Previously, I have written about signs that it might be time to scale up your business (5 Signs It’s Time to Scale Up Your Small Business). Once you’ve made the decision to scale up and are ready to hire more help, there are a few things to consider to allow the most success for both your business and your new hire.
Many small businesses choose to hire a virtual assistant rather than a salaried employee.
What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)? A VA is generally self-employed and provides professional, administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office. In short, a virtual assistant can help elevate things to the next level for you and your business.
Bringing on new team members is always a bit daunting. Mistakes can happen and skills need to be learned. But, that is how to truly scale up, by creating a great team. So, how do you prepare your business for an incoming VA? Here are 4 steps to implement or consider.
- Document everything and create Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)!!
When I say document everything, I mean document everything. Write down each task you do step-by-step and add them to your company manual or SOP. You can even make short videos explaining these tasks (we use Loom for this). Heck, you can have your new VA help with this!
- Consider what you want to outsource? What can you delegate?
Start with the easiest tasks you can delegate. It takes time to train, so start small. You should focus on the most important things to your business, and try to delegate the rest. There are a considerable number of tasks VA’s can do, even just starting out. Depending on what you do, of course, some options that a VA can do right away are taking calls, managing emails, and customer service. With a little guidance, VA’s can take over marketing and social media, web design and maintenance, content creation, and tons more. The list is really endless, you just need to be clear on what you want them to do and what you don’t want to do.
- Think about ‘what are my expectations and how is the best way to communicate?’
Setting up your expectations from the beginning is part of any successful working relationship. Decide if you want your VA to be available a certain amount of hours per week and what those hours could look like. Do you need them to be available to handle incoming calls from 9am – 11am EST? Communicate those criteria clearly. Determine which tasks take priority over others and relay that. If you have maintenance tasks or recurring tasks, set those expectations as well.
Speaking of communication, determine what will be the best way to keep in touch with your new VA. Decide on your preferred form of communication, along with your work hours, your availability to respond to emails, attend meetings or take phone calls. Are there other people on your team that should be included in all, or some communications? Decide on who these people are and make them aware so that they are not caught off guard by an email from your virtual assistant.
- And lastly, consider what resources will my VA need to be successful.
Your VA undoubtedly comes equipped with many tools and resources. Some of these may or may not work best with you and your business. Whatever tools and resources you are already using, make sure your VA has a list of them and relevant log-in information. Oftentimes you may have a task and you don’t have the tools yet. Your VA can help with that!
With any new hire, there is prep work involved. But, if you can get some things in place before you onboard your new VA, things will be much more streamlined. Once you establish tasks, expectations, communication, and resource needs you will be on your way to upscaling your business!
Need help with SOP’s? How about any of the services listed above? Please click here to set up a Free Discovery Call.