How to best use a Virtual Assistant

How to best use a Virtual Assistant

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Considering hiring someone to help with your business? Interested in finding out how to best use a virtual assistant? How you work with a Virtual Assistant depends on the type of VA you choose to work with and how experienced, knowledgeable, resourceful, and intelligent they are.

We advise 7 simple things to help you make the most of your VA:

  1. Establish your workflow early
  2. In the beginning, try different tasks to gauge your VAs strengths and weaknesses
  3. Give very detailed instructions
  4. Communicate using the appropriate tools
  5. When you assign a task, ask the VA to verify they understand the task
  6. Check in on the task about 10-20% of the way in
  7. Allocate two or three times more time for the task than you would take, until they get used to it

The above information is aimed at those who use a VA for one-off tasks.

Much like anything in life, you get back what you put in … or at least, this is what we all hope for.

Invest your time explaining the problems in your business and areas which slow you down, bog you down or otherwise cause you to become inefficient.  This is why you are looking for a VA isn’t it? Someone to help!

First of all, establish what administrative support is needed and understand how to best use a Virtual Assistant.

Suggested reads for more information:

  1. How a Virtual Assistant Helps Businesses
  2. Jack of all Trades

Are you Efficient at work?

Are you as efficient as you could be?

How to best use a Virtual Assistant

In our experience, each client has a unique set of requirements. Business models differ and as such, we have to adapt to suit your specific needs. However, there are always similarities.

The administration in businesses breaks down into four key areas: 

  1. Clients – client account management and client services support
  2. Marketing – email campaigns, social media, CRM
  3. Business Development – managing customer and supplier relationships
  4. Operations – Develop systems and procedures, improve efficiency and coordinate activities within a company.

If you’re thinking about working with Saunders & Lee, our process is as follows:

Initial Consultation

A face to face meeting is far more beneficial than a telephone conversation. 

Yes, there is an irony. You seek to employ someone for ‘Virtual Services’ yet they want to meet face to face ….

If the VA / Agency you speak to doesn’t want to meet, ask yourself why? Do you know who you will be dealing with, is English their native language, is their mannerism and temperament suitable for the type of clients they will be dealing with on your behalf and could they adapt to suit your specific set of requirements?

Saunders & Lee like to meet face to face. We ask lots of questions to get a proper understanding of your business and it’s needs. In our experience, this just isn’t as effective with a remote phone / video conference.

Investigate, Analyse & Propose

We aim to identify numerous factors about your business and what you seek from us, to improve it.

Some of the typical questions we ask:

  • Do you use a CRM, if so, which one?
  • Which Marketing solutions are in place and do you need assistance?
  • Which Finance Software do you use?
  • Do you run a Project Management, if so, which one?
  • Which e-mail systems do you use
  • How do you manage clients and projects

If we are to become a ‘Virtual Extension’ of your business, we need to learn about it in order to fully support it. 

Discussion Points

  • How you feel about technology?
  • What software do you like?
  • What software do you struggle with?
  • Do you suffer with time loss due to data re-entry?
  • Do you use any SaaS Services to streamline data flow?

Saunders & Lee like to identify ways to streamline data. SaaS (Software as a Service) is an area we promote, to ensure you are as efficient as possible in your day to day work.

Slowly but surely

We don’t implement changes immediately. This would be unproductive. We learn, adapt and over time identify areas of your business which might benefit from change. 

Remember, we work with many clients. We have access to numerous working protocols, practises and software solutions.

Identify your Goals

Saunders & Lee needs to discuss, in person, where you see the business going and discuss:

  • Your goals and aims
  • What you’d like to achieve
  • What challenges you face

Together, in a face to face meeting, we can identify the specific areas you need help with.


Once Saunders & Lee have all the information, a proposal can be written.

We will propose a solution which aims to solve the problems you face and support you and your business.

Our proposal will offer suggestions to streamline and automation, to make your business much more efficient. 

What makes this approach different?

The traditional VA focus on tasks. Saunders & Lee are different as they aim to solve, improve and streamline processes, not single tasks.

The magic isn’t in the task, it’s in the ongoing relationship.

If you have any questions or would like to get the ball rolling, please get in touch on 01223 803666