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10 Tips to maximise your relationship with a virtual assistant

I get asked a lot how to achieve the best results from a assistant.  Here are my top tips:

Like all relationships, it will take a bit of time to get to know your virtual support and visa versa.  Here are my top tips to maximise your relationship from this start.

1) Be clear with your instructions.

You can never be too detailed in your guidance (the more detail you give, the more likely that your assistant will be able to deliver exactly what you want, how you want). 

2) Do not make any assumptions.

It’s likely that your assistant has a lot of experience however they cannot know know your individual preferences from the start. Please do not assume that they will know exactly how you like things done; time taken explaining is time well spent. 

3) Decide which communication platforms work best for you.

There is no right or wrong answer: WhatsApp, email, slack the list goes on. Communication is the key to making sure your VA is working efficiently and you are getting what you paid for – try a few and see what works easiest for you.

4) Embrace technology.

When working virtually technology is your best friend.  Here are a few we love.  However, this is our favourite when working virtually:

LOOM: Screen recording/ instructional videos. By recording a video of what you need, you will find there is no need to repeat yourself.  So much more time efficient than live walk throughs or meetings as your assistant can revisit the video whenever needed. 

5) Communication is key.

Your assistant should keep in contact with you on how she is getting on however progress will be determined by your response time; please remember to keep in touch! 

6) Time tracking.

It’s tempting to avoid time tracking and we embrace it fully at SpareMyTime.  You’d be surprised how many relationships crumble due to lack of transparency.  Your virtual support should be prepared to be transparent with how they are using your time. 

7) Shared folders.

At SpareMyTime we do not save any documents on file for clients. Harsh as this may seem, data protection and document ownership is a large part of GDPR.  We recommend that you create shared drives, folders and files on your co-working software (googledrive, microsoft share point/ one drive are great examples). This will mean that you can retain ownership and allocate access or revoke access at your leisure. Please note that this also means you are the Data Controller. 

8) Access to software.

Should your virtual assistant require access to any software in the cloud (such as shopify/ xero/ travel accounts), make sure they have the correct level of access.  Usually the level of access required is greater than you imagine. By giving your virtual assistant limited access, there is scope for a task to take a lot longer as your assistant will be searching for material that is unavailable to them due to the access settings.  

Sharing access to sites requires a lot of trust, so you may wish to delay tasks that require a high level of access until you are comfortable to do so. 

9) Data protection

You should take Data Protection and security seriously, as will your virtual team.  Your virtual assistant should be professional and you should expect them to be discrete with your information.

10) Transparency

It’s worth asking your virtual assistant to let you know when they plan to work on your account. By having a structure, both you and your virtual assistant can plan effectively and will know when to expect action. 


If you have any queries please do get in touch!  We are here to help and are delighted to lend our support and insight however we can to ensure you get the best out of your relationship with SpareMyTime. 

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