Delegating for some is easy, others struggle - and when you are delegating to a Virtual Assistant, someone you may not have met, it is important to get it right. Here are five tips to help you successfully delegate to your Virtual Assistant.
1. Take time and be clear about the tasks you want to delegate and the results you want to achieve
Write everything down either on a to-do list, or brainstorm with a mind map, whichever method works to capture all your tasks. With the tasks you are comfortable outsourcing - the ones that take you away from your core business needs; the ones that you procrastinate over; the ones you enjoy but don't need to do; and write a comprehensive list of what is expected and the results you want to achieve.
2. Give a clear brief
Clarify, clarify, clarify!! Communication is paramount, especially when you are working virtually by phone and e-mail. It is best not to assume that everything you write or say will be completely understood. It is advisable to encourage questions and ask the Virtual Assistant to clarify any points they don't understand and even to repeat back the task to you in their own words to ensure they've understood it. It is also worth documenting in an e-mail the task details, deadline and expected duration. Make sure you factor in extra time for unforeseen circumstances.
3. Set and share expectations
If you have a clear idea in your mind of what information you are expecting, make sure you communicate this. If you are expecting documents to be set in certain style, send examples so the Virtual Assistant can follow this style. If you use Skype you can also share your computer screen to show the Virtual Assistant exactly what you are after.
4. Be available!
Once the task has been delegated, make sure you are available to the Virtual Assistant, especially if working to tight deadlines.
5. Monitor and evaluate results
Once the task has been completed you should both evaluate the process - what worked well, what could have been better, did everything go according to plan, what needs to be different next time? Communicating this feedback to each other is extremely beneficial to the working relationship.
Starting a relationship with your new Virtual Assistant with this clarity, communication and detail will fast-track your relationship and give you the comfort and confidence to move forward with your business.