How to Delegate Effectively to Virtual Assistants From Expert Entrepreneurs

How to Delegate Effectively to Virtual Assistants From Expert Entrepreneurs

Effective delegation skills are critical to have in any type of business regardless of industry, product, service or business model.

 

In fact, the art of delegating tasks successfully should be a mandatory part of any business training. It is the one thing that often separates those that win from those that lose when it comes to scaling a business. 

 

Learning how to delegate effectively is one of the most important skills you really need to master if you want to scale a business (or just get that ‘entrepreneurial freedom’ vibe going!).

 

As entrepreneurs, you simply don’t have the time to do all the day-to-day tasks needed to keep the engine of your business moving. Learning how to delegate effectively allows you to free up time to do more of the high-value tasks to grow your business – which is the whole point of hiring a Virtual Assistant.

 

However, one of the misconceptions of hiring a Virtual Assistant is that they are a jack-of-all-trades. Many business owners fall into the trap of the ‘Super VA’ myth. When they hire a virtual assistant they expect them to do everything and get frustrated and confused when they realise that the person has limitations. While some are reluctant to delegate because they fear losing control, others tend to overdo it and neither ever reap the real advantage of delegation.

One of the misconceptions of hiring a VA is that they are a jack-of-all-trades. Click To Tweet

Effective delegation does not mean handing over the keys to your brand new car and hoping for the best, nor does it mean looking over someone’s shoulder and micromanaging constantly.

 

Learning to delegate effectively is a real balancing act between letting go while simultaneously maintaining control. Sounds like an oxymoron but it is the key secret to success in this area.

 

If you nail your ability to delegate, you will see your business soar and attain the entrepreneurial freedom you’ve been looking for.

 

We had the pleasure of interviewing some expert entrepreneurs on the Virtual Success Show Podcast where they shared their tips on delegating effectively.

 

Nathan Chan, Creator & Founder, Foundr Mag

There are a lot of people that are very naïve, they think when they get a virtual assistant or somebody virtually that they can just take all their problems away like waving a magical wand.

 

When it comes to task delegation, what might seem clear to you may not be so clear to someone else because they’re not in your business. Until they’re working with you a long time, people don’t know your style, they don’t know how you think so you have to be extremely specific and allow time.

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on How Nathan Chan Used Virtual Teams to Smash Foundr Magazine Out of the Park. You can also listen below:

How Nathan Chan Used Virtual Teams to Smash Foundr Magazine Out of the Park

by The Virtual Success Show

Siimon Reynolds, One of the World’s Leading High Performance Coaches for CEOs and Entrepreneurs

Getting success with the  delegation of tasks to your virtual assistant boils down to your ability to create your own processes and systems for how your business operates and what this VA is actually going to be doing for you.

 

When your team is virtual, you have to develop processes for checking up on them – whether they’ve actually done the stuff they said they were going to do, how far along are they on their projects, what obstacles are they facing and where they need help. Because developing these processes is not just going to make them a more effective virtual assistant, it’s going to make your business a much better business. This should be done for real world offices and virtual offices but certainly doing it for virtual offices is a great way to improve the smoothness of operations.

When your team is virtual, you have to develop processes for checking up on them. Click To Tweet

 

The people who do really well are those who really focus on their processes and actually having good relationships, developing that rapport with the VA and actually discussing their business vision, the strategy and how those processes link in and what part their VA plays in the whole thing. 

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on Why Siimon Reynolds is Using Virtual Teams for Many Key Functions Within His Highly Successful BusinessYou can also listen below:

Why Siimon Reynolds Is Using Virtual Teams For Many Key Functions Within His Highly Successful Business

by The Virtual Success Show

Annette Lackovic, Australia’s #1 Female Sales Expert

When you’re paying for a staff member, you want to get the most out of them. But often, people make the mistake of treating them like a lemon to be squeezed down to the last drop because they want to get the most out of the time that they have with their VA.

 

You’ve got to have a little bit fun in the day. Have your VA feel that they are appreciated. It’s okay sometimes to have those down times together as well. You’ve got to treat your virtual assistant like they’re sitting in the room with you, at a desk next to you. They are not machines, they are human beings like us. We all need that breather.

