People sometimes overlook just how valuable and resourceful a virtual assistant can be for your business.
More than likely, they’re the person that you’re going to spend the most time with inside of your business and they are the person with the most versatile set of skills, because while most of your hires are going to be laser focused on their specialty, your VA has to be a jack of all trades.
So if you find a good one, they are going to be the first person you ever hire and the last person to ever leave your company. In fact, you’ll probably end up taking them with you everywhere you go.
Now, there’s an endless list of bits and pieces that a VA usually helps you with inside of your business, but I’m going to focus on three things that I feel people most often overlook, or they just don’t know that a VA can help them with.
#1 Control your time
Note: Before you even think about hiring a virtual assistant to take control of your time, you need to first plan out your ideal week.
One of the first things that you’re going to ask your virtual assistant to help you with is take control of your time, aka take control of your calendar.
Sit down with your virtual assistant and tell them what your priorities are and the things that you want to achieve. Explain the types of things that you should have in your calendar, the types of people you should meet with and the types of activities you should be doing, as well as how much time should be allotted to each one of them.
Once your VA understands that, they will become your time gatekeeper. Anyone who wants time with you will have to go through your assistant to book that time.
Here’s what this is going to do for you.
First of all, it’s going to keep you from getting distracted, it’s going to keep you from doing stuff on a whim and it’s going to keep you accountable.
It also allows you to be in the moment and keep building that momentum so that in time, you’ll become much, much more productive.
Now, just so you know, it may take anywhere from two to six months for the both of you to get used to this change and this rhythm, so you’re going to have to allow yourself and your VA that amount of time to fall into the routine.
#2 Control your inbox
The second thing that your VA should help you with is your inbox.
This is actually also related to the first step. The same way you did with your calendar, you need to tell them what kind of people you want to talk to.
Who are the people who need to reach out to you, what kind of emails are you supposed to see and to respond to?
If you’re like every other business owner I’ve ever met, you probably get a ton of email every day and even though you don’t read it all or respond to it all, it actually takes you no small amount of time to just scan everything, open, assess whether it’s a useful or not useful email, then respond to everything.
The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to actually create a second, secret email address that is only used between you and your virtual assistant.
Everybody is still sending you emails to the same email address that you always use, but you now have a second email address that nobody else knows.
You’re going to teach your VA which emails need your attention and they are going to forward you the emails that you actually need to look at, to your new email address, so every time you need to check your email, you go into that new email address.
By doing this, you already know that only emails that you actually need to look at and require your personal attention are the ones that are in there and the ones that you’re going to see.
Obviously, that’ll enable you to spend a lot less time managing your email, as well as keep things from slipping through the cracks, keep you from missing important emails because they were buried under a ton of newsletters, etc.
Your VA will, in time, learn how to answer specific types of emails as you would, so maybe you won’t even need to answer all emails yourself anymore.
Imagine how much time that is going to save you.
#3 Take your VA on meetings
Tip number three is to take your assistant with you on client meetings.
Take them with you to the types of meetings where tasks tend to get created.
Usually, that’s going to be client meetings for me, because I get down with a client, talk about a project that we have in development, and maybe they give me some edits that I then have to pass over to my teammates, or I need some information from the client.
Imagine how much more productive you would be if there was somebody there, listening to your call and having the confidence that the VA is actually taking notes as you and the person on the other end talk.
You can actually focus on what’s going on in the meetings and not be afraid that you’re going to miss something that you haven’t jotted down and by the end of the meeting, you’re going to forget.
Not only that, but how much time do you spend after the meeting is done, going back through your notes, trying to re-find the context in which the notes were taken, and then having to go into your project management system?
What I want you to do is take advantage of the fact that your assistant is there to help you and that they know you so well and they will do all that hard work for you.
On one hand, it allows you to be a lot more focused and in the moment inside of the meetings and focus on providing value to the person you’re talking to, instead of focusing on taking notes and making sure you don’t miss anything.
On the other hand, it saves you a lot of time on the back end because you don’t have to spend a lot of time after the meeting to do project management and delegation, because your virtual assistant can do all of that for you.
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