Outsourced Assistants: Best Practices for Managing a Virtual (remote) Assistant

September 1, 2023

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Small business owners are constantly seeking ways to boost efficiency and productivity without stretching their budgets - it is, in the end, the secret to crack small business profitability. One of the most effective solutions that has gained immense popularity over the last three years is hiring a virtual (remote) assistant. However, it's not just about hiring one; it's about managing them effectively to reap the benefits. 

In this blog post, we'll delve into the best practices for managing a virtual assistant and explore the provable outcomes, backed by real data, of a well-managed virtual assistant for small business owners.

Before we do, here is a quick recap of how an Assistant can help you (read here the 11 tasks to delegate): 

  • Lead Generation 
  • Customer Support
  • Social media content creation 
  • General Administration 

Best Practices for Managing a Virtual Assistant:

  • Clear Communication: Effective communication is the cornerstone of a successful virtual assistant relationship. Clearly outline your expectations, preferred communication channels, and response times. Regular check-ins via video calls or emails can help bridge the virtual gap.
  • Set Specific Goals: Define clear and measurable goals for your virtual assistant. Whether it's managing emails, scheduling appointments, or social media management, having specific objectives will help both you and your assistant stay on track.
  • Use Project Management Tools: Leverage project management and collaboration tools such as Trello, Asana, or Slack to streamline tasks, deadlines, and project progress. These tools facilitate easy tracking and ensure accountability.
  • Provide Adequate Training: Invest time upfront in training your virtual assistant. Share detailed guidelines, resources, and access to necessary tools and software to empower them to perform their tasks efficiently. Ideally you don’t have to do this if you hire the right specialized assistant service, like OutDo. Where we have numerous specialities already instilled in our team so they can become productive day one in your business. 
  • Trust and Empower: Trust your virtual assistant to handle tasks independently. Empowering them to make decisions within their scope of work can lead to increased productivity and creativity.
  • Regular Feedback: Offer constructive feedback to help your virtual assistant improve. Recognize their achievements and address any challenges promptly. An open dialogue fosters a more collaborative and productive relationship.
  • Time Management: Encourage your virtual assistant to manage their time effectively. Tools like time tracking software can help monitor productivity and identify areas for improvement.

Proven Outcomes of a Well-Managed Virtual Assistant:

  • Cost Savings: Hiring a virtual assistant can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee. According to a study by Bold Business, outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants can result in cost savings of up to 78%.
  • Increased Productivity: Research by Time Doctor reveals that virtual assistants can boost productivity by up to 22%. With routine tasks off your plate, you can focus on core business activities.
  • Time Efficiency: SmallBizGenius reports that business owners save an average of 5 hours per week by delegating tasks to virtual assistants. This reclaimed time can be reinvested in strategic planning and growth.
  • Scalability: Virtual assistants offer flexibility. You can scale their hours or services as your business grows, avoiding the complexities of hiring additional full-time employees.
  • Improved Work-Life Balance: Better balance and reduced stress are significant outcomes. In a survey conducted by FlexJobs, 97% of respondents reported improved work-life balance after hiring a virtual assistant.
  • Business Growth: Managed virtual assistants contribute to business growth. According to Small Business Trends, 89% of small business owners who hire virtual assistants report business growth within the first year.

Conclusion to managing remote Virtual Assistants

So let’s wrap all this up - effectively managing a virtual assistant can yield substantial benefits for small business owners. The statistics highlight the tangible returns on investment, including cost savings, increased productivity, and improved work-life balance. By implementing best practices in communication, goal-setting, and empowerment, you can unlock the full potential of your virtual assistant and drive your business toward greater success.

Want to run through these best practices and see how to improve? Book time on our calendar here or email us at hello@outdoassistant.com 

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