Now that many of us are working from home, it might just be a perfect opportunity to step back and evaluate our time management, prioritise business objectives, and focus in on what we are good at. Before getting sucked back into wearing every hat, Susan Moore of Moore Business, an award-winning virtual assistance company, reminds us to pause and consider what we could delegate whilst building our personal brands.
The past few months have given many of us the space and time to work on our business, finally get around to completing projects and move to an online business model. Getting clear on our plans for the next year and beyond means we can concentrate on what we’re good at and focus on increasing sales and business growth.
Winning clients and new projects are the lifeblood of any business but also bring added pressure to provide the level of service your clients expect without sacrificing your brand values and integrity.
Now that we’re all working from home, is this the time to grow your team? How could a virtual assistant help build your brand? Virtual assistants (VAs) are used to working remotely and are usually adept at prioritising tasks, managing multiple projects, communicating with stakeholders and adapting to ever changing business needs. How do you go about choosing someone who could be a pivotal hire for your business and building a successful working relationship?
What do you need?
Create an outline of the type of support and skills you need. It’s tempting to recruit people like ourselves but if you’re a creative who prefers looking at the big picture, perhaps you need support from someone who is more analytical and focused on the details.
Who are you?
Share your vision, your purpose and your brand values. Understanding what you’re trying to achieve and who you work with really helps a VA focus on what is most important and come up with ways of helping you achieve your objectives.
What are your brand values?
What do you stand for?
How do you demonstrate your authenticity, professionalism and willingness to go the extra mile?
Communicate your culture
An insight into your personal brand and culture enables a VA to act as an ambassador for your organisation, a valuable asset whether they’re responding to emails, posting on your social media profiles or email marketing. An understanding of your client’s needs and your style of communication and tone of voice sets the bar for best practice. Internally, an open, inclusive and respectful culture encourages your VA to speak up and share their experience with you and your team.
Engage in regular communication
Regular communication – at least once a week – gives both parties the opportunity to keep appraised of new developments, to ask questions and discuss shifting priorities. Agree who is responsible for what and confirm expectations for both parties. Share as much detail as possible early on so that your VA can refer to and update a working ‘How To…’ document. Keep all documents in a shared space. Encourage your VA to communicate any issues in a timely manner so that steps can be taken to remedy any problems swiftly.
Build trust over time by empowering your VA to work on her / his own initiative. Delegation isn’t always easy when you’ve built your business singlehandedly so start with specific tasks or a small project until delegation becomes second nature.
Don’t forget to celebrate!
The most rewarding part of being a VA is seeing your clients’ wins and feeling that you have contributed to their success. Take time out to celebrate and include your VA in the celebrations – a remote coffee (or cocktail) and cake does wonders for team spirit.
Susan and her team of multi-talented VAs combine their tips and tricks for getting things done with their little black book of business contacts so that their clients delegate more and concentrate on what they do best.