Set Yourself Up For Success

I have been seeing a lot of posts about security and offshore VAs on my social media feeds recently. Being that I’ve owned and operated a VA office in the Philippines for the last 6+ years I have some insights on this topic that I would like to share.

There are many things that I have learned in my process when it comes to hiring, training, and managing VAs from the Philippines

I’ve compiled this list of some of the top tips I have and I hope this will be of help to anyone who is using VAs.

 

Minimize Your Liability Whenever Possible.
Never give them access to any account that has your payment information. If you do, use a rechargeable card that you can control the balance with. We use a company called AppBind for this that has worked very well for us and is very easy to set up and use.

 

If you are using them to prospect on your social media accounts, be wary of having people log in from random overseas IP addresses because it can easily result in your account being locked. If you have the ability to do so let them use a service like Team viewer or Logmein to be able to remotely control a computer that is located on one of the normal networks that you use. This also allows them to get access without the need to have to provide them with your login or password which will also help you minimize your liability.

For time tracking make sure that you are tracking their time and activity using Hubstaff or time doctor. Make sure the system has screenshots at x4 per 10 minutes or whatever the maximum amount it that is allowed. Make your expectations clear and not pay for the time that is not worked. Check their productivity levels and set a standard of what is acceptable. With Hubstaff a score of 70 and over is good for most tasks that require constant activity because it tracks mouse/keyboard activity.

 

Show Them What You Want Done.
Use loom! When assigning tasks use a task system such as Clickup, TaskFunnels, or GHL and attach a Loom video explaining exactly what you want to be done. Make everything very duplicatable. This will save time if you need to switch out the VA down the line. The most important thing is to develop a very black and white training system for every task you want them to complete. That will make it very easy for you in the long run. If you need to replace a worker with a new one, the next VA will have a clear understanding of each task. In the long run, organizing your process will save you a great deal of time, headache, and frustration.

 

Have Realistic Expectations.
The VA can only do what you train them to do. Even if they are experienced in the task you are assigning, remember they don’t know your process or the way you want them to do things. Take time out, in the beginning, to build out your training system through automation, training library, and written text (SOP).  Expect to replace everyone eventually! This is a part of the process. Nothing stays the same forever and when dealing with human beings there will always be variables and issues that will come up. People have issues that come up with their health, home life, families, etc that can quickly derail their ability to show up and perform. Account for these variables by having a good training system, automation, and solid SOPs in place. This documentation is your foundation, so spend the time that is required in order to set yourself up for success.

 

Limit their access to your High Level Account and slowly increase what they can do based on trust. Never let them access your entire database. It is recommended to only assign specific contacts and then unassign any contacts that they do not need access to.

 

If you hire a VA to build your your High Level it is recommended to have them build in a separate sub-account and then save and load the snapshot into your account.

 

The information you provide should be on a need-to-know basis. Only share what they need to know to perform their tasks or to understand what they are doing. This will not only limit your liability but will also help avoid any unnecessary confusion. 

 

How Much To Pay?
You want to make people feel valued, but find other ways to show that you appreciate their outputs besides immediately boosting up their hourly rate. We recommend against giving raises too quickly. Instead, we’ve found that merit-based bonuses that are connected to their outputs for a specific period are a good way to go, but it’s best to hold off on hourly raises until they have been proven reliable and consistent.

 

If you are hiring a team of VAs keep them separated and compartmentalized the best you can. We’ve found that single-channel users in Slack can be good and using a system where you provide rotating emails from a business email account is good. Example: [email protected], [email protected] etc.

 

The idea is if you need to replace a VA or other team member, you can do it in a quick and swift motion without any issues.

 

Payroll 

Use software to track time and activity for payroll to make things easier. Make sure you still have them send an invoice or timesheet through google sheets or something similar. This will help you with possible compliance issues and It’s always good to double-check what they are claiming versus what your time tracking software says. This will weed out dishonest VAs and keep them aware of their time and work.

 

Lastly: Communicate on a daily basis! Offer praise and communicate what you need to help keep things running smooth. Most VAs are very hardworking and want to do a good job, but it is up to you to lead them! Hiring VAs can be one of the most profitable, efficient, and rewarding things for all parties involved so we recommend spending the time and putting in the work to make sure that things are set up for success.

 

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