7 Best Practices for Managing a Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistance

Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be one of the most effective and inexpensive solutions to manage aspects of your business. VA's can be a huge help and unlike hiring a full-time employee, you don't have to spend a large amount of money to enlist their services.

Why Do I Need a Virtual Assistant?

Here are some of the reasons why hiring a VA could be a great option for you:

  • Free up your time to focus on other areas
  • Find the best talent in a particular field you need help with
  • A cheaper option than hiring in-house staff
  • More flexible working arrangements
  • More cost-effective - you only pay for the work needed
  • Strengthen weaker areas in your business
  • Reduce the workload for an over-stretched team

However, like any boss-employee relationship, it is very important that you mesh well with your virtual assistant to ensure the success of your business.

How to Manage Your Virtual Assistant 

There are 7 important things you need to know to effectively manage your virtual assistant: 

  1. Don't expect a plug and play solution when you hire a VA
  2. Train your VA
  3. Give clear instructions
  4. Set realistic timelines
  5. Treat your VA as part of the team
  6. Praise your VA
  7. Always pay on time 

1. Don't expect a plug and play solution when you hire a VA

Keep in mind that outsourcing is not a magic pill that makes everything work perfectly once your virtual assistant gets onboard. After all, even highly skilled professionals still need time to adjust to their new work environment before they can reach full productivity. So be realistic and don't make absurd expectations about your virtual assistant.

2. It is important to train your VA

As mentioned earlier, VA's need time to familiarise themselves with their new work environment. As such, you should take the time to train your virtual assistant in your systems and processes so they can quickly start producing quality work that meets your standards.

3. Give clear instructions

Give instructions as succinctly and clearly as possible, especially when delegating a task for the first time. Encourage your virtual worker to ask questions if there are things about the project that he or she doesn't understand. Make sure you answer these questions as quickly as possible. Always remember that assuming your VA knows and understands everything can get you into trouble.

4. Set realistic timelines

Don't expect your virtual assistant to finish an extensive ten-page sales report in 30 minutes or less. Not only is this unreasonable, it isn't something that is doable, either. As such, consider the parameters in place on each task and set realistic timelines.

5. Treat your VA as part of the team

Your VA is an important part of your business and should be treated as such. Trusting and helping your virtual assistant develop a sense of belonging can boost his morale and motivate him further. To ensure loyalty and hard work, treat virtual assistants the exact same way you would in-house employees.

6. Praise your VA

If you want to establish a strong relationship with your virtual assistant, give praises when projects are accomplished. This will make your VA feel good about himself, which helps boost confidence, loyalty and productivity.

7. Always pay on time

Being the business owner, you don't want your virtual assistant to miss important deadlines. On the same token, your VA doesn't want his pay to get delayed. Otherwise, he will be worrying about paying his bills, which can affect the quality of his work. If you want your VA to stay focused, always pay on time.

Kevin Mallen

Business Development Manager at

I help small to medium sized businesses save time and money by connecting them with experienced and qualified staff in the Philippines. My company, Virtual Coworker, connects full-time and part-time virtual assistants and web developers with Australian Entrepreneurs and companies.

Comments (2)
Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Out of all these #3 is critical for me, especially once you get into it. Sometimes what you think is clear isn't really clear so it really pushes your ability to communicate - which is a great learning opportunity :)



Really great post. This answered the majority of my questions. When I read this I actually opened up a word document and started taking notes