It’s Not Your Assistant’s Fault – Three Steps to Managing Your Team for Success, Every Time

By , Text Only Admin

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

TextOnly'Admin - Text Only Admin

If you are like most entrepreneurs, you never really had any management training.  In fact you probably resisted bringing anyone on to your team until you were working your tail off and wondering why you ever thought becoming a business owner was a good idea.

Then someone told you to hire a virtual assistant (VA) or an in-person assistant and it sounded like a good idea.  The next thing you knew, you were paying someone per hour to send your newsletter, file your business cards and maintain your website.

But here’s the kicker – although this person is supposed to make your life easier, you notice that things seem harder.  You’re spending time training.  You’re spending time fixing your assistant’s mistakes.  And to top it off, your deadlines aren’t being met all the time.

You seriously wonder what the problem is – is it you or is it her?  And you can’t figure out how to bring up the issues without appearing like a, dare I say it – bitch.   In other cases, you’ve brought it up, gently and persistently and your deadlines still aren’t being met and the work seems to be below your normal standards.  Now what?

So here’s the hard truth.  In order to get great work from your team, you actually have to manage.  And many entrepreneurs just don’t know exactly how to do that.  Here are five keys to working with your support team to make sure that you have successful projects on time, every time.

  • Have a weekly team meeting.  If you are super-busy, have a meeting more than once a week.  Yes, you will be paying your team for the time they are meeting with you.  But in the end, you’ll save money by helping your team to avoid mistakes.
  • Always give deadlines with every task that you assign, even the little ones.  And check in to make sure the deadlines are appropriate.
  • Keep a list of what you assign so that you can check in with your assistant to make sure it gets done.  I use a planner pad (www.plannerpad.com) and I create a list for each person on the team. Then when I send an e-mail I just jot down what it was.  We can go over the list at the next team meeting.
  • Be clear with your expectations of what you want the outcome of the task to look like.  Make sure you think about it clearly in your own head and give specific instructions.
  • Give your assistant a chance to make mistakes and adjust to your expectations.  Let her know what needs to look different and give her a chance to correct it.  Don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want handled differently.  That way she can note it for next time around.   If you make all the corrections every time, there is no growth and connection happening between you and your assistant.

Use these steps to make you life with your assistant easier and your business run much more smoothly.  Enjoy your extra time off!

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