 

People don’t realize how pivotal and how important the relationship that you have together is because all the other stuff you kind of teach, but if you don’t gel and if you don’t have that connection with your team at the moment, you’re actually doing yourself and your business a disservice. 

You have to invest time in that relationship, you have to set up times where you talk, have meetings and then you also need time to have a little bit of a joke together and a little bit of a chitchat.

 

Doing this improves your ability to delegate tasks and get the most from your virtual assistant … without burning them out!

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on How Annette Lackovic is Building on Her Success with The Help of Virtual TeamsYou can also listen below:

How Annette Lackovic Is Building On Her Success With The Help Of Virtual Teams

by The Virtual Success Show

Matthew Barby, Global Head of Growth & SEO, Hubspot

The most common mistakes business owners make is expecting just one person to be a jack-of all-trades. Whilst sometimes those people exist and you can find them, the more things that one person is doing the more one-to-one management they need.

 

So, what you’ll end up doing is, instead of delegating out a wide variety of smaller level tasks to a wide variety of people, which a lot of people think, “Well, more people means more management.” You’re actually having to do a lot more quality control. 

 

One of the things that can work much better is, ‘Stop putting all your eggs in one basket”. Take someone who’s highly specialized in one area then dedicate more of your time to just training them around that one specific skill.

 

Then when they become proficient in there you can bring in a couple more people and that person can manage the other people. You’re starting the kind of delegation process where you have virtual teams that are not only being overseen by you but that are being managed by other virtual members. That’s where it’s almost like the ‘teach a man to fish’ situation of spending a lot of time one-on-one creating a manager level person within your virtual teams that then can delegate smaller tasks within the team.

 

When you get to this level you really start to master the art of delegating effectively. 

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on How Matthew Barby is Leveraging Specialist Virtual Teams to Drive Business Growth and Ultimately, Business Success. You can also listen below:

How Matthew Barby is Leveraging Specialist Virtual Teams To Drive Business Growth And Ultimately, Business Success

by The Virtual Success Show

Even when you get someone competent who has the ability to take initiative, you still need to train them. There needs to be a lot of training initially before they can execute successfully.

 

People don’t just get told something once and then that’s ingrained into their memory and then all of a sudden they’re superstars at whatever you just told them. You need to train people. It’s a progressive learning, it will take time and may be a bit of a painful process until they become proficient.

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on How Entrepreneur and Blogging Expert, Yaro Starak, Is Embracing ‘The Laptop Lifestyle’ and How to Break Free From Emails in The ProcessYou can also listen below:

 

How Yaro Starak Is Embracing ‘The Laptop Lifestyle’ and How to Break Free From Emails in the Process

by The Virtual Success Show

Matt Malouf, Managing Director & Head Coach, The Fortune Institute

 

So many relationships between virtual assistants and business owners fail because the owner’s mantra is ‘they can’t do it as good as me, they’ll never do it as well as I can, they can’t do it as fast as I can, they’re making too many mistakes’ and they adopted this limiting belief that no matter how talented the people are, they’ll never do it as well as them. 

 

It’s rubbish!

 

The reality is, the first time you performed the task, you couldn’t do it as well as you can do it today.

 

You probably practiced it time and time again, you made multiple mistakes which probably cost you loads of time and money and yet we have this expectation that in a very short period of time, we should be able to train someone once or twice on something and they can do it as well as we can. 

 

You also have to believe in your people and support their decisions. If they are fearful of making a decision because they are fearing you’re going to yell at them, or reprimand them, or that it may not be the way you did it, they’ll never make a decision, and hence they can’t take over.

 

If your business has amazing systems and processes, that enables your people to make decisions, and believe in themselves then you can confidently let go. 

Systems & processes enables your people to make decisions so you can let go. Click To Tweet

 

When you’re inviting any team member in, virtual or otherwise, you need to have faith in your system. You need to have faith in your ability to teach somebody how to become awesome at what you can do, understanding and believing that your virtual teams can do it as well as you can if not, better!

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on The Entrepreneur Mindset You Need to Get Real Success With Virtual TeamsYou can also listen below:

 

The Entrepreneur Mindset You Need To Get Real Success With Virtual Teams

by The Virtual Success Show

Dan Norris, Serial Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of WP Curve

A lot of people say, ‘delegate what you’re not good at’, but the the point of delegation is not to find people to do things that are better than you, the point is for you to build a business that can scale and you can’t build a business that scales where you do any of the work.

