The Virtual Assistant Productivity Boost

On November 25, 2011, in Outsourcing, by admin

If you still think you’re the only one who can do what you do then you’re not alone… but look at it this way – think about productivity and ask yourself what you do each day that is really specialised and unique to you, because just about everything else you can outsource.

How many hours are you working? Too many? Thought so.

How a Virtual Assistant can Double Your Productivity, Save You Money and Help You Get a Life!

Yes, Really! You’re the Boss, it’s Time to Act.

Here’s one way to stop sacrificing your personal life or missing out on vital family-time and still get it all done – hire a Virtual Assistant. Better yet, get yourself more than one and a manager to oversee them all so you can begin to outsource all of your worries! Seriously, why wouldn’t you want to be CEO of your own life?

If you still think you’re the only one who can do what you do then you’re not alone… but look at it this way – think about productivity and ask yourself what you do each day that is really specialised and unique to you, because just about everything else you can outsource. You CAN “Double” yourself, by delegating your other work into the hands of competent, creative assistants trained to take your worries away – your new army of clones is just a click away. And, since they’re usually quite happy to work longer hours for less money, not only will you achieve more in less time but you can spend that time earning more and getting a life. Indeed, the ‘VA’ is now the essential but unseen workhorse behind those serious about achieving more, fast, who understand that success means placing a premium on their own time. Maybe it’s time for you to take notice too? Don’t just take our word for it…

Interview With Michelle Dale.

 

Here’s an interview with Michelle Dale, the CEO and founder of a highly successful VA company, Virtual Miss Friday, for an insider’s perspective with some invaluable tips for newcomers…

5 Questions we wanted the answers to.

Q: Is a VA Really Just a Virtual Secretary?

A: “VAs do much more than secretarial work and can take over a lot of what you do on a daily basis – not just the mundane, repetitive stuff either. I’ve yet to find an admin service which I’m unable to provide. Remember that even though we might not be specialists in your particular line of work, we definitely are specialists in applying the necessary skills to take action.” Michelle busted the myth that working virtually limits practical application. “99% of the time, our techniques fit with any type of business or aspect of a client’s life, so if you know what your time is worth this will give you a clue about what you should outsource.” Michelle continued: “The best virtual assistants have direct access to staggering skill-sets, and can accomplish almost any task. We can connect with anyone, no matter where they may be, so your assistant doesn’t have to be in the next room either! Use technology to your advantage and link-up with the best VA for your requirements, wherever they are.”

Q: Can You Give Us A Real-life Example?

A: What about some real life examples, to see just what difference a VA could really make? Michelle introduced us to the case of Anna (real name withheld), one of her current clients. Anna came to Michelle a year or so ago in desperation, deeply in debt and very unhappy with her current job. She wanted to become a life coach, to dedicate more time to her family. Michelle and Virtual Miss Friday worked with Anna to develop a comprehensive online presence and expand her reach. Less than a year later, Anna has a full client base for her coaching business. She travels extensively around the world, has quit her job and become financially independent. And, this all happened electronically! “In the time I’ve been working with Anna, we have had just one telephone conversation and we have never met,” observes Michelle. Brilliant!

Q: Will It Work For Me?

A: Michelle points out: “When you decide to take the leap, this transition requires attention as delegating virtually is very different to delegating in person. Are you good at explaining what you’d like done? Depending on your requirements, you might need a go-between, a bridge between you and your VA. You set the parameters; this will help you to ensure that everything is done right the first time, avoiding potential frustrations.”

Q: Isn’t It Cheaper In India?

A: What about hiring a VA located offshore? Michelle advises caution. She points out that while there are many excellent resources, they can often be task driven, not results driven. “It might require a great deal of effort and repetition to get a clear understanding of what you need, or you could end up, like the blind leading the blind.” They may be very technically savvy, but are they used to returning work to the same standards you expect?

Q: Just One VA, Or Lots?

