The Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Guide to Delegating to a Virtual Assistant

virtual personal assistant

The best thing about working with a virtual personal assistant is that you get to delegate chores to him/her and free up your own schedule. You can choose to hand over any task you don’t have the necessary time, skill or willpower to complete on your own. Even though it is not difficult to hire a virtual assistant from India, delegating tasks to one might seem a little tricky. First, you will need to figure out exactly which activities you can delegate to your virtual assistant. Then you will have to offer him/her training and guidance so that the assigned tasks can be completed to match your standards. And lastly, you will be required to change your own mindset so you can accommodate other stakeholders in the business in order to grow it. 

Tasks that you could delegate to your VA

Before delegating any task to your virtual personal assistant, you need to consider your own strengths and weaknesses – what task takes you the most time and what task you dislike doing. There are several duties for which many small business owners might want to hire a virtual assistant

1. Calendar management

Keeping your schedule might not seem like a big task initially but your responsibilities will only increase as your business continues to grow. Rescheduling appointments, moving items around the calendar and making sure to never miss a deadline will all become more challenging in due time. Virtual assistants for hire can help with managing your calendar and sending you important notifications/reminders when you need them.  

2. Email management

Email has its way of eating into a lot of your time. Yet, you are left with unread messages or urgent mails you’ve forgotten to respond to in your inbox. Your virtual personal assistant can manage your inbox for you – deleting spam, notifying you of tasks that need to be completed, prioritizing messages that can be looked into later. As a matter of fact, if you deem it fit, your VA can even respond to emails on your behalf. 

3. Research

It is common among founders of startups to carry out a lot of research. You will need information about the current trends, the market, potential clients as well as investors. Research will also help you discover new opportunities. When you are engaging in online research, you know how easily the hours slip away, especially if you don’t know where to look or keep getting distracted. Virtual assistants in India are experienced in research and know exactly where to go to find a solution to your problem. Needless to say, they will just focus on the task at hand.

4. Other administrative tasks

Other admin tasks you could consider delegating to your VA include data entry, making travel arrangements, assisting in online shopping, shipping packages, crafting handwritten notes, managing your CRM among others. When you consider virtual assistants for hire in India, it means you can outsource these tasks at very low rates, which essentially translates to you freeing up your schedule by eliminating the dullest tasks for only a small fee. If a task is a waste of your time, why would you not delegate it?

5. Data analysis

Data is crucial for startups but only if you know how to uses it. From social media analytics to website analysis to raw data on business cards, a personal virtual assistant can turn relevant data into meaningful reports and you with business insight. 

6. Project management

Whether you are working with a team of virtual workers or collaborating with other enterprises, you need someone to manage your projects. When a lot is happening, you may need to be constantly monitoring progress, setting deadlines, communicating with team members for each new task and checking if everyone is meeting their objectives. It could be a good idea to delegate all this to a virtual assistant in India, who has experience in project management and can handle these things on your behalf.

7. Financial tasks

Entrepreneurs have to deal with numbers that are enough to give anyone a headache. A VA can help keep your accounts up to date. Tasks to delegate could include invoicing, managing expenses, bookkeeping and payroll management. 

8. Social media-related

To stay connected with customers and gain a greater insight into their minds, you need to be active on social media. The issue is creating content, managing calendars, responding to comments all takes up a lot of time. You can still benefit from your social media game without wasting your precious time by simply delegating this facet of your business to a virtual assistant. 

Best practices of delegating

To have a smooth ride with your virtual assistant, it is important to take cue of some of the basics of delegating. 

1. Decide in advance what you want to delegate

It is of no use trying to figure out what tasks you can assign as you go along – you need to know this even before you hire a virtual assistant. This will make sure you pick someone with the necessary qualifications and experience. You can always broaden the scope of work later in the future by upscaling in a manner that is most convenient to you. 

2. Onboard your virtual assistant

You could use the same practices as you would to onboard any other employee to your organization but it is always nice to have something different to offer to your remote employees, who will be working with you from a distance. While the extent of onboarding will obviously depend on how involved your virtual assistant is going to be in your business, there are plenty of tools these days that can facilitate this process. 

3. Prepare instructions

Put yourself in the shoes of your virtual assistant to understand what kind of instructions you would require to carry out a task successfully. Simple tasks may be explained with a sentence of two but you might have to delve deeper to explain more complex assignments. You have to be open to the idea that your virtual resources may require access to certain training and tools. 

4. Set deadlines

It is difficult for a virtual assistant to know how to prioritize his/her tasks if they lack deadlines. Telling your VA to complete a task “asap” is the worst risk you can take because that is open to being interpreted in any way. Deadlines should be communicated clearly – whether strict or flexible. 

5. Create a project

The best way to track your virtual assistant’s work is to create a new project and add new tasks to it. You can opt for something basic like Google Drive to carry out this exercise or you can opt for more sophisticated tools like Asana or Basecamp.

6. Be available

Be accessible to your virtual assistant so he/she can come to you with any doubts you might have. You should be able to instantly clarify whatever is unclear. If video is the preferred mode of communication, make that clear but there are other feasible tools like Slack that makes is rather convenient to send and receive messages. It’s surely better than emailing back and forth.

7. Use time-tracking software

Be on the top of things by utilizing a time-tracking software to see exactly how much time is being dedicated towards work. Most tools these days show you all the details you need to know and even capture screenshots for you if you so desire. 

Learning to let go

While you will be toiling to build your business from scratch, you will surely struggle to let go at the time of hiring a personal virtual assistant. You need to appreciate your newfound power to delegate. There are a few ways in which you can accomplish this.

1. Realize you don’t need to control everything

A great way to stop being involved with everything that requires your personal touch is to start letting go of the activities that least interest you. Once you see how much easier this makes your life, start thinking about the other parts of your business that you can contribute to. 

2. Accept that your business is bigger than you

It is true that you were the vision but your startup has now grown much bigger than that idea. By now, you know that it is beyond your capabilities to do everything by yourself. Even though you might not know everything, it is okay to seek assistance in running your business. 

3. Embrace the opportunity for new viewpoints

The one way that working by yourself just doesn’t help is when you need new ideas. Innovation is rich and diverse when multiple participants are involved in the creative process. Hiring virtual assistants from different backgrounds to support your business could significantly improve problem solving, enhance your offerings and streamline processes. 

4. Trust your virtual assistant

Last but not the least, the above are all going to be possible only if you actually trust your virtual assistant to perform high quality and be professional. This may mean that you might have to pay a little bit of a premium, especially if you’re looking for skilled tasks. 

Also Read: How to Make Your Telecom Biz More Convenient for Customers

From Founder to CEO

When you learn how to delegate, you transition from being the founder of your startup to the CEO of a small business. You will run into times when the processes seem questionable and there may be a few hiccups; you may even want to take back what you’ve delegated. However, if you’re committed to building a successful company, it is always better to figure out where you are going wrong and learn not repeat those same mistakes. 

Even if you’re not lucky, with trial and error, you will manage to improve the process of working with your VA as you continue to fine tune all your other business activities. Some time in the future, you will actually marvel at how you ever managed without a virtual assistant in the first place. 

Hire a virtual assistant now and start delegating. It’s time to connect with virtual assistant companies in India and take your business to the next level. 

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