When we hired our first Virtual Assistant Team Member, our business absolutely TRANSFORMED. Thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners across the country are finding huge success in working with VAs from across the world. It makes it possible for you to get even MORE done in your business literally OVERNIGHT.
But hiring your first VA can be tricky - and it’s easy to slip up a little.
Here are the THREE big things I wish I had known before I brought on my first International Virtual Assistant Team Member that would have made things go A LOT more smoothly. Hopefully this helps you jump in and get the MOST out of your VA today with the LEAST work possible!
1. Know EXACTLY What You Want Done.
The biggest mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make the first time they hire an international VA is that they don’t get CLEAR on exactly they want their new team member to do. It’s easy to jump the gun and hire someone without doing your research, but it can be extremely costly.
Walk through your business before you hire a VA. Figure out which tasks you’re doing that could be done by someone else. Figure out which tasks you HATE that absolutely DRAIN you that you could easily hire someone else to do instead. Write this list down so you have it on hand ALL THE TIME!
And take into account HIRING, MANAGING, and TRAINING your VA through these processes to get the MOST out of them. That leads me to my next point...
2. Write THOROUGH and DETAILED Instructions.
When you’ve figured out what you want your VA to do, make sure you write excruciatingly detailed instructions! This does two HUGE things for your business:
First, it makes it possible for your VA to tackle this task EARLY ON without having to be corrected. You will spend less time training your VA because they’ll have an extremely clear idea on exactly what they need to do to complete a task without emailing you questions all the time. The less back-and-forth you have with your VA, the more quickly they’ll get their job done!
Two, it ensures that YOU know exactly what you’re asking your VA to do so you can easily anticipate ANY problems that come up. You’ll understand the process so well that you can figure out where the holdups are and address them SOONER. You’ll be able to relax knowing that your VA can handle this task because you’ve worked out most of the kinks ahead of time!
You’ll also have to spend LESS time managing them, which will free up YOUR time. Speaking of...
3. Make the BEST use of YOUR Time.
You’ll be amazed at how much more time will open up once you have the draining daily tasks taken off your plate. A lot of entrepreneurs fall into the trap of doing other little, nit-picky things with these new hours. DON’T do that!
You want to make sure you take that time and focus on DOLLAR PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES.
Not only does this help you make MORE money to pay your VA’s salary, but it also allows your company to start to really GROW. You can talk to more clients, bring on new products, or even hire ANOTHER Virtual Assistant to help you and your company move EVEN FASTER.
Hey everybody, it's Joel Bower, co-founder of Skirmish Strategies and business leverage expert. Today, we're going to cover the three things you need to know before hiring your first international virtual assistant.
Now, there is a lot of talk on using virtual assistants in the Philippines, or in India, or in China, to really get a lot of work done in your business, and it's a great add-on. It's something we do in ours with amazing success, but I wanted to cover some of the things that we learned the hard way that I can just give to you now that'll make the process so much easier.
The first thing you need is to know exactly what you want done.
Walk through your day, look through your business and see, "Hey, this is something that I could easily have someone else to do. I could systemize it in a way that really makes sense and I don't have to do it and it will still be done." All those hours that you were doing this week are then back.
That's what we're really trying to do when we add team members. We're not trying to add more work. We have to balance out, because there is a little bit of a delay because some pieces that go into getting a VA, along with management and the hiring process and getting them up to speed. But if you take that time and you really think through what you really need done, you will be able to get to a place where you suddenly have more hours than you could imagine, and you'll stop feeling that pressure of always having to do something.
To make that happen, if you've figured out what things that you can really get off your plate that almost anybody can do, you need to then take them to a place where anybody can do them. That means actually writing out the instructions, step by step, on how to do it. Don't leave anything to chance. Just because you've done it hundreds of times doesn't mean someone who's never touched and doesn't know your business is going to be able to do it on the first go. If you can take that time and really think through it, two things happen:
First, the VA can then do it easily, very early on, with little changes, and questions, rather than having to have the whole process explained over and over with changing a little bit.
You forget how much you really know in every process that you do. Until you go through step by step and go, "This is clear, this might be a little unclear for the VA, this will get them there," they're going to have trouble getting it, they're going to be asking all those questions, and it's going to leave a lot of confusion and stress both for you, who are hiring a VA for the first time and working with somebody internationally, and for the VA that's just trying to make you happy and get the work done, and they're hoping that this will be a long-term thing. Definitely write out those tasks.
Second, when we do that process, when we take the time to really walk through our business step by step, we get to ensure that we add US to it: our values, our goals, what we think the ideal interaction with a client might be. We need to figure that out, we need to add it there, and if we make it part of the system, it's going to happen even without us DOING it.
If you've done your job, if you really thought about your business, you'll find a lot more that an international VA can do simply because you made the time to think about what would add that value back in. It is an amazing feeling to know that it's going to happen the right way every time, and when something goes wrong, if something doesn't quite hit the way you want it to with your customers or your clients, you have steps to go look at.
Instead you can see exactly what went wrong. "Oh, I see. This was unclear, here. In step three, I could just add these little pieces here and the VA would be able to do this easily." Instead, a lot of people go, "I don't know why they're not getting it. I guess they can't do it," and they take it off their plate, and suddenly, they're doing it again.
No matter who you hire, that really is a chronic issue. There is so much that you do so well and you've done it so long that you don't always have the patience to allow someone to get there. Take this extra step and get the pieces that are really important and let them build the skill so they can become an asset for your business.
Even when you're not working or not doing this piece, you know it's being done exceptionally well. It might take a few weeks to get there, but when you do, you never have to worry about it again unless you want to improve it, and that's a good thing. I do recommend coming back and improving, but you don't have to worry if it was done right, because you made sure that the instructions were clear and that person is doing it the way you need it done.
With all this done, you have the tasks that you want off, you have them broken down into exact steps that someone else who's never done it before can do it fairly easily and consistently, you now have a big chunk of time that's going to come back.
You know how I know?
It happened to us. We thought, as entrepreneurs, we would never have time again. We're just always busy, no matter what is going on, no matter how much I think, "This is the end of the day because it has to be - because I ran out of hours."
There is a place in business where you can do amazing things, get a lot accomplished, and have time.
What I want you to consider is, you hire your team, and if you've done it correctly, you will get that time back, what do you do with that time? How do you make this sustainable? How do you guarantee that, "Great, business is good right now and I can hire VAs or hire an employee, but what happens when it shifts? What if I go through some hard times?"
I would want you to use this time, the time that you're getting back, to do dollar-productive activities.
That is things that add money back to your business. It grows in value. For two reasons, I really want that to happen:
First, it makes it an easy return on investment for any hires.
Second, it allows you to grow.
Even if that person that you've hired doesn't lead to some sort of dollar-productive activity themselves (which is another way to compound that, to get them on dollar-productive activities), if you can get the work that you really hate doing off your plate and do more of the dollar-productive, more of the client-facing stuff, more of the value-add stuff that only you can add to your business, your business will grow and you'll be able to hire yet another VA or another team member and keep expanding and growing your business.
Get out there and make it happen. Hire your first VA. Go test it, go make sure that you know your business well enough to have someone else work in it and get the results you want. It will change your life.
If you haven't hired anybody and you're an entrepreneur, this will change you from an entrepreneur or a wantrepreneur into a business owner. It's an interesting feeling when you suddenly have a team member that is dependent on you. Go out there and make it happen, get the growth that you deserve.