A: Now, if you’re going to do this, do it the right way and apply leverage correctly. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by relying on one particular virtual assistant. Think about sickness or absence.”, says Michelle. “But, rather than hire a number of individual virtual assistants, you should focus on a virtual assistant company. Here, a senior or online business manager delegates and manages a team of internal experts, all selectively assigned to your service, where each individual’s expertise is matched to specific tasks.”

Ready to Seriously Consider a VA? Here Are Ten Questions You Should Ask First…

1. What Can I Outsource?

“Start off by making a big list of what you need, and want, to outsource, literally everything that comes to mind… Once you’re confident a potential VA can cope with the scale of your list, make contact, by calling or simply sending an email. Always ask the VA if they have a backup scheme and a team to help, in case anything should go wrong.

2. Do First Impressions Count?

“When you get an initial response from the VA, you’ll be able to see how well they communicate and can really judge their ability. The best and most experienced virtual assistants will show their skills right here.”

3. Are Their Existing Clients Happy?

“Scrutinise their testimonials and look for detail, not simple one-liners. Consider their social media presence. Look at their Facebook page or Twitter account and gauge their social and professional status in this way. Trace back the testimonials to actual companies.”

4. How Do You Find A Great VA Company?

“Just use Google, like everyone else. Google the terms ‘virtual assistant’, ‘virtual assistant services’, ‘online business manager’ or ‘online business services’ and you will find some great options to start off with.”

5. What Am I Risking?

“Look carefully before you commit, to see how the company will treat your confidential information, your bank details and passwords. The best VA companies will be well-aware of the true meaning of security and confidentiality. Do your due diligence. Look at the professionalism and presentation of the website. Look at their service agreements to understand confidentiality, privacy and terms. Above all, assess their overall level of competence, security and flexibility.”

6. How Quickly Can I Get Started?

“While the best VA companies are likely to have a strong, existing client list, remember that they are experts at allocating resources and leveraging time. You won’t have to worry about bringing new employees up-to-speed with all that training, as a good VA will be right on point. Once the confidentiality agreement has been signed, and your secure online office space is ready, you’ll be able to start assigning tasks right away!”

Here is an example of Virtual Miss Friday’s Confidentiality and Service Agreement for comparison: See example

*Don’t forget, you can also ask your VA to sign your own company NDA.

7. How Do You Work With A VA?

“When you deal with a competent VA company, you should consider them as an extension of your organisation in every respect. They will look after and back-up your data, value and protect your information as a whole, take excellent care of your proprietary information and respect all forms of non-disclosure. Always be reasonable about your expectations though and remember that while your VA may well be able to work wonders, miracles might just take a little longer…”

8. What Does A VA Cost?

Virtual Assistant service costs can range anywhere between £2 and £60 per hour. Assess skill level, experience, quality and the customer service you are looking for. “Always bear in mind that you will not be paying for any of those costly benefits (sick pay), or real world expenses (office equipment and space). And, factor into the mix here what you consider your time to be worth, as well.”

9. Do I Need Any Special Equipment?

No need – you already have an Internet connection, a PC/MAC and an e-mail address. “The best VA companies will provide you with a secure virtual collaboration space. Through an Internet browser, you can access this space from wherever you are around the world. This secure area will be your primary source of interaction, as you assign and see tasks completed on a daily basis.” Here is a great example of a highly secure, virtual collaboration space which Virtual Miss Friday currently uses to collaborate with clients and team members:

 

10. Can Delegating Really Be This Easy?

Finally, Michelle reveals one of her top delegation secrets. “To really help you to get your point across to your VA, record a screen capture video. Go to jingproject.com and you will be able to delegate visually and verbally at the same time. This will ensure that you get your projects done, with very little room for misunderstanding.”

So there you have it. Your path to the world of enhanced productivity is literally at your fingertips! Foster a professional relationship with your VA, and before you know it, you’ll find that you’re turning to them more and more often for all manner of tasks. Now, they’ve become an indispensable business partner, rather than just another employee.

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