NEED ASSISTANCE? GO VIRTUAL
Step One of Delegating to a Virtual Assistant: Relinquishing Control of Your Calendar
There comes a tipping point for every entrepreneur when there are simply not enough hours in the day, and they are drowning in a sea of post-it reminders and an ever growing to do list. This is a pivotal time for a business owner to start delegating… and why God created virtual assistants.
Virtual assistants can take over a variety of projects ranging from newsletter distribution and website updates to calendar management and client services. If you are contemplating hiring a virtual assistant but don’t know where to start, I suggest delegating the task of day to day scheduling. This is a great way to test the waters with your new virtual team member.
It is easy to discount how much of a time suck scheduling is until you stop doing it yourself. As a virtual assistant, I know the concerns business owners have when it comes to letting go of their calendar and client correspondence. However, once they commit, it unlocks the freedom to truly focus on the vital activities needed to grow their business.
Here are the most common questions I receive from all of those controlling business owners in regard to someone else virtually managing their calendar:
1. How will a virtual assistant have access to my calendar?
If your business is based online you know how many digital sharing tools that exist. Personally, I have had great results with Google Calendar and Central Desktop. These programs allow you AND your virtual assistant to update and edit your calendar, which will sync real-time, so nothing slips through the cracks.
2. How will a virtual assistant know what times to book my appointments?
This does require a bit of planning initially as you will need to map out certain times that you are available for both business and personal appointments. For example, I have a client who owns an online branding consulting business. She speaks with clients during the following times:
Wednesdays: 10:00AM, 1:00PM and 4:00PM
Thursdays: 10:00AM, 1:00PM and 4:00PM
Her virtual assistant never has to question when to book a client because those designated time slots are for client meetings only. The assistant is then free to book personal meetings on Mondays and Fridays between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
Also, if you know you need a day off and don’t want anything scheduled, mark “No Appointments” from 8 AM to 6 PM on your calendar. This will inform your virtual assistant that you are not taking appointments that day.
3. I am concerned that my virtual assistant may not always act professionally and I am nervous about her representing me via email and telephone.
First and foremost, you need to thoroughly interview your virtual assistant before you hire them and ask for references. You will more than likely not be able to hold the interview in-person so you need to ask well thought out questions and speak with others that have worked with her.
I also suggest writing an email template for your virtual assistant as a guide for them when contacting your clients and colleagues. Providing the structure, general verbiage, and correct email signature will minimize any unprofessionalism or brand inconsistencies.
Thanks to guest blogger Elizabeth Hardig (that’s her fabulous face up top). Elizabeth is the founder of Virtual Visibility Inc. is a Certified Ecommerce Virtual Assistant Specialist ™ and WordPress website developer. She supports small-business owners in growing their online presence to help them reach a higher level of success. To find out more information on Elizabeth Hardig and Virtual Visibility Inc. services, please visit www.virtualvisibilityinc.com. And by the way, if you’re looking for a virtual assistant to take over your scheduling? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell her I sent you.