How to get the most out of your VA relationship

The biggest oversight a business can make is to outsource to a VA and then consider the job done.

Of course, the tasks themselves will be done, but the truth is that a VA is a resource with the potential to offer far more than you might have imagined on day one.

But talking about day one…how does it all work? Another great question I hear a lot.

When I start working with a new client, I ask them to write down exactly what they do over the course of an average week. It’s important to actually write this, otherwise tasks which are done automatically get forgotten. I then ask that they categorise weekly, monthly or ad hoc tasks, and which need immediate attention, before deciding which they enjoy and which they’d rather be without.  We then work through the list to see what can be outsourced.

From this point, I start the process of taking control of the assigned tasks.  Clients either add me as a user or grant me access via LastPass to accounts I’ll be managing.  Anything complex is no trouble as I have IT support on hand.

For email and diary management, we agree sets of rules on how clients would like their affairs to be managed.  Documents are managed via shared folders in services like Dropbox,  Google or Office365 and for bookkeeping, we recommend Xero, become a user on your account and handle invoices and receipts, liaising with your accountant to reconcile your accounts ready for tax returns.

Finally, ongoing communication is the most vital part to get right.  We arrange virtual meetings, preferably once a week, in which we can talk through the previous 7 days and discuss what needs to happen next.  We also offer daily phone calls and urgent messages are always welcomed via Whatsapp or alternatives.  Part of our job is future planning too – we’ll regularly review a client’s workload to ensure any efficiencies can be made.

But whilst you enjoy the freedom and extra time having a VA allows you, don’t forget to keep in mind there are many ways to get even more out of your working relationship.

A great example is a situation one of my clients found herself in just a few months ago. She wanted an online accounting system and I recommended Xero, working to set it up alongside her new accountant.  However, as the job progressed, it became evident that the previous accountants had made a bit of a mess of the books over the last financial year.

Faced with the nightmare task of reconciling a whole tax year, she asked if we could take the job on.

This is an ideal example of how VAs prove their worth.  We immediately got started, she felt a weight lifted from her and was able to refocus on her core business.  After checking out every receipt and invoice for the entire tax year, not only had we resolved the book keeping errors, but had forged a close working relationship with her accountant, further developing the network around her business.

So let me share three things you can think about today to make sure you’re really getting the most out of your VA relationship:

Are you being honest with your VA?

Openness and transparency between you and your VA is essential for great results.  Not only does it help for your VA to understand some of the pressures you may be under but remember, with years of exec support experience, there’s every chance they might have a clever solution to your problems.


Have you asked whether your VA can offer additional skills?

Working with a VA should also provide you with a network of trusted providers for all kinds of other services.  Good VAs regularly work a number of other specialist professionals so don’t waste time trying to track down a recommendation – just ask your VA.


Are you getting waylaid by admin?

If there’s one thing an efficient business is aware of is whether time is well spent.  If you’re spending a lot of time on any one task, it’s time to do a bit of analysis.  Track how long it’s taking and compare your normal hourly rate with your VA’s rate.  If you’re effectively paying over the odds for that task and there are better ways you could use your time, outsource it, and you’ve made an immediate cost saving.


Being mindful of these three situations can help you make further cost and efficiency savings straight away.


Taking on a VA is a business investment and we want to make sure you’re receiving the maximum possible benefits.


If you’d like to know more about how a VA could support your business, why not book a free Exploration Call with me?

Book a free Exploration Call with me here