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What Should I Delegate To My Virtual Assistant? – The Simple Solution That Answers This Dilemma For Clients

Michelle Dale - Friday, July 27, 2012

What should I delegate? This is a very common question that usually comes up on consultations which are related to hiring virtual assistant services. Many new clients wonder how they’ll ever delegate to their new virtual assistant because they are not sure what may be appropriate or even if it’s feasible – but most of all, where they begin getting started.

When faced with this dilemma there are a few steps you need to go through to help the clients make the most out of your services.

Step 1. Help Them Understand Your Abilities.

The first and probably most obvious thing you need to do is make the client aware of the general scope of your services and skills set. This could be broad, or narrow, but they need to know what you’re capable of in order to begin to learn what you are able to take on.

The trick here is to be detailed enough that a client gets the bigger picture of your abilities, but not so detailed that they’ll take one look at the list and not see on there what they want you to do, so they dismiss even asking.

Step 2. Control The Budget.

Once the client knows what you are capable of doing, the next step is to broach the subject of how much they delegate. Really this is dependent on the client’s budget. Whilst it would be great for clients to have an open tab with their VA, it’s not always possible, in fact in most scenarios open tabs are simply not possible, so somebody has to be in control of the delegation.

There are various ways you can charge a client, and if you would like help pricing services check out “Day 10″ of my programme The VA Shoestring. Let’s say for example you charge by time, you can control this yourself through keeping time records, or the client can control it by suggesting amounts of time they would like you to spend on tasks. If the amount of time suggested by the client is unreasonable then you absolutely must feed that back so you can come to a mutual agreement.

If you don’t start off with controlling the budget, either with a fixed price package or agreed timescale, things could get off to a rocky start.

Step 3. Help The Client Using, “The Quarter Rule.”

Finally, this is the golden solution to the question, when you also really have no idea the scope of what the client could possibly delegate to you. Even with an hour consultation and a few emails back and forth, until you actually start working with them it’s difficult to pin point exactly what you think they should be delegating, so follow the quarter rule.

The Quarter Rule.

The easiest tasks to start with readily delegating to a VA are repetitive, project based are good too, but let’s take a look at a scenario of a repetitive task.

The best repetitive tasks to delegate are those that the client knows will take them longer than 15 minutes, then the next time they do that task, you can suggest to them they take an extra 5—10 minutes and use the time not only to do the task, but explain in some instructions the steps they would take to complete it. This could be either recording it on a screencast or writing down each step as they do it, providing screenshots where possible. Then the investment of that additional 10 minutes will mean that you can now take over that 15 plus minute task, and they get the piece of mind that you know exactly how they like it done. The best bit is if you see how they do it, or like it done, you could even suggest improvements and this creates an opportunity to demonstrate your talents by approaching the client with a better alternative.

Let’s say that the task is a daily task, 15 minutes a day, Monday to Friday, then through this exercise, it will already free up an hour and a quarter in the client’s week – then do that enough times, with 20 or 30 minute tasks, and before you know it, you’ve got an awesome ongoing retainer client, who is super happy because you have freed up their week substantially.

Try using the quarter rule with your clients, anything that takes 15 mins or longer, the next time they do that task, suggest they record each step as they go, so you can begin to start freeing up their time immediately after.

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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