10 Tips for an Ideal Business/VA Relationship

business owner shaking hands with VAI was recently asked to list some of the best ways I could think of to have a good, successful collaboration between a business owner and a Virtual Assistant.  After a bit of listening to other VA’s, along with my own experience as a VA, here are my Top 10:

  • Communication – Communication is key. Be specific about what you want.  In your initial meeting with your VA, be clear on your pain points. The business owner is best at building their business.  The VA is best at taking care of the tasks that are more ‘behind the scenes’, and take time away from the business owner.  Make it clear that you are open to answering their questions.
  • Be Transparent – You don’t have to ‘have it all together’. Very few people do.  A VA has insight into a lot of things, usually has had a variety of work experience, and is also a business owner.  Most people, by the time they hire a VA, have grown to the point of near complete chaos and disorganization.  Let your VA help you get it all back together.
  • Be Available – Set a regular time once or twice a week to get together to go through workflow, questions, to do lists, etc. Set out the best way to communicate in between those meetings.
  • Be Coachable – No, a VA is not a business coach, but by being coachable, they can help you to develop a process for getting the work done efficiently. They can help you to develop a documented and tested process for workflow.
  • Don’t Expect them to Know Every System – Don’t let this be a deterrent. Every business is unique and may use a system or software unique to their market or field.  Any good VA is always capable and willing to learn a new system to best help you.
  • Find Someone You ‘Click’ With – A VA relationship tends to be one kept close at hand. After all, they are taking care of the tasks that keep your business running.
  • Trust – Your business is your baby. You’ve put everything you have into it.  A VA understands this, as they are business owners too.  Trust them to do the work they need to do, without micro-managing.  After all, the micro-management of corporate world is the number one reason most VA’s leave the cubical world and venture out on their own.  They care about their work, and they care about your business.
  • A VA is NOT Your Employee – This is a business partnership. A VA is a business owner providing a service.  They are not an employee, and a business owner is not their manager.  Many businesses, especially those hiring a VA for the first time, have a hard time with this understanding.  They should be treated like any other vendor that you hire.
  • Don’t Look for the ‘Cheapest Labor’ –Yes, you can get a VA for $3-$5/hour. Take care of your business.  Pay what your business is worth to you.  Most VA’s have years of experience in a variety of capacities.  They have chosen to get out of the corporate world and take on a business venture of their own.  Respect their business as much as you respect your own.
  • You Don’t Need A Seasoned Expert – Don’t discard the VA that is newer in the field. Look at their past experience.  You may be surprised at their work history.
This entry was posted in Virtual Assistance-my thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 10 Tips for an Ideal Business/VA Relationship

  1. I must say the biggest challenge I have is with the business owner not yet realizing that we as VA’s are not employees. Great blog, thanks!


  2. Reblogged this on Virtually Centered Solutions and commented:
    A great read!


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