Business is getting more competitive by the hour and anything that can give companies an edge is becoming harder to find. One thing that you shouldn’t overlook are the benefits of having a virtual assistant. Since virtual assistants are a relatively new development on the scene, many managers and business owners could use some tips to get the most value. Here are seven essential tips for managing virtual assistants.
The Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant
Compared to traditional on-site, office-based assistants, virtual assistants bring a lot more benefits to the table. The most obvious benefits are in the tremendous cost benefits of hiring a virtual employee. When you think about it, having an assistant in the office is rather expensive. Doling out salaries and benefits for office-based assistants is taking away from your bottom line.
Virtual assistants are comparatively much less expensive as they avert many costs that come from employing someone in an office environment. The cost savings become even more substantial when you think about the big picture. Larger offices require dozens of assistants, whose collective cost represents a much higher figure than what a small business owners who only require one assistant would pay. Saving money on a single assistant is one thing, but saving money on a dozen or more throughout an entire office adds up to quite a bit of money.
Having a virtual assistant also lets you cover more time-zones and potentially provide effective 24-7 service. With a wisely distributed array of virtual assistants, you can beat your competitors on service availability, cover more ground, and expand faster.
Between the cost-savings and the ability to provide around-the-clock service, virtual assistants enable businesses to do more for less.
Managing Virtual Assistants
Managing virtual assistants has some distinct differences compared to managing their office-based counterparts. Overall, managing virtual assistants is comparatively much simpler. If you can state your objectives and give instructions via email or Skype, managing a virtual assistant will be a breeze.
Ultimately, the biggest factor in managing your virtual assistants will come down to how much experience they have and how dedicated they are to their jobs. Here are some tips to give you some insight into the best practices for managing your virtual assistants.
1. Focus on Communication
The single most important factor that comes into play when managing virtual assistants, is communication. Most problems that firms have with virtual assistants occur when there is poor communication.
The best virtual assistants excel in communication skills. It is recommended that managers key in on the best communication style for each individual virtual assistant. What works for one may not work for another one however they are both capable of doing an excellent job as long as you communicate with them in a way that suits them the best.
2. Exercise Leadership Skills
Your own leadership skills will play a big role in how well your virtual assistant will perform. For example, you should always start discussions on assignment details proactively and hold them in advance of the due date. These discussions help keep your virtual assistants on track or at least ensure that they are on track.
It’s imperative that you have a firm understanding of which skills your virtual assistants excel at. You should also make an effort to be aware of their weak spots. The trick is to designate the right tasks to the right people. If one virtual assistant excels at customer service, by all means, hand them most of the customer service related tasks. Essentially, you need to play to their strengths to get the best performance out of each of them individually.
3. Keep Shared Records
By using a shared system and making essential files, records, and information available to your virtual assistant. All of the passwords, documents like rewards program passwords, etc.
Also, be sure to make project lists and assignments easily accessible to your virtual assistants by using platforms that make it easy to share information and collaborate.
4. Reward Valuable Skills
When a virtual assistant displays skills that are valuable to you or your organization, you should always make an effort to reward those skills. Rewarding them for certain efforts help encourage them to keep up the good work and continue to exercise the same skills.
Also, make an effort to build a rapport with your virtual assistants. Once one of them has proven to be effective and reliable over time, building a rapport helps cement the relationship. By cultivating a rapport between virtual assistants and yourself, communication will come easier, be more effective, and gain a stronger sense of connection. Having a rapport with your virtual assistants also helps make them feel included as part of the company’s vision. The sense of inclusion typically boosts a virtual assistant’s average performance and makes them work more productively.
5. Manage Time Like a Pro
Time management is going to be another key focus area when it comes to getting the most out of working with virtual assistants. The responsibility of efficient time management goes both ways. Both managers and virtual assistants have to be skilled at managing their time to succeed.
Savvy managers will make a list of the most urgent tasks either at the beginning of the day or even a few days in advance. These tasks are to be prioritized and passed on to your virtual assistants ASAP. The sooner they know about it, the sooner they can get it done.
6. Balance Tech with Humanity
Having the right collaboration, productivity, and automation tools is vital. On the other hand, remembering to just be human especially when communicating with a virtual assistant. Finding the balance between the two plays a key role in successful relationships with virtual assistants.
Remember, just because you may be communicating primarily in text via email doesn’t mean that your virtual assistant isn’t human. You will need to give them the same courtesies that you would offer an office-based employee. Whether they are on-site or working remotely, each and every worker has an impact on the organization.
7. Only Work with the Best
One of the biggest tips for managing virtual assistants is that you should only work with the best candidates in the first place. By imposing high standards you will avoid many of the potential pitfalls of working with a virtual assistant by default.
The key to working with the best virtual assistants is to find them first. You need a source you can trust, and that source is Myworkers, the premier destination for exceptionally talented virtual assistants.
Make the Right Choice for Your Business, Choose Myworkers
If you're considering taking on a virtual assistant, quality, price, and skill are all top priorities. Frankly, the most challenging thing about a virtual assistant is finding the best one for the job. Finding on-site assistants that are right for the job is hard enough, and finding the best virtual assistant can be even harder unless you know where to look.
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