Preparing for a Virtual Assistant

So you’ve decided to hire a virtual assistant. Good choice!

Virtual assistants are an amazing resource for any business, whether you’re scaling up or just trying to get your life together. They can help with all kinds of tasks, from scheduling meetings to research projects, and they’ll take a lot of the weight off your shoulders so that you can focus on what matters most.

But there’s more to it than just hiring someone and letting them do their thing. You need to do some work first in order to make sure that when the time comes, your virtual assistant can hit the ground running (and chances are, they’ll be more than happy to help).

Here are some steps to prepare before hiring your virtual assistant.

Step 1: Identify Potential Tasks for Your Virtual Assistant #

Many people hire a virtual assistant and then realize they don’t know what tasks to assign them! You have a ton of work, but which parts of the work should be passed off to your VA?

A few weeks before you hire, start “tagging” tasks in your task list with tags like #virtual assistant or #va. Or, if you need a specialist, you can use tags like #copywriter #graphicdesigner or #webdesigner.

Most quality task management systems have a tagging feature. If you can’t find the tagging feature in your task management system, ask the software support desk for your software. If your software doesn’t offer this feature, you can switch to other task management systems like ZenKit ToDo.

If you tag every possible task for a couple of weeks of work, you should have a great task list that your virtual assistant can start with.

Step 2: Create Checklists and Documentation #

When you’re working with a VA, one of the most important things you can do is create clear, step-by-step instructions for how to accomplish each task.

Even if your VA is an experienced virtual assistant, it’s possible that they haven’t worked with the particular tools and software you use for your business. So it’s important to give them clear instructions.

One simple way to do this is by using checklists. I like to use Zenkit ToDo for creating checklists for my VAs, but you can also use tools like Checkli.

Another great and fast way to create documentation is by using video delegation and saving the videos as part of your training library.

All of this may seem like a lot of work, but trust me: it will pay off in the long run. And I have another option for you at the end of this article if you don’t think you have time for checklists and documentation.

Step 3: Have a Task Delegation/Follow-up System for Your Virtual Assistant #

If you work with virtual assistants, you’ll want to use a task management/delegation system. It’s the best way to stay on top of your projects and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

A quality task management system lets you create assignments, use checklists, set priorities and due dates, and gives you a dashboard to see your project status at a glance. Delegating tasks by email is messy and results in a lot of lost time trying to go through your email inbox (also known as the Bermuda Triangle) to see what is happening.

You want to be able to see where things are at an instant—who is working on what and what’s coming up next. And you want your virtual assistant to be able to do the same thing: see all of their tasks and know what order to do them in, how long they have until they’re due, and mark them complete when they’re done.

You can use tools like ZenKit ToDoNifty PM, Trello, Teamwork, or other tools for this.

Preparing for Your Virtual Assistant Checklist #

Here is a checklist to help you with preparing for a Virtual Assistant.

Ready…Or Not? #

We’ve been talking a lot about the benefits of using virtual assistants, and hopefully, you’re getting excited about all the ways they can lighten your load.

At this point, if you have followed my advice, you would have lots of tasks tagged for virtual assistants, have the checklists and training documentation ready for your new VAs, and a system ready to delegate and monitor their tasks.

But you may have run into a snag – perhaps you are so busy, you have no time to tag, create documentation, and put a task system in place.

You are likely saying to yourself “What if I don’t have time for all this?” Am I unable to benefit from virtual assistants? Am I doomed to have to do everything myself?

This is where I can help.

We built a team—and here’s what makes them so special: they have access to expert guidance and over 200 training videos, templates, and checklists on how to build successful online marketing campaigns and websites (with new videos added every month).

We’ll spend time with you to pinpoint your goals and create a step-by-step plan for getting there and then we will assign one or more talented team members to work on your project.

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