Business is many things to many people. For some it’s about the money. For others, control. For us, it’s about relationships: the fine art of making connections that flourish into robust, productive collaborations.

As virtual assistants, we bring a lot to the table: skills, flexibility, discipline, but that doesn’t mean it’s a one-way street. Working with clients is a reciprocal arrangement, and it’s not always obvious how you can maximise outsourced talent.

Grab a cuppa and pull up a chair as we reveal how to get the most from your virtual assistant.

Sort out your SOPs

Better known as standard operating procedures, SOPs are roadmaps that help virtual assistants complete tasks. They should be clear, easy-to-follow instructions enabling us to get on with the tasks you’ve assigned with the minimum disruption to you or your team.

They can be flow charts, diagrams, or even hieroglyphics if that floats your boat, but putting the work in at this stage will mean your VA hits the ground running, which will benefit your business.

Spill ALL the beans

Some entrepreneurs are not the best communicators (there, we’ve said it) but it’s crucial if you want to get the most out of your virtual assistant. No detail is too trivial and if you think you’re overcommunicating, then you’re on the right lines.

The clearer and more transparent you make your instructions (bearing in mind they’ll be used along with your SOPs), the more likely your VA will meet your expectations and deliver what your business needs.

Get the right tech

One of the benefits of a virtual assistant is they come with their own hardware, an expense you don’t have to cover. However, it is down to you to ensure they have access to all the technical tools they need to do their job.

Whether it’s access to a communication tool, integrating a particular bit of software or an email marketing solution, it’s important your VA has what they need to do their best for you.

Build and earn trust

We’ve all had customers who have left us feeling less than sparkling at the end of the day, and while we as VAs understand some business sectors come with a high level of pressure baked in, there’s no underestimating the importance of a good rapport.

We don’t have to be best friends (this is business, after all) but entrepreneurs who can build trust by being respectful and transparent will get the very best out of their virtual assistant.

Show us the money

Virtual assistants who take on a range of tasks and demonstrate multiple skills are highly sought-after by business owners who understand their abilities and pay them accordingly.

We look at it as the difference between the cost of something and its value. A virtual assistant will cost you less than a salaried employee but, paid fairly could end up being just as valuable to your company.

It’s good to talk

Most virtual assistants, like us, have a large cohort of clients and will have different experiences with them all. Canny business owners know this too is a resource they can call on – all they have to do is ask.

Keep the channels of communication open and ask your virtual assistant how they think the work arrangement is going. They may be able to identify improvements that could make them even more efficient – which can only be good for your business.

Drop us a line about how we can help you, and let’s make a start on a beautiful friendship.

Right by your side, virtually.

Stay wise, stay funny, stay cool