Setting You and Your Virtual Assistant Up for Success

The business owners I work with tend to have endless to-do lists and not enough time to get stuff done, so a natural next step for many of them is to hire help. Often that help comes in the form of an assistant, and these days the assistant typically works online. However, it doesn’t always go as smoothly as you think it will because there are a few mistakes that can really impact how well you might work with your VA.

I interviewed Jillian Wasylyk, a phenomenal VA (and my sister) to get the inside scoop on what you can do to set yourself and your VA up for success. We covered what you need to do before you hire, how to train your VA, tips for success, and some easily avoidable mistakes many business owners make.

Watch the full video here (33 mins) and see the takeaways below.

How to Prepare Before Hiring a VA

  • Make a wish list of the tasks you want your assistant to do
  • Decide what you would like them to start with (don’t expect them to do everything from the start)
  • You don’t need to have everything prepared ahead of time because you’ll do that as part of the training when they start

How do you train a VA?

  • Talk in the beginning about expectations, how you want to work, and what success looks like so everyone is on the same page
  • Record a video of you demonstrating the task (you can do this on a Zoom call with your VA)
  • Have the VA do the task, review what they did, and give them feedback
  • Make sure the tasks are something your VA likes to do and is capable of doing

Tips For Success

  • Don’t give a VA a task just because you don’t like it. Make sure to have your own process in place first – don’t make them figure it out for you.
  • Give your VA repeatable tasks with an existing process, especially in the beginning. One-off tasks are more time-consuming to train on.
  • Be mindful of your VA’s schedule and check when they have time to do tasks – don’t just assume they’re available when you are or when you need something urgently.
  • Don’t just tell your VA what to do and then leave them to it. Keep in touch so they know what they’re doing, but you also probably don’t need an hour meeting every week if you’re giving them repeatable tasks. Set them up for success without micromanaging them.
  • It’s not as scary as you think – just take it one task at a time and ease into it.
  • You need to have a connection with your VA for the relationship to last long-term
  • Treat them well! They’re human, not a robot. (That should go without saying)
  • Give them positive feedback
  • Take your own business by the reins and remember: you are the leader! You can’t abdicate your decisions to someone else, though of course it’s okay to ask for input when appropriate.

Common Mistakes When Working with a VA

  • Giving them a big task and a deadline without checking in on a regular basis. Usually this results in a confused VA and a disappointed business owner because the task might not be done on time or might not be done how you want it.
  • Changing the tasks you give your VA all the time so they can never get into a groove or master something. This also makes them feel like it’s hard to accomplish something meaningful if you never let them finish something before you’ve changed your mind about it.

Resources Mentioned in This Video