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With the advent of apps, smarter digital marketing, and interactive customer service in the last 3 years, most companies needed a fresh look and a more interactive way of engaging their online visitors. Some companies sourced VAs for various tasks. One such task was the obvious one of updating their websites and making them look the part. Companies assumed that the VA will know exactly what to do, and there were no specific instructions given and no requests made in some cases.

What’s the use of writing email to your VA if you have a VA to begin with? Well, the Definition of Done (DOD) depends largely on communication and clarity in giving instruction. Imagine a company whose website accounts to a 150 pages. The contracted assistant without instruction might wing the project and later utter with confidence the word, ‘Done!’ To which you might reply, ‘No, that’s not what I wanted.’ By now you have wasted your money and everybody else’s time.

When looking to bring a VA on board, be prepared to define ‘Done’. Use and trust technology to do exactly what you need done, and this means knowing which online tools to use. Need to buy your client a ‘thank you’ hamper that contains flowers and chocolates, or buy your spouse a gift but you are not able to because you have another meeting to attend?  In moments like these, your VA comes into their own. You can give them access to buying power. Yes, they can make purchases for you with your debit or credit cards without ever knowing your card numbers, passwords or pins. With web-based tools you can control all those time-consuming errands without taking your eyes of the ball, but still be firmly in control. This is just one example of what tools you can empower your VA with. When tasks are clearly defined, the action to be taken will not be the opposite.

“I’m pretty organised myself and was a little nervous about leaving such an important document and task in someone else’s hands, but I was very satisfied with both process and outcome” – Janet R 

The DOD deficit can be easily supplemented with good business vitality:

  1. Know what you want done
  2. Communicate your instructions to your VA clearly
  3. Do not expect magic, be willing to interact with the assistant as the job is being done – This means a change of attitude towards an inbox full of email correspondence. These are now tasks that someone else is doing for you, you are not doing them yourself. Most remote online system will notify you of any changes on your website, document, designs etc.
  4. Know your online tools – You might have to do a bit of research on which tools to use, or you could learn the tools that your VA uses and see if they suite your ways of conducting business.