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3 Highly Effective Ways To Train Your Virtual Assistant for Success

The success, or otherwise, of hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) often comes down to your VA handling the tasks you delegate to them, in the way that you want them to.

This is where training your VA is important, particularly for any technology or software that you use.

While your VA will be very capable of carrying out the general secretarial services, learning how you work is quite a different thing. You may use the same software as another business, but how you use it can be unique to your business.

An example of this could be using a CRM. Your VA may be used to using several different ones, e.g. HubspotLess AnnoyingSalesforce etc. But what if youโ€™re using 17hats, which theyโ€™ve never used before? They’ll now need to learn about it (weโ€™d never used 17hats before working with a client who does!).

A VA can usually familiarise themselves with different software, itโ€™s part of their job. But itโ€™s your responsibility to show them how you use it and what you want from it. I emphasise you here because youโ€™re hiring a Virtual Assistant for your benefit

Think of it this way. Youโ€™re hiring virtual assistant services to create the time for you to carry out more client focused activities. So itโ€™s got to be worth investing time initially to help set your VA up for success. And the more successful they are, the more you can focus on the activities that will grow your business.

So how do you train your Virtual Assistant?

There are many ways but here are three that are highly effective:

1. Train them yourself

Set aside specific time when your VA joins you to train them how you work. Go through how you use the systems / software in your business. Using Zoom, Teams, or similar, itโ€™s easy to share screens so they can see exactly what you do. Your VA can also record this virtual meeting to refer back to as they get used to working for you.

2. Have a training session with the software provider

Weโ€™ve done this where our client has arranged an online training session between the three of us. The client, Virtual Assistant and software provider.

The advantage of this is weโ€™re being trained by people who are the experts about their software. So, both you and your VA can ask questions and learn the best way to utilise the software for your business. By discussing how you work, and what information you want your VA to provide, the software provider can suggest the best way to achieve this.

A bonus is that if your VA asks a difficult question, youโ€™re not embarrassed by not knowing the answer!

3. Provide your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or step-by-step processes

Having your own SOPs is worthwhile for a few reasons:

Whenever someone new starts working for your business, either employed or contracted, having your own SOPs, or step-by-step processes is an easy way for them to become fully trained in your business. Of course, theyโ€™re bound to have some questions, but these are more likely to be about specific points rather than generally trying to understand how you work.

It also ensures everyone is following a consistent process for your business.

SOPs can be in the form of a written document or a series of videos.

If you donโ€™t have any SOPs, or itโ€™s on your to-do list but way down in the list of priorities, one of the first tasks you can ask your VA to do is to create SOPs as they go through the training. There are three benefits to this:

    1. Your VA will learn your systems more thoroughly by writing them out
    2. Itโ€™s time efficient, particularly if you know it really needs to be done anyway
    3. The induction process for any new people joining your business will be a lot quicker, particularly if your Virtual Assistant leaves you and moves onto something else in the future!

Training Your Virtual Assistant

There really are no downsides to training your VA, while the upsides can be pretty significant to a successful working relationship, which can include:

    • They get up to speed far quicker, rather than having to work things out through trial and error
    • Training helps develop your working relationship faster
    • Your VA has a much better understanding of your business, enabling them to complete their tasks more quickly.ย 
    • They can identify more efficient or better ways of doing things. After all, they will come to you with their own experiences
    • By taking the time and interest to train them, they will be more loyal to you and more invested in your business

Of course, you could always point them in the direction of generic online training, videos, webinars etc. But thatโ€™s not as personal as doing it yourself, or training together with a third party (e.g. software provider), or via procedures directly related to your business.ย 

However you train your new Virtual Assistant, look at it as an investment in your business. A good, loyal VA who is invested in your business can provide invaluable support for many years to come.ย 

The alternative is youโ€™re not getting the results you wanted, they are not enjoying the work and one of you ends up firing the other after a few months. Youโ€™re now back at square one, doing your own admin again!

I am guessing your business is a long-term venture, so why not invest for the future?

Allen Wooding

Allen Wooding, co-founder of award winning Virtual Assistant company Core PA Services, helps business owners focus 100% on their key revenue generating activities, by handling the routine business tasks that often overwhelm small businesses. If youโ€™re drowning in admin and have no idea how to get this routine work done, download our free guide, โ€œ๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ง๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐—ฆ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ข๐˜‚๐˜๐˜€๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฉ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—”๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜โ€. This includes our simple 5-step exercise to help you identify which tasks to outsource first.

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