How to Work with a Virtual Assistant

Melissa Lanz is the Founder & CEO, The Fresh 20 ( In this video she describes how to work with a virtual assistant.

  1. Source locally first
  2. Use reputable online service
  3. Set up clear tasks
  4. Daily email

One of the questions I get a lot from entrepreneurs is what is a virtual assistant, how do I find one, how do I work with one. A virtual assistant is someone that works in a different office than you are located. So they could be all the way across the country or they could be down the block. They have their own computer setup, their own office, their own desk and they work with you on your business and on your product. And they can be essential for small business owners because there’s so many different ways that you can find a virtual assistant, and you don’t have to think big, you don’t have to think far away.

A lot of people think a virtual assistant is sitting all the way across the world. Sometimes you can find one locally by just asking around with your friends. I mean, you might have a college student that’s off for the summer. They could be your virtual assistant and then be doing a little bit of work for you, you know, five hours a week while away at college. So it doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be something very close to home or if you can’t find anyone close to home then there are lots of online services. You can find a reputable service, ask around, get references. A reputable service online has thousands and thousands of virtual assistants across different categories. You can get one in accounting. You can get a virtual assistant for any marketing e-mail and communication. You can get a virtual assistant to do your SEO on your website and usually a virtual assistant is costing you far less than it is to have somebody come and sit in your office and work one on one with you or as an in-house employee. So it can be really something that helps.

And to work with virtual assistants, it’s really important, because you’re not in the same space and most of the time you’ve never met each other, you want to set up very clear tasks that have a beginning and have an end so that you’re setting the virtual assistant up for success because they are going to work really hard at getting your stuff done so they need to know from you what needs to be done, what’s the timeframe and give them all of the resources to be able to do that successfully.

And one thing that works for me really well with virtual assistants is instituting the daily e-mail, and it can be as easy as at the end of the day, setting it up so your virtual assistant sends you an e-mail and just lets you know what they did that day, what projects were tackled, what was complete and what’s still open on the table. That’s really, really important as well so that you have constant communication for your virtual assistant so that as an entrepreneur you can take those tasks and give them to somebody else so that you can work on some things that are more important.