When you need expert advice, you’ve got to go to the source! This week I have the pleasure of introducing you to Diana Prowitt, a fellow business owner and Virtual Assistant. Diana specializes in offering solutions for entrepreneurs wishing to devote more time to developing customers, increasing sales and growing their businesses. She shares her top tips here:
A VA (Virtual Assistant) is a great option if you need someone who can handle key business tasks remotely on a contract or temporary basis while you take the time you need for yourself and your baby. A VA can offer support ranging from email management, to social media engagement, customer/client engagement to graphic design to website development and everything in between, depending on their skill set and expertise.
Here is what you need to know before hiring a VA for your maternity leave:
1. Develop clear expectations.
Decide what you want your business to look like in your absence and what your VA can do to maintain your vision. It will be helpful to track your routine for a period to get a better picture of the duties you will be handing off. You also need to decide on a budget, being realistic with your expectations will help prevent surprises when you get your bill. Many VAs offer monthly retainer rates and can let you know when you are running low.
2. Create systems.
Having a written procedure will help your VA perform tasks without extra input. Take notes, make a schedule, list out user names and passwords. You might even make a video of a procedure, or an audio to which the VA can refer. Decide how you will communicate and when.
3. Hire in advance.
Hiring your VA before you need one is the best way to ensure a smooth transition. Start with small tasks, get comfortable working with each other. Your VA should be already handling the tasks you need done by the time you officially take your maternity leave.
4. Regular check-ins.
Having a scheduled check in will give you and your VA peace of mind. You can start the week with a 30-minute strategy session along with a short email summarizing each day. You might only want a check in twice a week. You can always adjust the schedule, but it’s important to have one.
5. Have an exit strategy.
Do you want to return to your business full-time shortly after the baby is born? Do you dream of a long babymoon with your new bundle? Maybe you just want to lighten your pre-baby schedule for a happy medium. You may also discover the benefits of continuing to work with your VA for long-term business success. Knowing what kind of Mom and Business Owner you want to be will help you and your VA plan for the road ahead.
Want more resources about outsourcing & delegating? Check out Chapter 4 of The Expecting Entrepreneur.
Diana Prowitt is a Virtual Assistant specializing in content upgrades and LeadPages creation. She has over 25 years of experience owning and operating small businesses. Her priority is helping women, particularly moms, reclaim the time they need to connect with customers, build sales and grow their businesses without sacrificing family focus.
Diana has three sons, one granddaughter, and a Golden Retriever/Office Assistant. She lives in SW Pennsylvania with her husband of 32 years.
Diana can be contacted at email@example.com or through Facebook