In my first two top secret tips, I shared that you really need to understand exactly what your needs are, both related to your business and your personality. These are both important steps in laying the foundation for success working with a virtual assistant. Top Secret Tip #3 is yet another item you should do before you start working with a VA.
Top Secret Tip #3- Think Ahead and Make Preparations
Although you can find a virtual assistant that can pretty much do anything an in-house assistant can do, there are of course unique aspects to working with someone remotely. Taking a few simple steps in advance can help shorten the learning curve period for both yourself and your VA.
- Most virtual assistants and virtual paralegals will prefer to be paid via PayPal. If you don’t have a PayPal account set up, this is the time to take care of that. If you want to avoid depositing money to the account to pay your assistant (which can cause delays in payment) you might want to explore the option of setting up your PayPal account to draw funds from your business checking account when needed. This allows for instantaneous transfer of funds even if you do not keep a balance in your PayPal account. Another option is to use a credit card as a funding source for your PayPal account. You’ll want this to go as smoothly as possible, without needing to tell your assistant that ‘the check is in the mail’ or ‘I need to put funds in my PayPal’ account.
- If the tasks you need your assistant to do are going to require access to your computer remotely, as in the case of working with your e-mail in your Outlook program or inputting information into your database, etc. Now is the time to look into a remote access program or service to use with your assistant. There are several good ones out there like Log Me In or Go To My PC that allow secure login.
- If your assistant is going to be drafting documents and the like, check now to be sure you’ve got templates that you can send them including your letterhead.
- If the work you need done is going to require your virtual assistant to use a specialized software, look the licensing rules and methods of delivery. Will you need to purchase a copy and mail it to your VA or can it be sent to them electronically. Is it required to be on your server? In that case you’ll need that remote access program on a computer that your virtual assistant can log into without disrupting anyone’s workflow.
There is always a learning curve when working with someone new, but anticipating what the unique needs of your virtual assistant might be to complete your tasks will not only make things go smoother, but it will also let your new virtual assistant know that you understand the aspects of working with a virtual assistant.
Stayed Tuned for Tip #4 as we explore the best places to find a virtual assistant and which places you might want to avoid.