Your Virtual Assistant is Your Partner

With Melanie Haynes

To run a successful business, one must adapt to the constantly changing demands of the market and explore ways to effectively streamline processes to improve workflow. Virtual assistants have gained much popularity in this regard.

A virtual assistant (VA) is a highly-skilled, independent entrepreneur or professional who uses phone and internet based technology to provide services to clients. But more than just providing assistance, VAs create a partnership. They do more than just answer emails and phone calls. They are skilled enough to know and identify problems you may not know exist and offer the right solutions.

Melanie Haynes is a virtual assistant and entrepreneur who has been a go-to partner for pet business owners. In a recent talk, she discussed the advantages of virtual assistance and provided valuable insights into what it was like to have an extra set of hands to run the backend of your business.

Clients assume that hiring a virtual assistant means hiring an employee, but that can’t be further from the truth. Virtual assistants are entrepreneurs who work on their time, have skills that make them efficient, and become partners who are willing to give the right advice when necessary.

In order for a client-VA partnership to work, trust has to be established first. To successfully delegate a task means to let go completely and believe that your virtual assistant is capable of handling the job.

Trust isn’t formed overnight. It’s always a process.

You don’t always find the right person right away. Sometimes, it’s a hit or miss. But you have to get started eventually.

One way to gauge a person’s trustworthiness is during the interview process. If you encounter communication issues as early as the interview, then this partnership may not be right for you. Trust your gut. Carefully assess the virtual assistant’s personality and work ethic. Skills are definitely important but these can be taught. And attitude is something that is hard to teach.

When you find someone who fits all of your criteria, then you’re ready to form a partnership. Work with someone who can give you constructive feedback, provide advice, and—most importantly—make life easier for you.

To summarize what Melanie discussed, here are some important concepts you may want to jot down:

  • Let go of the common misconceptions about virtual assistants

  • Weigh the pros and cons of hiring a virtual assistant

  • Work with a virtual assistant that you can trust

  • Set your expectations

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