Working with a Virtual Assistant can be a very rewarding experience both financially and professionally. A Virtual Assistant can help you organize your business and your life, while also opening up excellent time-leveraging and time-management benefits that would otherwise have not been possible. Having said that, if you are engaging a Virtual Assistant for the first time, you need to be aware of what it takes to do this successfully. Firstly, you need to remember that many of the normal staffing rules still apply. For example, the basic rules of human motivation still exist in the virtual world. You Virtual Assistant needs to be trained, managed and monitored just as if they were in your office with you. A virtual Assistant is not a piece of software. It is not something that you simply purchase, pay your monthly fee and hope that it all works out. Your Virtual Assistant needs to be praised when they do excellent work, and reprimanded when their work falls below a predetermined standard. Here are our top 5 tips to assist you in the set-up of the business relationship with your Virtual Assistant: 1. Create a job description 2. Develop a training manual o Ideally this manual will contain text, video training files and links to online resources such as a knowledge base 3. Train your Virtual Assistant o This does not mean conduct a 2 hour lecture. This means; o Show your Virtual Assistant how to do the allocated tasks o Watch them do the tasks in front of you (via online meeting) o Watch your Virtual Assistant complete tasks until they are doing it the way it should be done 4. Develop Key Performance e Indicators to quantify what doing a “good job” actually means 5. Sign up to CRM or work-flow software that automates your Virtual Assistants role. Set up recurring tasks and recurring meetings o One of the main reasons for utilizing a virtual assistant is to leverage your time. With this in mind, you do not want to be micromanaging a Virtual Assistant. o Example include Zoho CRM and Sugar CRM Now that you have set –up the relationship well, you need to ensure that you are managing your Virtual assistant well each and every week. Manage your Virtual assistant on an ongoing basis. Here are out top 3 tips for ongoing management. 1. Set a daily or weekly online meeting – and turn up! 2. Develop a monthly report template for your Virtual Assistant to complete o This will act as a “cheques and balances” quality control mechanism for the Virtual Assistant role 3. Refine their job description and role as they begin to master the existing tasks 4. This services tow purposes 5. Firstly, it ensures that your Virtual Assistant remains motivated and interested in the role 6. Secondly, it allows you to leverage even more time Make the most of your Virtual Assistant. Be sure to set up the relationship well from the start and remember…they are people, not software. All the best with your offshore outsourcing!