A good virtual assistant is an amazing help to your online business and can be the difference between stagnant profits and huge growth. Many entrepreneurs 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.
Before you start pointing fingers or simply discontinue services “out of the blue,” evaluate the issues. Look to see who owns the problem and how it can be resolved then schedule an appointment to speak with your virtual assistant. Let her know in advance what the purpose of the conversation is and ask her to go through the same evaluation of the issue you did before the call.
Common Problems and What You Can Do About Them
Your Virtual Assistant Is Not Meeting Deadlines
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If your virtual assistant does great work but doesn’t meet deadlines, evaluate why.
Who owns this problem?
- Is your VA consistently over-promising?
- Are you setting reasonable deadlines? Or constantly need a task done at the 12th hour?
- Are you communicating resources, deliverables, and deadlines sufficiently?
- Does your VA always have a personal excuse for not delivering?
How to resolve the issue.
A good practice is discussing projects with your VA well in advance. Set the goals, milestones, and deadlines together. An experienced VA will be able to tell you if your expectations are reasonable and/or provide solutions.
Be sure you are providing the resources she needs to meet the deadlines. For example, if she doesn’t have the electronic copy of your ebook that needs to be delivered in your product launch she will not be able to set up the delivery funnel. If your VA is proactive, she should inform what she needs well before the deadline.
A professional virtual assistant is a business owner just as you are. As such she should not have personal excuses for not delivering what she has promised except in emergency situations. This is actually one of my pet peeves and I consider it totally unacceptable.
Is There a Communication Breakdown with Your Virtual Assistant?
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Evaluate who owns this problem,
- Is your VA not responding to your email, calls, etc?
- Does she not understand your direction, priorities, etc?
- Do YOU not reply to your VA promptly?
- Are you not communicating the big picture?
How to resolve the issue.
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. Definitely ask your virtual assistant for her preferred method. This is something I ask potential clients in our first conversation. If your preferred method s is different and neither of you is flexible, you may not be a good match.
It may help to schedule regular meetings via phone or a system such as Zoom. Be sure you both commit to this time. It’s not fair to either of you to hold a space on your schedule only to have the other be a no show.
No response is not acceptable. Responding to communication is just respect for a fellow professional. An unreasonably delayed response can delay progress. If there is a question regarding a project, work cannot move ahead unless everyone involved responds promptly to requests and questions.
After the conversation
Did your virtual assistant come to the conversation with possible solutions? Was her attitude positive and did she seem willing to work on a solution to continue your relationship? How do you feel? Are there changes you need to make and are you willing and able to do it?
It’s important to remember that not every entrepreneur and virtual assistant will be a good match. The relationship is a partnership and if you are too far apart in style it won’t work. If this is the case, note what you learned and move forward on finding another VA who may work out better. If you are a VA reading this, the same rule applies! Not every client is a good match for you. Know when to move on.