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A big part of working with a VA is managing expectations and clarifying tasks and objectives. For this reason, we cannot stress enough the importance of communication between you and your VA. We recommend scheduling a 20-minute catch-up call once a week. If you come to think about it, what is 20 minutes? It might be a third of one lunch break or the commute to your office, in other words a fraction of your day, once a week.

When working with a virtual assistant, planning on both parties’ side is key. For example, while she might be your only Virtual Assistant, you are most likely not her only client. She needs sufficient time to plan her schedule around many tasks and deadlines – all equally important and equally urgent in the eyes of the business owner. You, on the other hand, need things done quickly and efficiently. You schedule is tight and lead times short.

Your virtual assistant won’t know these things if you don’t establish a clear line of communication with her. The best part is that it only needs to happen once a week, for twenty minutes. Of course, other forms of communication during the week is not ruled out. The point we’d like to drive home is that if you have planned the tasks to delegate and are able to convey them to your VA once a week in a concise manner, she has time to plan them into her schedule and prioritise what is most urgent to you.

Considering that she isn’t necessarily in your office and sends work through digitally, you can also use this time to give feedback. Neither of you are a mind reader and regular, constructive feedback helps your VA to better understand your expectations and whether she is on track with a task or not. If not, it allows her to make iterations as soon as possible and deliver a piece of work that aligns with your objectives. Furthermore, should there arise a problem or hiccup of some sort, regular interaction with your Virtual Assistant will help you to straighten out the issue and continue with the work at hand.

As a final nudge, remember that so many things can be done virtually these days. Apart from a weekly check-in make use of web-based tools that help you and your VA keep track of scheduled tasks, deadlines, progress reports etc. with a once-over glance so that your 20-minute catch-up is as effective and productive as it can be. (Why not let your VA source them and present you with a summary of the best ones? It will be an asset to your business and relationship with your VA.)