Building a team of virtual assistants is one of the best business decisions I ever made.
I was tired of the high costs associated with the traditional W2 employees and all of the hassle, heartache, and expenses that came with them. So, I did something about it. The following information is there to help you understand how to best build a team of virtual assistants and give you insight into how you should go about working with a VA.
Done right now only will it save you a ton of money (I was able to reduce my overhead expenses by ~61% because I embraced VAs) but it will propel your business to the next level.
The idea of working with virtual assistants has grown substantially in popularity over the last year, and with it the awareness around being able to run an entire business virtually. It was not always this way – the pandemic accelerated our adoption of working remotely.
I have been a protagonist of the virtual approach for years and, as a result, have much experience when it comes to working with a virtual team; I have ironed out the creases, so to speak.
As a virtual financial advisor, I have been through and tried it all, running my practice remotely for the past eight years – so here are the best practices and tips for building a successful working relationship between you and your VA.
Be Realistic About Their Workload
One of the biggest mistakes financial advisors make when hiring a VA is expecting them to handle a permanent, full-time employees’ workload. VA’s usually charge per hour or task.
My advice is to be realistic about how much your VA can take on in terms of how many hours they will be working for you a month. Remember they are working for multiple clients, so be upfront with them and allow them to quote you, or at least be transparent about how much they can handle.
If you are paying them for ten hours a month, then do not expect more than that. If you do have more work for them, then you will have to pay for additional hours. They are part-time; remember that.
Train Them Thoroughly
Another aspect that financial advisors tend to overlook is the training of their virtual assistants. Yes, you will be able to find the right fit for your company in terms of experience, but that does not necessarily mean that the VA will be able to come in and be thrown in the deep end straight away.
It is essential to train them on your precise processes and allow them the time to get up to speed with your approach and methods of conducting business.
Do not Micromanage Them
VA’s are used to working alone, remotely, and you must give them the space to do so. Once they have a thorough understanding of your business, provide them with the responsibility; a sense of ownership. Brief them properly and let them run with it. That is the beauty of hiring virtual employees. They are self-starters by nature. This can be a massive asset to your business if managed properly – giving you the time to focus on what is important without having to baby them tirelessly.
Setup the Proper Infrastructure for Communication and Delegation when working with a VA
There is an overabundance of free tools available online for you to work seamlessly with your virtual assistant. Suppose you are willing to pay a subscription fee. In that case, there is also Office 365, which is the ultimate means for virtual collaboration, connection, and communication. You can quite smoothly run your entire financial planning practice using 365, Trello, or Asana (a personal favorite of mine).
There are Skype, Zoom, FreeConferenceCall, and Microsoft Teams for communication, which allows you to have one-on-one calls or even virtual stand-ups with your whole workforce.
So, be sure to do your research and pick the applications which are best suited to your service offering. Your virtual assistant would’ve probably have used most of them, so that should be an issue. Having the proper communication and task delegation infrastructure is critical to building successful relationships with your VA or virtual team.
Empower Them to Buy into The Business
Last but not least, showcase your ‘why.’ As with any hire, you need to communicate to them why working with you is important and beneficial.
Make sure they understand your “why”. Make sure they jive with your vibe. Make sure you like each other. Do not make them think you are always looking over their shoulder. Empower them to be their best, let them know it is OK to make mistakes, and they will want to continue working with you. They will emotionally invest in what you do.
In my virtual advisor system called Conneqtor, which is designed to equip you with all the tools and understanding necessary to run a successful virtual financial planning practice, I specifically teach on how to build a virtual team.
No matter your tenure as an advisor it is an almost certainty that you can save money and grow faster by embracing virtual assistants. Mine have been with me for years and I consider them family. They have my back, get things done, and are amazing people. Done right, having a virtual team will be a game changer for your business.
Have questions? Conneqt with me on LinkedIn and ask away!