How To: Create a List of Tasks For a Virtual Assistant

How To: Create a List of Tasks For a Virtual AssistantWorking with a virtual assistant has become the latest trend among many small business owners.  If you want to free up most of your time, then, it’s a wise idea to experience the benefits of the various virtual assistant services offered by many virtual companies. From simple personal tasks to more strategy-demanding ones like SEO and web development and maintenance, you can outsource your to do’s to an efficient staff working externally, outside of your office.

However, some business owners are not disposed to the idea of passing the things that they do to a complete stranger. It may be due to fear of not getting the right results, and eventually losing money because of that. But this case can be avoided if you know the art of delegating tasks.

So, here’s a simple guide on how to create a list of tasks for a virtual assistant and have that desired result at the end of the day:

  1. Hire a VA that you can trust. Trust is an essential element in any relationship. In business, lack of it can lead to wasting your time and money. So, right from the beginning, look for a VA you can trust and who can free up your schedule. Obviously, this can’t be realized in the first meeting alone, but it can surely be prevented if you believe in the company that offers the services that you need. If you have the time, you may do a background check of your VA. Or, at the very least, try to have a phone conversation with them. That would be a good opportunity for you to be aware of their skills and abilities, as well as the kind of personality they have.

  2. Determine the tasks that you want to outsource. For example, “Manage my accounting database.” It’s important that you define the task you assign your VA. Not doing so may make everything messed up, so give more information about the task.

  3. How To: Create a List of Tasks For a Virtual Assistant3. Be specific about your instructions. The more specific your instructions are, the better quality you get from a VA. When giving instructions, make sure you identify the following so you don’t waste your time entertaining more and more questions:

    • a. Nature of the task – What is it about?

    • b. Objective of the task – What’s the goal to which this task is linked?

    • c. Deadlines – When do you want it completed? Give realistic deadlines.

    • d. Processes – How should the task be done? You may give your VA your accepted process, but don’t stop your VA from going about the task their own way.

      Some people work at their best when they’re given freedom to show their creativity. Focus on the final result more, not on how the job is performed.

    • e. Expectations – What kind of results do you expect? Obviously, make it realistic and achievable within the given deadline.

    More information given means better outcome when the deadline comes. If you have, show your VA some examples. Who knows they can do something much better than that.

  4. Emphasize the WHY. Letting your VA know the reason why you want them to do the task can make them understand the task itself. And if they do understand it, they’ll be better equipped to produce the expected output or one that will exceed or expand on your expectations.

  5. Prepare a guide for recurring or long-term tasks. If the task is repetitive in nature, document the whole process and send it to your VA. For instance, if you ask your assistant to manage customer inquiries, you may think of creating a manual that includes what to do when a customer asks a particular kind of question. To make it easier to understand, especially for complicated tasks, insert images or screen captures so they can see the real thing.

  6. Always open your lines of communication. This is a must as there are things that your VA might want to clarify with you. Not only will this benefit your assistant; through this, you can check if your assistant is on the same page with you.

  7. Establish a reporting system. Set a schedule when you would like to receive updates. Should it be daily or weekly? Having a regular check up with your VA can smoothen the whole workflow and speed up the process.

  8. Give feedback. Your opinion on your VA’s output, or even just progress reports, matter. That will let them know whether or not they’re on the right track. Commenting on their output also allows them to change or correct all those that need to be changed, hence, a perfect output in the end.

  9. Having a virtual assistant makes your life easier. But that doesn’t happen all the time. It depends on their efficiency in executing your instructions, and more importantly, on your ability and mastery of the art of delegating. Now that you know how to make things run smoothly when you outsource a task, look for a virtual assistant that is right for you.

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