 

You should be delegating everything. There’s always going to be a period where you need to do stuff yourself, if you’re starting literally from zero but the goal should be to eventually delegate everything and for your work to be something you love doing that you probably don’t have to do. That’s ideal!

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on How Dan Norris is Using Virtual Teams to Build a Million Dollar BusinessYou can also listen below:

How Dan Norris is Using Virtual Teams To Build A Million Dollar Business

by The Virtual Success Show

Taki Moore, Coach Marketing Expert & Founder, Coach Marketing Machine

 

A lot of people fall into the trap of giving their VAs a task list and then not communicating with them for maybe 2 or 3 weeks and then getting annoyed and saying things are not working. It is  one thing to empower people to work alone but it’s another thing to have no check-ins or no leadership in terms of communication. 

 

Most things left unattended don’t do well. 

 

Effective delegation involves having check ins – daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. You can have a daily check in for 10-mins, a way to kind of get everyone on the same page, excited about what you’re doing. Weekly check-ins can be tactical meetings, monthly and quarterly can be strategic meetings. 

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on How Taki Moore is Leveraging His Virtual Teams to Encourage Everyone to Work in Their ‘Genius’You can also listen below: 

How Taki Moore is Leveraging His Virtual Teams to Encourage Everyone to Work in Their 'Genius'

by The Virtual Success Show

 

 

Nathalie Lussier, Digital Strategist, Founder, AmbitionAlly

So many people hire someone and don’t realise that their workload is probably going to double in the first few weeks. Because they have to ‘on board’ this person. 

 

Typically what happens is they get frustrated, annoyed, and fire the person, and say, “You know what, it’s just easier to do it myself.” 

 

That’s a massive mistake! 

 

Because it happens with anyone that you hire. If you spend the time and make it work, in 12 months time your business will be much further along than if you give up and go back to doing everything yourself. Just have that expectation going in, that you will be not as productive, and yes, you probably can still do things faster if you were doing it yourself. But the whole point is to let it go, and have somebody else do it.

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on How Nathalie Lussier Built a Powerhouse Business Using Virtual TeamsYou can also listen below:

How Nathalie Lussier Built a Powerhouse Business Using Virtual Teams

by The Virtual Success Show

 

 

Paul Higgins, Founder, Build Live Give

In a virtual environment, platform is critical to when you’re not face to face. It is critical to make use of project management tools. You can have tasks lists that actually sit in a project management platform and they’re all the things you have to do on a day-to-day basis and you’ve also got a list of all the repeating tasks. So if a task has to be repeated, it’s actually automatically put in there so that they can’t forget it.

 

When you automate your workflows, it makes running your business much smoother and it makes it absolutely dead easy for someone to get something right.

Workflow automation makes running your business much smoother. Click To Tweet

There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into that but if you get that right, that’s when you get success

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on From Corporate Jungle to Lifestyle Entrepreneur Using Virtual Teams with Paul HigginsYou can also listen below:

 

From Corporate Jungle to Lifestyle Entrepreneur Using Virtual Teams with Paul Higgins

by The Virtual Success Show

 

 

Barbara Turley, CEO & Founder, The Virtual Hub

If it’s a very big project, you want to make sure that if the deadline is four weeks from today, you don’t want to be catching up with your VA for an update the day before the deadline or on the deadline and expecting it’s all done. 

 

You probably need to be having milestone meetings as well during those four weeks to check in on, ‘Are there issues? Do you need my help with something? Are there roadblocks? Are there people not getting back to you?’ Things like that, that can really derail projects. 

 

Often we see people just setting deadlines and then coming back on the deadline date and then going, ‘Okay so what’s the deal?’ and if you’re going to be a leader, you need to have milestones where you’re checking in – an oversight.

As a leader you need to have milestones where you're checking in - an oversight. Click To Tweet

 

It gives you a sense of control. Letting go is one of the biggest challenges as entrepreneurs so the milestone check-ins give you that feeling of control in knowing what’s going on, without having to do the doing. 

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on Leveraging your Virtual Teams, Both Locally and Overseas, To Co-ordinate Successful ProjectsYou can also listen below:

Leveraging your Virtual Teams, Both Locally and Overseas, To Co-ordinate Successful Projects

by The Virtual Success Show

The beauty with technology these days is you can replicate an office environment in a virtual environment.

