You might be reading this blog and shaking your head. The idea of delegating or hiring a virtual assistant leaves a bad taste in your mouth because you’ve had terrible experiences with virtual assistants in the past. Bad experiences happen.
The good news is that not all virtual assistants are the same.
Understand why the past lousy experience happened
You have to understand why your past experiences failed.
Was it the virtual assistant?
Was it you?
The answer is most likely: a mixture of both.
A common problem with delegating to a virtual assistant is that people aim for the cheapest virtual assistant. After all, how difficult can it be to upload a blog post or answer an e-mail?
For the inexperienced virtual assistant, even the tasks that seem the easiest can be the most daunting. If you went the route of a cheap virtual assistant, you would invest much time into training that virtual assistant.
Training is time-consuming and frustrating, especially when you figure you can do it yourself.
Another common issue is lack of communication.
Maybe the virtual assistant took forever to answer your messages or get tasks done. Perhaps you were too vague or frantic with the way you managed your virtual assistant’s responsibilities.
Finding a virtual assistant who works well with your style of communication may take a few tries.
Few people are lucky enough to land their perfect assistant on the first try.
(Psst – if you want to make that hiring process a little bit easier, you should download your virtual assistant hiring checklist. Enter your e-mail address below, and I’ll send it right over).
Make sure you’re paying what they’re worth
There’s no such thing as “you’re asking for too much” when it comes to a virtual assistant, as long as the rate your paying is matching the workload.
For example, I’ve seen job ads where someone wants an on-call virtual assistant that can do any task within minutes of being assigned. They want a turnaround of fewer than three hours. However, they only want to pay the virtual assistant for hours worked, and not the hours spent being on-call.
These types of job listings will attract only low-quality virtual assistants who are desperate for a job. They’ll take the offer, but since the pay isn’t consistent, they’ll look for other job offers as well. Eventually, they may land a better deal, and your job gets put on the back burner.
However, if this job listing paid the virtual assistant for the hour they’re on call, even when there’s no work to be done, the virtual assistant has more incentive to give their full attention to your business.
High quality work comes with a higher paycheck that you’re willing to give the virtual assistant.
Write down a set of qualities you want and don’t want in a virtual assistant
The nice thing about virtual assistants is that there are so many of us on the market. You can mix and match or pick and choose the quality you want to see.
You are allowed to say that you want a virtual assistant who can handle every aspect of your business- from bookkeeping to customer support to managing your social media accounts.
Remember, the higher the skillset and the more you want out of your virtual assistant, the higher their rate is going to be.
You might also be on a budget and only want a virtual assistant to handle a small part of your business. For example, you might write a weekly blog post but want someone to upload, categorize, and tag it for you. That’s fine too.
Make sure you write the requirements out clearly and hire a virtual assistant who makes you confident in their skills.
Terrible experiences with a past virtual assistant can sour how you feel about delegating your tasks. If you’re not ready to hire another virtual assistant, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with running your business solo, especially if you take joy in doing the more tedious tasks on your own.
If you’re looking to build a second business, spend more time with your family, or take a load off your plate, consider revamping your hiring process for a virtual assistant. Take the time to draft requirements, set aside a budget, and interview your most promising prospects. They will make it worth your while.
To make your hiring process more manageable, don’t forget to grab your virtual assistance hiring checklist below.
Also published on Medium.