Your are your important to your VA, and your VA is important to you. Since this is inherently a win-win situation, you should be able to build a great and mutually beneficial relationship with your VA.
Here’s some protocol and tips of what to do and what not to do:
- Communicate projects via email, so that there is documentation.
- Be as clear and direct as possible in your instructions.
- Be polite. Please and Thank you is always appreciated.
- Avoid classifying every project as urgent. (everything can’t be urgent, can it?).
- Avoid using All Caps in your subject line or email (minimize exclamation marks too!!!!!)
- Avoid using ASAP as the deadline. Instead request a reasonable concrete time frame, knowing other projects are ahead of yours.
- Plan ahead. Remembering projects are tackled, on a first-served basis, planning ahead is the key to success.
- Trust your VA and ward off the tendency to micro-manage. Trust her area of expertise.
- Respect after hours work/life balance. Do not expect a call back at 9pm or on the weekends.
- If you haven’t received a response to an email within 24 hours, do follow up with a polite email.
- Think projects through and send one compiled email rather than 20 short ones (gets very confusing to keep track!).
- Understand that technology is glitchy . You might think a project should only take half an hour, but it actually takes an hour because of behind the scenes glitchiness. As a rule of thumb, it will take twice as long as you think it will.
- Trust your VA’s integrity. I have never known a VA to overbill. Instead, everyone I know actually under bills. As mentioned above, we always spend more time on projects than clients are aware of.
- Understand whether your VA is an employee or independent contractor, and manage your expectations accordingly. (read previous post)
As you can see, many of these are common sense. However, we all get so caught up in our businesses that we often forget some of the common courtesies that we practice in our personal lives. But, if you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to creating a great working relationship with minimal misunderstandings or frustrations.