The beauty of hiring a VA is there is one available for just about anything you can think of. This means you can hire multiple VAs to do everything that is taking away from you expanding and building your business. The question is, how do you now oversee several VAs and make sure the team is running efficiently without you? For this, the perfect analogy which came to my mind was race car driving.
Imagine yourself as the driver. Your single goal is to get across the finish line and most preferably in first place. Your pit crew is what propels you there. No matter how good a driver you are you’ll lose the race if you’re changing your own tires, filling up your own gas and having to make your own repairs along the way.
Here are seven ways to make sure you build your virtual assistant team with the efficiency of a pit crew:
1. Decide on a communication strategy
This includes everything from which platform to communicate on, how often you’ll be doing so, and who will be leading the charge. The leader doesn’t have to be you. In fact, if you’re going to have three or more VAs you need a VA leader. These communication meetings you’re setting up need to happen no matter if you’re called away or not. If you have to cancel or reschedule for any reason you can do this easily with one or two people. Any more than that and you’ll begin to find it very difficult. Any new VAs you add to the team after this strategy is in place should be able to accommodate your schedule.
Know exactly what each VA is hired to do and that their work isn’t going to be duplicated by another VA. In a team effort information is handed off from one person to the next, often building on each other. Set a routine for the point at which the transfer takes place. If you know when something is coming you can plan and expect it. Without a routine time is wasted on both sides waiting and wondering what the next steps are.
Decide the speed at which everyone should be operating at. If virtual assistant “A” does a job so quickly and he/she is giving virtual assistant “B” more work than he/she can take on you’re allowing a virtual bottleneck. An assembly line isn’t simply efficient because of the order things are flowing. It is efficient in the timing of the flow. If the speed is too slow you’re not being productive. If the speed is too fast you run the risk of people cutting corners and producing a less than satisfactory product.
No matter how long you or anyone else has been doing your job, continued training is a must. There will always be room to improve. Incorporate this into your team strategy and make a plan to ensure it’s taking place. Don’t forget that behavior may also need to be trained. As your business grows, watch for shifting behaviors. Who is excited about the growth and who feels burdened and overwhelmed?
Your VA must possess the skills possible to get the job done to completion. This is where people get caught up in software and app knowledge. There are many instances when specific knowledge of the software you are using is crucial. In just as many instances, general knowledge will do. What you’re looking for is expertise in the field. For instance, when working in a CRM platform you might want someone who has extensive knowledge of the major brands which can easily be translated into some of the newer or lesser known brands. If their expertise is in using only one brand that does not make them an expert in the field.
6. Lack of Errors
Call it attention to detail, thoroughness, perfection, etc. their work must be error free. Don’t take it to the extreme. Remember you still makes errors too. However, it is the exception, not the rule. It should be out of the ordinary when someone submits something with an error. Make sure you’re only noticing the errors that count. Not all errors are created equal. If your transcriber isn’t punctuating your work properly or has many grammatical errors that’s a problem. If your developer is not grammatically correct in his/her emails is it really worth your time to point it out?
7. Team Player
Don’t think this is a no brainer. Some people became VAs so they could work on their own and be their own boss. Having to work with others might not be attractive to them. Maybe the VA is willing to work in a team, their team, not one you’re building. Whatever the case know who is working for you.
Having a VA team can be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business. While you continue to grow, your crew is there waiting for you to come in for a pit stop. They’ll get you all fixed up and back on the track again without you ever having to leave the driver’s seat. Keep these things in mind and you’ll not only finish….you’ll win the race!
Because you can’t do it all yourself…….. Melissa Smith, The PVA is the bestselling author of Hire the Right Virtual Assistant and host of the Admin to VA Summit. To learn more about working with the right Virtual Assistant contact Melissa here.