While delegating tasks may seem like an easy thing to do in theory, in reality it can be hard to know where to start.
As business owners, we also get stuck into the habit of thinking that we should be the ones to do everything in our business – and that the routine delegation of responsibility is somehow irresponsible if we want things done right.
When you have good virtual assistant (VA) or online business manager (OBM) support, this is simply not the case.
Learning how to delegate amongst both in-house team members and contract virtual assistants, like those you can hire from thriving virtual assistant lead networks like ours, is a critical skill.
Not only to free up precious mental energy – but also physical time – and ensure that the right people are doing the right jobs. After all, you can’t be the expert in everything at all times. So, if the delegation of responsibility is something that sends you running for the hills, we’re here to make it easy. Let’s get started.
When delegating tasks to a virtual assistant, what can be shared?
If you’re wondering how to delegate, we recommend instead focusing first on what exactly you might have within your business that could benefit from additional external support.
We encourage you to hire multiple contractors part-time to get a team of specialists in each area!
A great VA or OBM can support you with a number of tasks across administration, marketing, sales and process improvement. Take a look at the below and see if taking any of these off of your shoulders would help in the running of your day to day:
- Document preparation and proofreading
- Invoicing and billing
- Managing and updating spreadsheets
- CRM management
- Inbox management and triaging
- Managing schedules, travel and reservations
- Data entry and market research
- Virtual shipping and order management
- Event management and logistics planning
- Content creation and scheduling
- Press release writing and dissemination
- Graphic design, resizing and management
- Live webinar assistance
- SEO optimisation
- Website maintenance and optimisation
- Analytics reporting
- Email marketing assistance
- Pinterest management, and general social media activity
- Sales funnel creation and management
- Process flow improvement
- Automation consulting and implementation
If having a bit of support with these tasks would benefit you, you’re a prime candidate for delegating tasks.
How to delegate tasks effectively
While many experienced virtual assistants will be able to hit the ground running with minimal supervision, it can help to have a little structure in how you start working together. As process-obsessed nerds here at the VA Lead Network, the following formula has always created success for us in how to delegate tasks effectively – being clear, being communicative and making room for improvements.
Clear and concise instructions
Planning ahead is the key to success when it comes to delegating tasks. Your job as a business owner or project manager is to bring your new hire on the journey of what you’re trying to achieve, the overall goal it will help move toward and the whys and hows. That includes sharing how you do things currently (and why that works), as well as being open to doing things better (and accepting current kinks in the process).
Be sure to set a good amount of time aside to brief a new VA: this always pays off in the long run.
Set deliverables (and a deadline)
A clearly-defined end goal is worth its weight in gold, and failing to plan is planning to fail.
So, set reasonable deliverables and milestones when delegating tasks that your VA or OBM can tick off along the way via a task management software like Asana.
These can be as frequent as you like – even down to signing off once they’ve completed a reading task or a small batch of work. Once you feel more comfortable in your VA’s abilities, you can extend these milestones out and let them work more autonomously (as many will prefer to do).
Allow your VA to leave notes or report blockages to tasks that might be preventing them from making the progress they need to, and action them quickly. Remember, their success will depend on how well you enable them.
Give them a final deadline and explain why it’s important so there’s a clear end point to reach together.
Make opportunity for feedback loops
As the primary point of contact for your business, you must stay approachable and open-minded to feedback – but if you’re not used to delegating tasks, this is easier said than done.
Feedback loops are a continuous improvement system that helps to create a culture of openness and innovation when learning how to delegate tasks effectively. So, you can use real data points and anecdotal experience of your team to inform changes to how you operate in the future.
A general workflow for a feedback loop works like this:
Gather data – Look at the way you currently do tasks, or review feedback from real customers and team members, and store in a central place. This can be a collaborative whiteboard software, like Miro, and doesn’t need to be pretty: it’s just a brain dump of everything you have on a specific topic. You can also request this feedback, too, from digital surveys, lightning polls or one-on-one’s.
Generate insights – Look closely at what the data is telling you, and try to stay impartial to it. Keep in mind that the way you’ve always done something may not be universally the right way – data points rarely lie. Ideally you want to be looking at metrics like satisfaction around how something is done, conversion rates and overall sentiment. What is the consistent message that’s coming through?
Evaluate results – You can make the delegation of responsibility easier by adopting a culture of listening to clear results that speak for themselves. Doing so will also showcase that you’re a leader who cares about your people being part of the process towards a solution, and this can be great for morale and loyalty.
Implement changes – If something needs to change, or there can be a better way of doing something, now is the time to trial potential alternative ways. You can set a time period to trial within so that there’s a clear end point (at which point you might implement a new feedback loop to manage the insights), and stay close to the pulse on it so you feel comfortable in the process.
Things to remember in the delegation of responsibility
Ultimately, learning how to delegate tasks effectively can be massively beneficial if done well, and lift a huge burden off of your shoulders. Plus, the more you become comfortable with the delegation of responsibility, the more you’ll come to understand your team’s strengths, weaknesses, interests and communication styles.
Finally, we’ll leave you with some things to keep in mind when delegating tasks:
- Only give the required permissions to your VA using an encrypted password-sharing tool. At all times, the final security and authorization barrier should stop with you.
- Remember that many VAs are experienced in automation, which can be a massive opportunity in actually minimising the amount of manual toil that needs to be completed.
- It may take time to become comfortable with delegating tasks if it’s not familiar to you – stay patient and trust the process.
- If you feel like you need to be managed and have a virtual executive assistant or online business manager hold your hand and teach you what and how to delegate, you will not be disappointed when you list for someone like this via the VA Lead Network.
Good luck and happy delegating!
Just ask these business owners…
“My experience with this virtual assistant provider has been nothing short of exceptional.
The high-quality candidate selection, seamless onboarding process, and ongoing support have made them stand out in a competitive landscape.
If you’re in search of a virtual assistant to elevate your productivity and streamline your tasks, I wholeheartedly recommend this provider..”
Steven NunnCarlyle Kingswood Global
“I found my fabulous VA through the VA Lead Network and I want to keep her forever!
My business wouldn’t run as efficiently without her and I am so happy to have a VA contractor without the stress and worry of paying someone fulltime.”
Marianne CurranPet Professor
“I used this free service to advertise for a Virtual Assistant Marketing Implementation and Admin role for my No-Code Development Agency. Within 5 days I had a number of enquires from quality candidates, one of whom I have since hired.
Here were the big advantages for me:
1) I was able to limit the enquiries to Australian based VAs – which I wanted in this case. I do have offshore VAs do some work for my business but I wanted someone local for this role.
2) The process of posting was incredibly smooth and seamless.
3) I was about to pay $300 to advertise on another site and avoided that cost for what ended up being a better quality service.
4) The quality of the candidates that applied was very high so I wasn’t spending a lot of time vetting.
I would happily use this service again. Also just to clarify, I didn’t pay anything for this – but given the experience I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for one of VA Lead Network’s other services if it seemed like a good fit.”