The great writer Edith Wharton once said, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
As a business owner, you have that choice to be the candle or the mirror when it comes to working with others. You can be the candle and hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) with the expectation that they do the tasks assigned, and nothing else. Or you can be the mirror that spreads the light, and hire a VA that you can nurture. Let them become a part of your team, and allow them to grow along with you and become an advocate for your business.
Being the mirror that spreads the light is definitely better for your business. Why? Because when you bring a VA into the fold you will make them feel like a member of your team. You will get someone who will not only do a great job but will feel committed to you and your company. You may even find that your VA becomes inspired and goes out of their way to help you in ways that you didn’t expect.
You can gain a long-term commitment with someone that you have a great working relationship with. Plus, you’ll be working with a fellow business owner who understands you and wants to contribute to your success.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But what can you do to help your VA thrive?
Encourage them. Let them know when they are doing a good job. Ask them what their goals are and help them work toward those goals. Be willing to give referrals or help them get other work. Helping your VA build their business, will encourage them to help you build yours.
Communicate and Listen. Be clear on what your expectations are. Tell them when they do something well, and where they could improve. Listen and be open to suggestions. You may find that they come up with ideas that you haven’t considered.
Let them be independent. VA’s are independent contractors and small business owners, like you. Once they have a good idea of what direction they’re going, then let them do their work. Just like you, they appreciate autonomy and are proud of their ability to complete their work independently.
Provide fair compensation. Maybe you don’t have a big budget, but remember that your VA needs an income too. Investing in them will encourage them to stick with you. You may find that by nurturing a long-term working relationship you will save money in the long run. Less turnover means less time you have to spend looking for someone new.
Just remember that a thriving, successful Virtual Assistant will make your business thrive too. Doing your best to support your VA will inspire them to do their best to support you in return. You will reap the benefits when your VA becomes a trusted team member, and advocate for your business. You’ll become the mirror that reflects and spreads the light, and both you and your VA will benefit from it.
Julie Stewart is a Digital Marketing VA with over fifteen years’ experience in marketing for small businesses. Julie helps busy professionals promote their businesses and increase their online presence by coordinating their marketing needs, and assisting them with their websites, social media, email marketing and online content. To learn more about how Julie can help you increase your online presence, visit her website at www.jascreative.com.