4 tips on managing VAs and outsourcing your work

Have you been given any illogical or monotonous task that exceeds your ability? If yes, you’re not alone!

To be given this kind of work, you’re probably an employee, but even entrepreneurs face the same problem; it’s just that they are forced to do it themselves. However, in my opinion, time is most valuable, and blowing it on miniature tasks is obsolete. As an entrepreneur, you have to work on projects that require your full potential. Therefore, outsourcing is a key ingredient you should add to not only your work but also your personal life!

Thanks to capitalism, technology has given birth to the profession of VAs (Virtual Assistants). These handy individuals provide help without using desk space, constant attention, and according to Tim Ferris’s award-winning book ‘The 4-hour workweek’

Indian and Chinese VAs, as well as most from other developing countries, will run $4-15 per hour, the lower end being limited to simple tasks and the higher end including the equivalent of Harvard or Stanford M.B.A.s and Ph.D.s.”

Finding the right pool of VAs: 

MyTasker is a great virtual assistant company to choose your VAs form. Choosing the right company for VAs is crucial, as they’ll be helping you out with several time-consuming tasks.

According to virtualassistants.com:

“First, the company does the bulk of the recruiting and screening legwork for you, which can be a huge time saver.”

They also go on to mention that:

they can afford to be extremely picky with who they bring on board. In fact, on my VA company sites, you’ll find material on their hiring process and how they only accept the top 1-3% of candidates. If you’ve ever tried to make a traditional job posting and screen candidates, you know that recruiting is incredibly time-consuming.”

Surprisingly, many VA companies force their VAs to sign security agreements to safeguard their personal information. They are also handpicked for their trust levels, so you never have to worry about your information getting stolen!

Choosing the right VA from the pool: 

There is no VA that is perfect for everyone, Your goal is to find someone who suits you best!

Now, the first piece of advice I would love to give you, is that you should hire VAs that reside in developing countries like India or Vietnam. First of all, this gives you a huge cost-benefit especially if you’re living in NYC or the UK. On the other hand, you get the added benefit of the time difference, as your VA will be working for you while you’re asleep. However, VAs aren’t robots, and thus, they need to be managed.

So, if you’re planning to use this strategy, you have to develop a rational amount of trust between you and your VA to be completely dependent on them for a particular task without your interval. To accomplish this goal, I highly recommend using the following management techniques to choose the right VA for you. 

Train them before assigning work: 

Treat VAs like your other employees. Give them the necessary training and convey your exact requirements and how you need your projects to be done. Secondly, assign time slots for them, which they have to follow. This prevents them from working around the clock and charging extra for their hours. 

Check on them in 30-40 minutes: 

Divide the tasks you give your VC into bite-sized pieces, which take no more than 30-40 minutes each. When the time is up, send them a message or call them up (depending on how responsive they are) and check on their progress. If you already have a lot on your plate, consider using monitoring software, which will provide alerts according to your interests. In my opinion, Verilock or ActivTrak are the best for this job (click on the link for additional information). 

Another effective way of tracking your VA’s progress is by using a cloud-based service. Suppose your VA has to complete a presentation for you and you’re eager to check on his progress. Simple! Just let him use software like Google Slides, and share the presentation to your account. Moreover, you should keep track of the amount of time your VA takes to complete each task. This can be extremely helpful for choosing your VA as well, especially if you choose to pay them at an hourly rate, and it will also mold your VA to be more independent (so you can send him projects and expect them early in the morning)

Make your VA save all of the work on Google Drive: 

Power Cuts are extremely common in both third-world and first-world countries alike. With that said, you should command your VA to save their work on Google Drive at all times. In this way, whatever your VA has done the earliest will be accessible to you. 

Fire them if they’re unresponsive and inefficient:

Since they’re not physically present, they must be  Use the aforementioned tracking methods to measure their efficiency and performance. Don’t refrain from firing them if they are unresponsive and lack the required performance. You can only mold them to a certain extent. Remember, your goal is to eliminate enough VAs until you find the one perfect for you. And don’t let your emotions bother you! It’s not like you’re going to randomly run into them at some point in time.

If you wish to know more about managing VAs, I recommend reading ‘Virtual Assistant Assistant: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working With Virtual Assistants’

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