Tips for Success with your Virtual Assistant!

stopIf you are adding an assistant to your team for the first time it can take some time to determine the best way to work together. However, having a Virtual Assistant is a little different than an “in house” administrator. You can’t pop in to check on things, you can’t see when they are working and when they aren’t and they often have multiple clients they are working with—not just you! So how in the world does this all work and why have so many people found that hiring a VA is the best thing they have ever done for their career? Below are the things we have found are best to AVOID when working with your Virtual Assistant.

vaLack of communication. At IMPACT, we understand that a high level of effective communication is the key to success in the virtual world! It starts with honestly and clearly stating preferences for communicating questions and follow up. Email only? Text in an emergency? Always call first? There is nothing worse than having to sit and wonder whether or not someone received your email. We work to establish protocol for these everyday situations so no one is kept in the dark.

Vague feedback. Virtual Assistants are all about efficiency. Don’t be afraid to give clear and honest feedback about their work. Rather than saying you want the presentation to look “professional”, explain what exactly that means to you. This will set your assistant up for success and they will quickly learn the voice and style of your business.

Micromanaging. This is your business, and it’s hard to give up control. But this is part of the reason why you took the leap to investing in a Virtual Assistant, it will pay off if you commit! We work hard to find only the best Virtual Assistants who not only have the technical skills but also the right attitude, personality and work style for this industry. Getting to know your VA can help develop that trust and free up more of your time by limiting the urge to micromanage.

Quantity vs. quality. It’s tempting, but paying for a low quality assistant will cost you more time, money and frustration in the long run. Trusting your business to someone should not be taken lightly. When working with IMPACT virtual services you can rest assured that we have done the preliminary work of hiring qualified assistants and our team is here as a back-up and support for anything that may come up.

The number one thing you should avoid in order to achieve success through working with a Virtual Assistant is the act of doing nothing. If you are even considering adding a Virtual Assistant to your team, congratulations on being proactive and taking control! Outsourcing tasks that you don’t have time for, aren’t the best at or simply don’t like to do will improve your life professionally and personally. By keeping these tips in mind you are sure to set you and your Virtual Assistant up for success!

Multi-Tasking, Skill or Crutch?

Should you take “multi-tasking” off your resume? PrintThe entire concept and success of IMPACT virtual services is based around the ability to increase efficiency and productivity, so we can’t help but wonder about the skill so many applicants and professionals describe as, “multi-tasking.” Is this possible? And if so, is it truly the most efficient way to work? Many seem to be torn on whether or not this is a skill or a trait that inhibits productive, quality work.

Whether it is in our personal or professional life, more is expected of us than ever before. Responding to emails while on a call with a family member, paying bills while making a list of deadlines approaching that day, our minds are constantly racing! Younger generations are increasingly more efficient with maintaining several tasks going at seemingly the same time, many suggest due to the use of incorporation of technology in their everyday lives. But perhaps this skill is more task-managing than multi-tasking.

Consider two tasks that you believe you are working on simultaneously, perhaps reading this blog while on the phone with an employee. Are you truly engaged with both activities? One will always suffer. Your attention to each activity will constantly be switching back and forth, and we have gotten very skilled at doing this quickly! Is this the most productive way to work? Multi-tasking may create the illusion of getting more done and more tasks may be getting checked off your list, but the work simply cannot beat the quality if you were completing one task at a time.

IMPACT virtual assistants often have multiple clients, so we place a high importance on whether or not someone can manage multiple projects and deadlines. That being said, we also expect quality work that goes above and beyond the expectations of our clients. By using a task management program, assistants are able to document their tasks by time blocks and send reports to their clients. Many are under the impression that certain reoccurring tasks take more or less time than they actually do, so this is a very valuable tool. And while we believe in a high level of communication, we do not traditionally offer phone service. If an assistant is constantly answering the phone it is interrupting the momentum and quality of their work.

How you can eliminate the interruptions in your work life? Turn off email notifications and have calls automatically sent to voice-mail when working on a project. Block off time for catching up on those inevitable tasks that pop up every day. And build in cushion time for transitions and the inevitable roadblock. When adding more hours to your day isn’t an option, it is time to increase the efficiency of your work. Rethink whether or not you are truly multi-tasking and be prepared to defend this skill on your resume as many clients and employers believe this isn’t doing them any favors.