In last week’s Top Tip I quoted my grandfather who always said that a good management and effective delegation count as half of the work already done. Sounds nice, right? Well, it actually isn’t a rocket science. If you do it correctly, you will benefit not only from effective and efficient utilization of time and decreased workload but, most importantly, better end results since the task will be handled by someone better skilled and experienced.
And this is exactly what you should keep in mind if you are still contemplating whether or not you should handle all your work by yourself or delegate it to a virtual business manager/virtual assistant. I recall reading an article a while ago where business owners/solopreneurs who work with VBM/VA’s said that at first, they found the idea of “letting it go” very disturbing. However, they realized that not only were tasks completed better and faster, but also their operations and communications were streamlined and the business owners now had time and ability to focus on their own core competencies.
So, how can you get these benefits?
First, determine tasks that you wish to delegate and that can be delegated. Based on your needs and wants, find a VBM/VA that is skilled and experienced to handle them. This might be a newbie in the VBM/VA industry just as much as it could be a seasoned one. What’s important is that your chosen VBM/VA has needed skills, is available to perform the task, has compatible work and communication style to yours and “gets your vision”.
Even though sometimes you will need to train your VBM/VA in certain tasks at first, it can turn out to be very time consuming (and costly) if you need to provide extensive training, additional supervision and answer to endless additional questions. Speaking of additional cost: bare in mind that as tempting as it is to hire the least expensive VBM/VA out there, your decision to do so could turn out to be your most expensive mistake as you’ll need to fix the outcome/redo the task yourself or hire another person to do so.
Second step in the process is to clearly define the desired outcome, restraints and boundaries; clarify responsibilities, accountability and your expectations. Do you need your VBM/VA to only follow your direction or should he/she also provide you with feedback, additional and alternative suggestions? Nevertheless, you have hired her/him because of their expertise.
Determine a timeframe and clearly communicate any applicable deadlines. Bare in mind that while your VBM/VA is helping you on your project, he/she is an independent business owner who has other clients and other responsibilities, as well. Therefore it is important for the two of you to determine realistic lead and turnaround times. Once all the details are determined, recap what needs to be done to assure you and your VBM/VA are both on the same page and have clear understanding of the project.
Sometimes, your VBM/VA will contract other VA to handle your project while he/she will still manage and oversee the process and the outcome before presenting you with the results. This can happen because your VBM/VA believes that someone else is better equipped for this type of project, because he/she doesn’t have time to handle it, or because that is a structure of his/her own business. Communicate with your VBM/VA on how your work will be handled.
At this point, you have just delegated your project and now allow your VBM/VA to execute it while you can focus on other tasks in your business. Regardless of how detailed your instructions were, your VBM/VA might need to get in touch with you with additional questions (or issues), so do your best to make yourself available. The faster you respond, the smoother the task will be handled and completed by your VBM/VA.
Because you, as a business owner, juggle a vast variety of tasks and projects, feel free to surround yourself with several VBM/VA’s who are experts in their respective fields.