Having evolved into virtual offerings from what started as an errand and organizing business, we learned over the course of time many things. Not because we wanted to, but because we couldn’t really find anyone who was willing to share some do’s and don’ts. So we essentially became self-taught through our clients. This was great in many ways because we learned what other VA’s had done poorly because, let’s face it, human nature is to focus on the “areas of improvement”, aka negative.
After a few years now we’ve discovered that many people get into the VA business thinking it’s a great way to work from home and make a little money, which it is. What is unfortunate is that policies and guidelines aren’t created before they put out the OPEN sign, much like what we did. We think it’s important that anyone working with, or thinking about hiring, a VA should know what to expect. Here are a few tips that we thought we would share with you. We still work hard to stay within these guidelines, but do let them slide now and then.
Send your requests via email with a clear subject line of the task (i.e.; 7/1/12 Newsletter content or Email to be sent to all attendees from 7/1/12 workshop). We see so many requests being missed because it was sent in a reply to another email not having anything to do with the new request. We recommend that even if you reply to another email, simply change the subject line.
Always communicate any specific deadline you have.
Our policy is 24 hours from the request time within our business operating hours, if a client needs it in less than 24 hours then we charge an expedite fee (this is one of those areas we tend to be loose with, which admittedly we shouldn’t).
Our job is essentially to make sure you get the work accomplished you task us with. If we need something from you, we will follow up consistently to make sure we are staying on target to complete your request by the deadline. We want to support you, but can’t if you are standing in the way of your own goal.
Schedule regular calls or “huddles” as we call them, with your VA.
Remember that as your support team we can only be as successful as the guidance and direction you provide us. While we have many areas of expertise, mind reading isn’t one we have quite mastered yet.