Date: 18/09/2017 | By: Zoë Thomson

The ability to increase capacity within your business (and perhaps hand over those jobs you would rather not do) sounds great in theory and more and more businesses are using a virtual assistant. Increasingly businesses are embracing flexible and remote working to reduce overheads, but should you allow an ‘outsider’ into the innermost workings of your business? Can a VA really deliver tangible support? 


In this week’s webinar, BizSmart Select Member Zoe Thomson of Smart PA explores what a VA service could deliver in support of your business and how this works in practice.

To hear more on this topic you can listen to the webinar here.

One of the first things you’ll need to master is the art of delegation. The blog below explores this, while the webinar available via the link above explains what a VA can do in your business. It also looks at how the support is delivered and how to manage a VA who is working remotely from the rest of the team.

Do you run your own business or work in a large company? Do you outsource support, or manage an internal team? Whatever your situation, at some point in business, you will need to generate extra capacity.  It could be to focus on developing the business or just get to the end of your ‘to do’ list.  If you want to avoid working longer hours, you will need to delegate and rely on others. So how do you delegate effectively?  Surely, nobody could do the job as well as you?

Here are 5 steps to set you on the path to mastering the art of delegation:

  1. Be clear in your own mind about the required outcome of a task

If you haven’t decided what you need, how can you explain the task to somebody else? Great prompts are: what, when, why, where and how.

  1. Build a trusted relationship with the person or team, you delegate to

Start small. Delegate low-risk tasks initially and get to know how you each work so you can build confidence that outcomes will be delivered to your specification.

  1. Confirm the task is understood and achievable

Written confirmation of the requirement will provide a useful reference for you and anyone working on the task.  For complex tasks, don’t be afraid to talk to the team and ask questions to make sure the requirement has been understood. This is a great opportunity to confirm appropriate skills and/or resources are available.

  1. Agree what updates are needed

Agree when and how updates will be given and then avoid micromanaging delivery. For example, would you like confirmation that certain elements of a task have been completed, or just when the whole job is finished?

  1. Evaluate how it all went

Tasks should be completed successfully; great! Now reflect on what went well. If something wasn’t quite right, what went wrong and what would you do to improve the outcome next time? In all cases, share your feedback constructively with the team.

Delegation is a skill and takes practice. Being able to trust and rely on those who support you is invaluable. Remember that a simple ‘thank you’ for a job well done goes a long way. 

Want some ideas of what tasks to delegate to your VA? Read the Smart PA article, “Tasks to Give Your Outsourced PA Today” or see some Virtual PA myths debunked here

BizSmart aims to help SME and micro-business owners scale their businesses and create value through sound practical business support. We aim to give you insight and clarity and fire up your determination to succeed. You can access blogs like this and more besides through our free SmartRoom service here.