How To Outsource Your Work And Make The Most Of Virtual Assistants

How To Outsource Your Work And Make The Most Of Virtual Assistants

Thinking of Hiring a Virtual Assistant?


Outsourcing of personal services isn’t as popular as it was two years ago. With virtual assistant companies popping up left and right, potential assistants are no longer just a special work accessory; rather, they are now a vital, commonplace part of the business. It’s now uncommon to find a small design firm without a personal outsourcing strategy, which was once a quirky but effective tool for the digital age.
Despite its growing popularity, personal outsourcing is unquestionably not a simple or secure process. Virtual assistants have a bad reputation for quitting at any time, leaving employers with unfinished business. While thousands of people use personal outsourcing to streamline their workdays, many discover it has the exact opposite effect.

With the right staffing strategy on your side, managing your virtual assistant(s) doesn’t have to be a difficult task. No matter how big or small your team is, if you follow these eight suggestions, your outsourcing efforts will become noticeably more effective, efficient, and worthwhile.

  1. You Should Never Depend on One Service Provider

    Most people only need one full-time outsourced employee to handle additional work and complete basic tasks. No matter what, it’s critical to have a backup strategy in place, especially if your work is subject to strict deadlines and “complete by” dates. Online assistants are notorious for vanishing at the worst possible times, especially if they are contacted through a website that facilitates semi-anonymous contract bidding.

Therefore, be prepared with a backup provider in case of a weak email connection or by switching between providers for various tasks and projects. By spreading out your workload among several assistants, you’ll be less vulnerable to the consequences of stalled projects and disappearances that remain a mystery. Create a database of potential full-time assistants using Elance or another outsourcing platform.

  1. Gradually increase the responsibilities of your assistants

An excellent article on the psychological challenges associated with personal outsourcing appeared in 43 Folders three years ago. Unsurprisingly, the trust issue is one of the most frequent barriers to outsourcing simple tasks. People are generally dubious that a low-cost employee can handle their workload successfully. The simple answer to this problem is rarely implemented, largely because people are afraid to outsource anything at all. You’ll end up with a small stable of capable, reliable remote workers if you ease your assistants into the position by gradually raising the importance of tasks submitted.

For instance, you might begin by doing straightforward tasks like making an appointment, looking for a hotel, or finding a piece of software. You can determine who among your employees is qualified for the position and who isn’t by giving them all the same task. You can put together a team of assistants who have been stress-tested and are ready to take on the work you need to be done with just a week of testing and a small budget.

  1. Order Your Tasks by Priority

It can be tempting to give your assistants a long list of tasks to complete and ask them to get back to you at the end of the month so you can move on to the next project chapter. This approach may be effective with long-term workers and seasoned providers, but it probably won’t work well with recent hires. Without guidance, mistakes are more obvious, and reduced communication makes it much more difficult to correct mistakes and specify the kind of work you need done.

Work with new hires on a daily basis, giving them new assignments and giving them feedback once they’re finished. You’ll be able to concentrate on efficiency and eliminate errors before they become a liability by breaking down your major projects into smaller action-related groups. Begin by asking assistants for a daily report on progress; as kinks are worked out, extend the reporting period.

  1. Be Particular and Detailed in Your Task Assignments

A two-seat compact car that is conveniently located fifty miles away in New Jersey may be provided if you ask an assistant to rent a car in New York. You obviously have no use for that; all you wanted was a family van that could be picked up at the airport. Online projects can easily go wrong when crucial details are missed, but the damage is undoubtedly greater when applied to offline tasks.

Request to have a task carried out in accordance with specific instructions as opposed to asking your assistants to finish it for you. Give vague instructions, and you’ll get work that’s just as inaccurate. Although giving more specific instructions may initially appear to be counterproductive, doing so will enable your assistants and contracted workers to produce work that is more accurate and efficient.

  1. Unique Emails for Tasks Outsourced

It will be disastrous if you manage your staff using your personal email address. Messages will quickly accumulate with just a few remote assistants, making it nearly impossible to read or reply to correspondence from other contacts. You should keep emails about outsourcing separate from other emails because working together requires a surprising amount of back and forth communication.

Email is the best way to communicate with assistants; the vast majority of available collaboration suites are too bloated and inefficient to be useful for quick, one-off tasks. In addition to improving your ability to focus on important tasks without distraction, setting up a secondary email address or having your current email account automatically sort messages from assistants into a new folder or label will also allow you to automate task recording and create a separate history of communications with your staff.

  1. Do Your Research and Wait

You will receive a flood of applications if you post an advertisement on any well-known assistant website, but the majority of them won’t be very good. It’s not unusual for your initial attempts at personal outsourcing to be met with a dubious set of responses, ranging from spelling errors to nonsensical sentences. Stick with it; finding quality help takes time, so resist the urge to give up. Just as you would when hiring offline staff, give yourself at least a month to look for a long-term online assistant.

Shortening the process might boost output temporarily and speed up the search, but it will invariably cost more in the long run because of missed opportunities and hasty decisions. You’ll find a high-quality hire after spending the first few weeks testing out a number of different assistants; someone who is likely to produce long-term results and lessen your outsourcing stress.

  1. Be courteous and professional.

The relationship between an employer and a virtual assistant resembles that between a client and a freelancer. Remember that this time you’re working on the other side of the transaction, whether you decide to hire assistants on a permanent basis or just hire them on a project-by-project basis. Basically, act like the kind of client that you enjoy working with; your assistants will value it, especially if they collaborate with others.

Make an extra effort to keep work efficient for your assistant if you anticipate working with them for a prolonged period of time. Personal outsourcing seeks to boost your productivity, and despite how strange it may sound, the best way to do so is to make sure that your staff can function effectively as well. Work on a plan with your assistant(s) and put in the time; you’ll save time and increase the amount of work they can finish for you. 

  1. Make Use of Resources and Productivity Tools to Assist You

Have you ever tried outsourcing some of your personal tasks to a third party? Utilize these tools and resources for increased productivity before you make the decision to hire your own online assistant. Doing so will ensure that you go about the process in the most effective manner. The International Virtual Assistants Association provides a directory of qualified virtual assistants in addition to its own code of ethics, information for freelancers, and other resources that make it the ideal resource for hiring purposes.


Thinking of Hiring a Virtual Assistant?

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