What to Do When Your Virtual Assistant Isn’t Working Out

What to Do When Your Virtual Assistant Isn’t Working Out

January 29, 2013

virtualassistant2A good virtual assistant is an amazing help to your online business and can be the difference between stagnant profits and huge growth. Most online businesses can’t survive without them. However, sometimes there are problems that need to be resolved in order for your VA to be the valuable asset you need. Here are a few common problems and what you can do about them.

Not Meeting Deadlines

What if your VA does great work but doesn’t meet deadlines? Stress to them the importance of getting the work done by the due date. If they’re inexpensive, you might consider giving them a little more as incentive. If it’s a challenge to get the work completed on time, pad your deadlines. Ask them to have it done Tuesday when you don’t need it until Thursday.

Another way to handle deadlines is to set up a regular amount of work per week. When you schedule tasks at set intervals, you both get into a routine. For them, it may be easier this way rather than setting a separate timeframe for each task.

Inconsistent or Poor Quality Work

If the work’s quality isn’t up to par, gently but firmly tell them they’re not doing it right. Show them exactly how you want the work done. A great way to do this is to make screenshot videos of you doing it yourself. Even better, share your computer screen through Skype or another VoIP program. Afterwards, ask for their confirmation to make sure they understand. If possible, have them perform the tasks on the screen-share so that you can watch and give feedback immediately.

A good preventative measure is to do a test run when you first hire them to see if they’re capable of following your instructions. Give them just a small portion of the job to do and see how it turns out. Tell them you just need a quick job done and don’t mention anything about long-term work until they’ve proven themselves. This gives you an easy way out.

Communication Breakdown

If your virtual assistant isn’t communicating with you the way you want them to, try another channel of communication. For example, talk through chat instead of email. You might try asking them for a suggestion and being flexible with what they give you. It may help to schedule regular communication times.

Communication is also something that’s good to talk about in your initial contract phase. Tell your new VA that you’re most comfortable using, for example, Skype and ask if they can do that. Make it a condition of hiring them.

Know Your Virtual Assistant

The key to successful outsourcing is to understand your virtual assistants’ strengths and weaknesses. Few people can be good at everything. They may be a great writer but have trouble with project management. They might know how to submit articles to directories but they’re hopeless when it comes to researching blogs for guest posts. If you have a stable of virtual assistants and you know what they do best, you can delegate tasks effectively. You might even be able to give them new projects that you didn’t realize they were capable of when you hired them.