You know how they say that ‘a woman’s work is never done’? Well, the same can be said for a virtual assistant. Not only do we manage our coach’s business, but we have our own business to run. Hmmm! So, who do you think helps us? How do you feel about asking for help from your fellow VA companies? If we are to operate from a place of abundance, we need to recognize when our plate is too full.
A common question that we ask as VAs is: What do I do if my coach needs me to do work that I’m not familiar with or like doing?
The best way I have found to overcome this dilemma is to build a strong network or alliances with other VA companies. Your VA company would subcontracts with others to form just the right mix of talent. No longer will you feel alone or frustrated when looking for assistance or answers to unfamiliar situations.
Your business brand is probably built on quality and timeliness. Your clients depend on a high caliber of work from you as well as meeting their hectic deadlines with time to spare.
Well, none of that is going to change when you enlist the aid of subcontractors. If you want these VAs to provide the same high level of work, they need to know exactly what you expect from them and the system you want followed.
You will work better with someone who has a personality and working style similar to yours. It’s not just experience that you are interested in here.
Let any prospects know about how you like to work. Let them know from day one (or interview one) how you handle work with your client. If you provide periodic updates for big projects then any subcontracting VAs need to know that their work will have more than one deadline.
Another valuable resource is your coach. There will be long laundry list of tasks that she wants to accomplish, but not all of those tasks need to have your name attached to them. Your relationship should be built as a collaboration which means working together, rolling up the sleeves, and her helping to get some of the work done. Select the tasks that only she can do – such as writing the content and setting up accounts. You can do the research, but she needs to put the writing together so that her readers can hear her voice.
Once you have established a certain level of trust or rapport with your coach, you can begin to talk about how to get the work done. Don’t let your lack of experience limit how far her journey goes with you at the wheel. This may be the exact reason why she hasn’t moved forward with certain plans. You can put her mind at ease by letting her know that you have a network of support – alliances you can use to plug up the gaps in your expertise. Assure her that all the two of you need to do is prioritize the tasks and determine how soon they need to be done.
You may find it tempting to barter for services, but think about this before doing it. If you charge on an hourly rate and your rates are lower than the one you want to barter with, you may end up doing more work. Most times it just makes better sense to go ahead and foot the bill. If it’s only $50 for one hour of another VA’s time, it’s $50 well spent. No matter how small or large the job may be, it is worth the investment to get you further along than you trying to figure it out by yourself. Discuss the additional cost with your coach to see if she would be willing to pay the bill, and then you can coordinate the entire transaction.
Transparency is good when you want or need to outsource to another professional. The work gets done right the first time and your clients remain happy. That’s the cornerstone of a successful service business.