Having a growing business is such an amazing feeling. Needing a Virtual Assistant to help you as your business grows is even more amazing. A person that wants to support your vision is a gift that every business owner should experience. Whether you are considering bringing on a Virtual Assistant or you already have one, make sure you master effective communication around the 3 Ds: Deliverables, Directions, and Deadlines.
Making sure that your Virtual Assistant knows exactly what the deliverable - or outcome - is may seem easy enough, but you’d be surprised how many business owners ask for “research on a topic” and then are disappointed because the research wasn’t what they pictured.
Tip: Make sure you describe what you expect the deliverable to look like.
If you struggle when trying to describe the outcome, your Virtual Assistant may struggle with completing the task, which results in frustration for you and them. Make sure you have clarity on the expected deliverable before you assign to your Virtual Assistant.
Do you remember the teacher that would assign homework, but forgot to walk the class through the directions? Do you remember how frustrating it was when you were agonising over the assignment, not knowing if you were meeting the expectation? You don’t want to be that teacher for your Virtual Assistant, which is why you need to provide specific directions.
Tip: Put yourself in a beginner’s shoes. What do you need to know in order to complete the task?
You want to put yourself back in beginner mode. What would a beginner need to know? Offer step-by-step directions. Want to make sure your directions are clear? Read your directions with the beginner lens: If you didn’t have your experiences and knowledge and only had these directions, could you create the expected deliverable with just the directions? Want to go a step further while building a positive relationship with your Virtual Assistant? After your virtual assistant completes a task, ask for feedback on the directions. The best way to find out how well you are communicating is to ask.
The best met deadlines start with planning ahead. For the most positive business owner/virtual assistant relationship - and deadlines that are consistently met - plan and work ahead. Write down the tasks that your Virtual Assistant will be responsible for. How long does each task take? What is your feedback system if you want anything added/deleted/changed? When does each task need to be completed by?
Tip: Always include a time buffer. Do you need a task completed no later than Friday. Communicate the week before and ask for the task to be completed on Wednesday. Then you have two days to review and provide any necessary feedback.
After the completion of any project or task, make sure you follow up with your Virtual Assistant. Was your time allotment for tasks accurate to the time it took to complete? Were the expectations and deadlines reasonable? This is incredibly valuable information going forward for both you and your Virtual Assistant.
Putting the time into effective communication with your Virtual Assistant will allow your new team member to support you and the growth of your business.
If you haven’t taken the leap to hiring Virtual Assistant just yet, you can schedule a free consultation with us today here so that we can discuss how you can start to reclaim your time!
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My name is Selina Johnson and I'm an elite Virtual Assistant providing Virtual Business Support to Executives. We help SME's with administrative, technical and creative support so you are free to grow your business and increase your profits.
Contact us today to discuss how we can add value to your business.
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