Just like in sports, we need to begin with the fundamentals. Once you understand these principles, you can tailor your approach to streamline the process. And this is a process—one that should be followed step by step.
Here are the basic rules of the game:
1. Your virtual workers are people, not a program.
Though communication with your virtual staff takes place via e-mail and web-based audio and/or video chat services like Skype, VAs still deserve the same respect you would give any human being. It’s in your best interest to understand each worker’s communication customs and to be aware of his or her cultural holidays and traditions.
2. Put quality in, get quality out.
The quality of work you receive from virtual employees is proportional to the quality of the instructions they receive. Are your instructions clear and concise? Or are you giving them a jumbled mess of instructions and hoping they can connect the dots?
3. One size does not fit all.
All VAs have strengths and weaknesses, but they may not want to tell you that. They want to please you and will try to figure out ways to do whatever you want. This is a double-edged sword. Take care to match the right VA to each of your needs. We’ll go into this in a lot more detail.
4. Super-VAs don’t exist.
There is no one virtual assistant anywhere on the planet who can handle everything you need help with in your business. Think about it: When your roof is leaking, you don’t ask your electrician to pop around and fix it. You call a roofing expert to come over and do the necessary repairs. This is one of the biggest myths in virtual staffing so I will discuss this in more detail below, but bottom line: hire for the role, not for the task.
Now that you know the rules of the game, you are ready to get to work finding your VA.