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How to Work with a Virtual Assistant

Working with a virtual assistant is a fantastic way to grow your business without the stress, hassle and cost of hiring an employee. By following a few simple steps to verify that you and your virtual assistant are compatible, you can ensure that you get the most out of working with him or her.

One of the first questions I get when speaking with new or prospective clients for the first time is "how does it work?". Although every virtual assistant or "VA" works differently, there are a few basic guidelines that you can follow to optimize the benefits of working with your VA:

1. Delegate, delegate and delegate some more! Create a list of tasks that either take you away from the money earning aspects of your business, or that you simply don't like to do. Review your list with your virtual assistant and discuss how he/she might be able to take some of those items off of your plate.

2. The basis of any good client/virtual assistant relationship is communication. When you begin working with a VA, let them know how you prefer to communicate and what your communication style is. How will you be contacting him/her? Will you call, email, use a chat service? Do you plan on being in touch frequently each day, once or twice per week, or a couple of times per month? Some virtual assistants set a schedule for communicating with clients in order to remain efficient and may not be able to respond within your expected time frame, while others answer calls at any time throughout the day. These are all things that should be discussed up front in order to prevent any surprises down the road.

3. Once you and your virtual assistant have worked together for some time, you will both know what is expected of you. In the beginning though, it will be a learning process for you and for even the most seasoned virtual assistant. Until your VA learns your working style, it's best to give clear, concise instructions. He or she might not feel comfortable taking the reins (so to speak) on project ideas when they don't know how much leeway they have.

4. Discuss task turnaround time. If you hire a virtual assistant and expect that each task given will be completed the same day, you might be in for a surprise. Unlike an in-house assistant, you are not the only person a virtual assistant is working with. He/she may have to juggle numerous clients and thus numerous projects each day. If you have a deadline, discuss it with your VA to be sure they have the time to get your job done on schedule.

Working with a virtual assistant is a great way to grow your business without the stress, hassle and cost of hiring an employee. Ensuring that you and your assistant are on the same page is an important way to make certain that not only will you begin the working relationship on a positive noteBusiness Management Articles, but that you will also improve the chances of a successful long term association.

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Kelly Sims is a Virtual Assistant and Owner of Virtually There VA Services. To find out if you should simplify your life, please take the "Simplify Your Life" quiz at => . While you are there, don't forget to register to receive her new free mini e-book, "How to Add 2 Hours to Your Day: Lessons in Efficiency". The Virtually There VA Services can be found on the web at => .

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