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If you dream of a workflow that is as optimised as the most successful companies out there, you are in the right place.

We are continuing with a 4-week challenge to get the workflow between you and your VA as productive as possible. Ensuring you achieve results faster.

Below is the process we are following. Each week we elaborate on the topic and provide all the steps you need to complete the challenge. The challenge doesn’t lay in what needs completing but rather in setting aside the time to do it.

  • Week 1: Streamline your Communication and Increase your Returns
  • Week 2: Define your Priorities and Ensure your VA does Work that Makes you Happy
  • Week 3: Hand over your Calendar and Create the Pause you Need
  • Week 4: Hand over your Inbox and get only essential e-mails. Nothing Else.

Week 2: Ensure your VA does Work that Makes you Happy

How do you ensure your VA does work that makes you happy? How do you ensure the way they operate is how you would have? If your VA is new (or you are new to having a VA,) how do you keep the time between onboarding and topflight as short as possible?

The key lies in information. The more information you give your VA, the more you empower them to do work and make decisions that you like. It is just as important to relay the ‘why’ behind a task as it is to provide the task. If your VA knows your goals and plans, they’ll have the necessary context to go above and beyond. They can become service-orientated leaders in your team.

As mentioned in week 1, when it comes to communication, over-communicating is always better than making assumptions and will result in increased work performance and a happier working relationship. So, set up a meeting, start with general information and then move over to specific projects.

General:

  • Service Providers to Business: Who are your accountants, bookkeepers, lawyers, social media managers, marketing agencies?
  • Accounts: Where does the business hold accounts, and what are the details? Who is authorised to access them?
  • Yourself: What are your full contact details, emergency contacts, medical conditions, and dietary preferences?
  • Meetings: Provide your types of meetings and include the preferred locations, times, catering information and/or technological requirements for each. E.g.:
    • Client Pitches: Our offices, as per calendar, coffee station with 3 snacks, projector, my laptop and charger, basic stationery
    • Client follow-up Meetings: restaurant of client’s choice, Wi-Fi required
    • Monthly Board Meetings: Boardroom, 1st Monday of the month at 10:00, coffee station, arrange lunch menu with 3 options, set up projector, my laptop and charger, basic stationery
  • Travel: What is your passport information? Where do you prefer to sit during flights? What are your preferences for car rentals and accommodation?
  • To the point that your VA performs personal admin, provide details of you and your family. E.g.:
    • Your spouse’s name, birthday, anniversary, contact info, assistant, gift preferences
    • Your children’s names, birthdays, school, nanny
    • Expiry dates of your passports, car and driver’s licences, to renew in time
    • Who is your hairstylist, domestic worker, garden services, vet, car mechanic, optometrist, dentist, doctor?
  • How do you prefer to communicate, and what are the expected response times?
  • Discuss discretionary limits where relevant.  E.g., may they give a client discount, if necessary, of up to 10% without checking with you? Can they send flowers to staff having birthdays/operations/births up to R650 without clearing it with you?
  • Does your VA have the contact information for the key players in your business?

Specific or Project Based:

It’s sometimes hard to know where to start, but we’d like to offer the following steps:

  1. Start by doing a brain dump of everything that needs to get done
  2. Divide the items into two lists: a Quick-Wins List and a Long-Term List

The Quick-Wins list is 5 -10 things that must happen in the next few weeks.

E.g., confirming meetings with clients, editing a presentation, booking accommodation for a business trip and getting the books up to date.

They are quick, relatively easy tasks that help your VA gain momentum and learn about working with you.

The Long-Term list is for projects coming along further down the road.

E.g., compiling everything needed for your tax returns, working through your old e-mails, touching base with long-term clients and arranging office functions.

This list will give your VA work to do in those weeks when you don’t have time to give her other work and ensures you are constantly moving ahead, even when you’re not in the office!

Not everything your VA does will be perfect all the time, but with ongoing input, good communication and a clear vision, they will help you achieve your results faster.