How to Set up a VA Relationship for Success

How to Set up a VA Relationship for Success

Working with a virtual assistant is an exciting step in your business. You’re ready to hand things over to a trusty VA to focus on other things or simply reduce your workload (we love to see it!). We know that the early days can set the tone for the entire relationship, so we’re sharing some tips on setting your VA relationship up for success. 

1. Keep Things Personal

A virtual assistant is a little like a fairy godmother, making things magically happen in the background.

But getting to know one another as people is important, not just a name in your inbox. Of course, you should keep things professional, but be curious and pay attention to what they share about their interests, hobbies, goals, family, and more. This will go a long way in setting you up for a positive and long-standing relationship. 

At DPM, we love to add that personalized touch by celebrating our virtual assistants’ birthdays and wins. Sometimes, it’s a gift in the mail and other times, it’s a simple Slack shout-out to recognize what they’re doing—either in their professional or personal lives! Find an approach that works for you to let your virtual assistant know you appreciate them and are routing for them. 

2. Show Them the Big Picture

Everybody wants to be working toward a purpose. Yes, a virtual assistant can be a huge help in taking daily tasks off your plate, but if you don’t share your vision with them, it may be hard for them to see the work as more than just a list of tasks. 

Invite your virtual assistant to become invested in your business, even if they’re only responsible for a small part of it. Share your vision and goals with them so they can know what they’re impacting. 

3. Create a Detailed Process

Your workflow will likely evolve as your virtual assistant learns the ropes and becomes more comfortable with things, but at the outset, you should have a solid process in place. This can be within a written document or training videos – whatever format is comfortable for you to explain what they’ll be doing. 

At a certain point, your VA will probably make changes and improvements to how things are done, but we know from experience that it’s a huge help to reference each step of the process. You can even go as far as sharing your schedule or routine for tackling tasks. 

4. Set Expectations

Virtual assistants are great at adapting and working to your preferences, so take some time to share those things with your new VA. Here are a few questions we suggest considering and communicating:

  • When do you expect to receive their work?
  • What are the best ways to reach you if they have questions? 
  • Is there availability you expect from them?
  • Do you prefer they use specific systems or platforms to do their work?
  • How often do you want to hear updates?

For more ideas on expectation-setting, check out this list of questions for you and your VA to clarify each other’s expectations. 

5. Establish a Strong Line of Communication 

Communication is key to any successful relationship, including virtual assistants!

You’ll want to discuss communication from the get-go. Determine whether you’d like a standing check-in call and add it to your calendars so everyone can plan for it. You’ll also want to define the best communication channels, whether that’s Slack, email, etc.

This is also a good time to set boundaries around your time. Let your virtual assistant know the best times to reach you. Perhaps your mornings are heavy on meetings, or you like to block a few hours each day for focused work. You don’t need to have 24/7 availability (and you definitely shouldn’t) but carve out certain times you can dedicate to checking in with your VA. 

6. Trust Your Virtual Assistant

As a business owner, delegating or letting things go can be hard. But it’s difficult for a virtual assistant to succeed if they’re micro-managed and not given the freedom to take the reigns. 

After you’ve set your virtual assistant up with everything they need, allow them the space to get to know their new role and trust that if they have any questions, they’ll bring them up with you. It can be scary to let go, but it’s so rewarding when you start to realize that things are in good hands and you’re getting your precious time back.

Developing a strong relationship with your VA doesn’t have to feel like a shot in the dark. With some intention and preparation on your part, we know you’ll be well on your way to success! 

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