have preferred done a different way, share this information with your VA. This will influence how they manage any future assignments for you.

Conclusion

Building a business takes a lot of time, energy, and effort. The hours of your day can become filled quickly. A calendar that’s overrun with necessary but time-consuming tasks, creates a barrier between you and your business finding higher levels of success. When you hire a virtual assistant and train them successfully for your individual needs, you are better able to use your time. This will allow you to focus on the most important tasks and put your energy into taking your business to the next level.

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