How to Manage Your Virtual Staff The Proven Way


Managing Your Virtual Staff

When you begin in the online business world, you do it all yourself.
Then you hire some help with the notion that you possibly might not have enough work for them to do. Then business snowballs and suddenly you have a general VA, writers, web designers, accounts and tax, SEO teams, eBooks, affiliate programs… It can all become a big mess very quickly if you are not on top of it all! The key element is to have a system in place. This is your virtual machine and you can only achieve true virtual freedom if your machine ticks over just fine. Most of the work can be handed over to your general VA, but you still have to be involved. It is your money after all.


How to Manage Various Types of Virtual Assistants

When you have made the decision to hire multiple virtual assistants, they will most likely have a specific set of tasks related to their roles. These roles and tasks may overlap or be entirely independent of one another. The important thing is to delegate their tasks according to their strengths. Having multiple virtual assistants can make your business run very efficiently, provided your time is not spent micro managing your virtual staff. It is advisable that the most qualified, experienced or longest member of virtual staff assumes the role of manager or supervisor. Rather than spending your personal time delegating tasks, assign this task to one VA. This VA will delegate assignments and ensure that each person is performing to high standards and meeting deadlines.

Utilize project management software (such as Google Calendar, Snag It or Dropbox) to eliminate confusions and miscommunications: the information will always be available online.  Project management is necessary, but can be complicated by an army of staff. It doesn’t matter how big or small your projects are, handling every aspect of it can be tricky and time consuming. When you have multiple people working with you to complete your projects, it can be challenging making sure everyone knows what to do and how to do it along with reaching deadlines, which is why this role should be assumed by a VA.


Provide Work in Increments

Many business owners make the common mistake of micro-managing staff. This can be detrimental to the business as your focus is distracted by the small details your staff should be taking care of. Provided the overall assignment is completed to a high standard and on time, your virtual staff should not consult you regarding every detail of the project. Schedule a meeting with your head VA ahead of any important project where any issues can be straightened out in advance. Encourage them to ask questions ahead of time so they have an understanding of what is expected.  For ongoing assignments, promote the idea of saving any non-emergency or non-priority issues until your next scheduled teleconference or Skype call. With practice, this process will become more and more effectual.


Utilize Efficient Communication

Thanks to the various modes of communication now, we can stay in contact with people very easily. In addition to e-mail and Skype, we have texting and instant messenger as efficient and fast facets of corresponding. This is a great way for virtual assistants to ask a quick question or bounce an idea off of you. This also helps maintain a working relationship and keeps you accessible. Although this constant stream of communication is great, it can also have adverse effects as you find yourself being constantly bombarded with questions. Limit checking e-mails to twice per day, or have a certain period during the day when you will be available to answer any questions which are not urgent. Obviously, if there is a pressing problem, this should be resolved as quickly as possible. Otherwise, a short team meeting once a day should suffice for any queries and updates on the progression of assignments.


What is “Cloud” Technology?

Gone are the days where there were hard copy files of projects. We now have “clouds” thanks to information technology geniuses where we can retrieve a file from a virtual file cabinet for easy access. This allows file sharing easy and creates efficiency among virtual assistants and employees. Each employee should have a unique login and password for security purposes. Utilize the latest technology and embrace it as an essential tool for your business.

Treat your VA like an in-person employee by providing them with a detailed job description.  There are ways to set guidelines while at the same time allowing your virtual assistant the liberty to work in their own way. Ensure that VA’s understand the importance of meeting deadlines, and outline repercussions for repeated poor performance.

If you recognize consistent poor performance or mistakes being made repeatedly explain that this behavior is unacceptable and outline the repercussions for recurring failure to perform. It is also very important to praise your VA for outstanding performance, particularly if they are meeting targets. Employees who feel they are not rewarded for their efforts may become disillusioned with their position, and their performance will suffer as a result.


Final Thoughts

When you first hire a VA, it may be beneficial to do random spot checks on their work, and check over their progress on a daily basis. If they are aware of your expectations of them, they should meet them during the initial period of employment. Once you get the ball rolling and begin to hire more additions to your team, make sure you are training your general VA along the way. This will mean you can pass over your tasks and achieve virtual freedom with you team. As  your business develops, so will the numbers required to manage and run it. Have systems and processes in place to ensure that from hiring through to completion of a project, your staff know what is expected of them and how they will be rewarded. Things can be a little hectic when you manage a big team but the job title of every true entrepreneur is really just ‘project manager’!


This guest post was written by Chris Ducker, founder and CEO of Virtual Staff Finder and Location63.

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker is a successful entrepreneur, blogger, and podcaster known for his thought leadership about building businesses and lifestyles that thrive with virtual teams. His highly-anticipated book—Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business—is available now from all major book sellers. Learn more at



Coming soon to the Internet Business Handbook is a book review on Chris’s book.