The beauty with technology is, you can replicate an office environment in a virtual environment. Click To Tweet

Just because they’re virtual, we’ve got this impression that they’re not part of the team. Well, they actually are part of the team. The reason why they’re part of the team is because they’re doing a job that they’re skilled at where you don’t have that skill in the team already. And just because they’re virtual, doesn’t mean the communication for effectiveness changes.

 

Communication is so vital to get the day started properly. One thing to always keep in mind is, you are working with a virtual team dispersed in different locations. Hence, it is vital to take full advantage of collaboration technologies to stay on top of things and set you and them up to win.

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on Gordon Jenkins, aka The Visible Guy, Shares With Us The Results of His Global Survey and How Virtual Assistants Can Market Themselves in a Way that Clearly Differentiate Them From Others. You can also listen below:

Gordon Jenkins, aka The Visible Guy, Shares With Us The Results of His Global Survey and How Virtual Assistants Can Market Themselves in a Way That Clearly Differentiates Them From Others

by The Virtual Success Show

 

 

Matt Malouf, Managing Director & Head Coach, The Fortune Institute

The first thing you need to do is understand what it is you’re doing on a day-to-day basis, and this is what’s going to give you more leverage. 

 

Just write down what you do in a day. Then from that list, work out what you’re doing, there’ll be certain things that you do as an owner that you probably shouldn’t be doing or things that can be outsourced or handed over to someone else. From there, you need to start to work through that process of getting clarity on the task, understanding whether there’s a system for the task, but also how long the task takes. 

 

It’s also understanding that your time is valuable, your time is worth money, your return on your time is better spent in other areas, and having a virtual assistant doing these things for you is going to be way more profitable for you in the long run. 

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on Think You’ve Only Got 5 Hours of Work to Delegate to a Virtual Assistant… Think Again! You can also listen below:

Think You’ve Only Got 5 Hours of Work to Delegate to a Virtual Assistant…Think Again!

by The Virtual Success Show

 

 

Annette Lackovic, Australia’s #1 Female Sales Expert

They need to to be able to connect with your business –  that feeling of that connection and feeling like they’re part of something. They are part of the team, they’re not just a virtual assistant, they’re actually a part of something bigger. 

 

And when you get your VA’s commitment to your business it will give them a sense of ownership to the vision. A shared accountability to the business – you get to share in the problem solving and successes of the business. 

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on How Annette Lackovic is Building on Her Success with The Help of Virtual TeamsYou can also listen below:

How Annette Lackovic Is Building On Her Success With The Help Of Virtual Teams

by The Virtual Success Show

 

 

Barbara Turley, CEO & Founder, The Virtual Hub

A lot of people are afraid to delegate tasks because they fear losing control. 

 

But an hour of your day is a lot of time wasted on admin tasks, when you should be spending that time on the things that drive your business forward, not just keep your business engine running. 

 

It’s about finding the right person for particular tasks with a clear process, a clear understanding of their role and their deadlines. If you’ve got great people in each seat, it requires very little management from your part. But it’s not just about having great people, you need to fully master how to delegate tasks, create a system within the current parameters that you have, with either the people that you have or the time that you have. Create the system and then understand that it’s going to be development of that system over time that leads to success.

A lot of people are afraid to delegate tasks because they fear losing control. Click To Tweet

 

Its having the mindset that, the task you’re doing somebody else can also do. You just have to ensure that you’ve got good systems and processes that your virtual teams can follow and have accountability around it to ensure that it gets done. When you develop and set up a process for your team – it’s got your stamp on it and your team’s job is merely to execute it. So it’s there to support and help so they can get it right. So then these things will run like a really well-oiled machine, without you having to think about it — this goes to show that YOU ARE IN CONTROL! 

Catch our Virtual Success Show Podcast episode on Why a Recurring Task List is the Ultimate Gamechanger with Virtual TeamsYou can also listen below:

Why a Recurring Task list is the Ultimate Gamechanger with Virtual Teams

by The Virtual Success Show

 

Subscribe to our Virtual Success Show Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher for The Inside Scoop on Outsourcing Success, For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs.

Aug 1, 2017

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