I truly believe that everyone in the business world would benefit from having a Virtual Assistant (VA), but I also recognize that not everyone is ready to bring on a VA. Onboarding a VA to a business without being fully ready to do so can lead to an ultimate crash course in team management and might scare you (and your VA!) from ever doing it again– which really is a shame because in order to grow you have to scale and you can’t scale alone.
A great experience with your first VA can set you up for success long-term though, so let’s shake of the scary while I share 5 simple steps to prepare you and your business before bringing on a VA so you both can be successful.
Step 1: Pick 1 thing in your business to outsource
Yes, I said one! When you’re working with a VA for the first time there are a lot of unknowns. Between personality, time zones, and work ethic differences it is best to hand off a single project or piece of your business with the intention of continuing to pass off more to them as time goes on. This might mean starting your VA off with daily Instagram engagement with the hopes of them running your account eventually or them editing your pre written blog posts with the goal of them taking the lead in writing them in the near future. Test out the waters and focus on them doing one thing really well first.
Step 2: Figure out how long it takes you to do that task VS how much revenue that task generates
Determining these two things will help you decide how much it is worth to outsource it. VAs aren’t free, and the good ones aren’t cheap! But the return on investment can look very different for different tasks. For example, engaging on Instagram may not directly correlate with dollar signs for your business right now, but if your account leads people to your email list and your email list is how you get people to buy what you’re selling then growing that account is directly related to your revenue and worth hiring someone to take on.
Step 3: Document the whole process from start to finish
Once this process is polished and neat it is referred to as a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and it can make onboarding insanely easier. If you have a documented process before you bring someone on, you don’t have to spend your precious time walking them through a task step by step to make sure they understand what is being asked of them. In my business, I prefer to have both written and screen recorded (via Loom) versions of what I ask my team to do because sometimes you need a little reinforcement either way. For an added bonus, you could also record your screen and send it to your new VA, asking them to write out the steps that you went over in the video. This will help them digest it more and save you some time!
Step 4: Take responsibility for your team through project management tools
If you’ve ever had an email thread get lost or missed a due date in your own world because of a miscommunication, you know how important it is to have a clear track of what is due when for who. This is where project management tools come in. Personally, I love using ClickUp or Trello, but there are tons out there that work just about the same. These platforms essentially work as online planners for the whole team so you can share due dates, comment on tasks, and more all in one place without worrying if you missed a response.
Step 5:Network, interview, and hire!
This might seem like the more stressful step of the 5 if you don’t have experience hiring, but I’d be willing to bet there is someone in your network or immediate circle that has or knows a great VA! Get your feet wet with some discovery calls, which is where a VA tells you about them and you share what you are needing help with. If that doesn’t work out, check out your Facebook groups, reach out to your friends in the online space, or book a coffee chat with me to see if my team can help!
I hope you took notes! Now it is time to get out there, get your processes and procedures polished up, and find a great VA to help you scale and grow your business.
Want help to hire your next VA, check out my guide, “Grow Your Business Through Outsourcing.”