Making the decision to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) is all well and good, but what should you look for in terms of qualities and characteristics? Should you be focused on suitability for the job, requisite skills or should you be looking at this from a much broader perspective? There’s a lot to be said for choosing carefully. Personally, I think the VA should be an extension of the Business Owner in so many different respects. But as the Business Owner you need to know what it is you want from the relationship – do you want someone who can be thinking one step ahead or someone you have to brief every step of the way.
If you were able to wave a magic wand and get everything that you wished for, surely you would conjure up – like a genie, from a lamp – a carbon copy of yourself to be your VA. You would not have to communicate with this person and could rely on them to do exactly what you wanted, in the way that you wanted it to be done. But would a carbon copy of you really be the ultimate, proactive VA? Surely, there’s a lot to be said for having someone who can provide a second opinion, or who may be able to see an alternative way of progressing forward with a certain task. After all, it is said that two heads are better than one and a VA who is a knowledgeable, savvy business veteran can really provide you with your money’s worth when you engage.
Working with a VA who is proactive as opposed to being reactive is great when you don’t want to have to spend your time laying out all the details and confirming what needs to be done. There’s nothing quite like the peace of mind you can get when you know that your proactive VA is quite capable of filling in the dots, as it were.
They may well have done this type of work before, but there may nevertheless be an element of flexibility or accommodation to be taken into consideration. There may be several different potential outcomes according to a set of parameters that only emerged as the job was in the process of being completed. In this case you do not want to be on standby all the time to provide guidance in order for the VA to follow the correct path – do you? A proactive VA will be able to take necessary action and will be the ultimate self-starter. You will have to outline a set of parameters in the beginning, when you initially start working together. But the beauty of working with an VA who you know to be a self-starter, is that you will have the trust that they will be able to take the right decisions on your behalf and your valuable time to be constantly on top of the job.
A good proactive VA can act as an early warning system if something starts to go wrong. Constantly on the lookout for potential warning signs or indications that things are amiss, the virtual assistant will know exactly the right time and the right place to get in touch with you, in order to ensure that things are brought back on track as soon as possible. You want someone who is also the eyes and ears of the operation, while the principal is engaged in more delicate or refined activity.
A proactive virtual assistant can often be said to be someone who is worth their weight in gold.You do not need to spend a lot of time involved in coaching them, as they may well have a lot of experience in the type of work you are putting forward. They may have been business owners in their own right and may know very well how to streamline a particular task while maintaining maximum efficiency and productivity. Remember though, in delegating or outsourcing you are not abdicated from the responsibility of your business and you still need to have an oversight of what it is the VA is doing for you. Whenever the business owner makes a concerted effort to establish a strong, professional and long-lasting relationship with a virtual assistant it can pay off exponentially.
Award winning Virtual Assistant, Amanda Johnson provides remote solutions for small to medium sized businesses through her company Your Executive Secretary. Their dedicated and bespoke service offers you access to a broad range of secretarial, administrative and organizational skills as and when you need them. You can contact Amanda to discuss your requirements by telephoning 01202 872061 or through her website at www.y-e-s.co.uk Images courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot, & Stock images, & imagery majestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.netShare