8 Biggest business mistakes

8 Biggest Business Mistakes When First Working with a VA

I’m going to level with you: I’ve been a virtual assistant for almost ten years, and it cannot be easy to navigate the world of online assistants. I’ve made many mistakes in my career, but after years of trial and error, I’ve learned how to be successful. If you’re just starting out working with virtual assistants, here are the 8 biggest business mistakes business owners make when first beginning this process.

Information overload

This is a tough one to avoid since it’s so natural to want your virtual assistant to know everything about your business. After all, they’re working for you! But here’s the thing: they can’t possibly know everything—nor should they be expected to.

Let’s say that there are five aspects of your business that you want to be covered by this new hire: accounting, marketing, advertising, customer service, sales, and operations. As a rule of thumb (and as we’ve already discussed), if you try and assign these roles all at once without any training or guidance for them on how to do them best, then chances are good things won’t go smoothly from day one. While it may seem like an easy way out in the short term (and perhaps even an “all-inclusive” offer), it could end up costing more than hiring just one person who specializes in each area would have cost upfront.

Vague expectations

First, let’s get one thing straight: Vague expectations are a big no-no. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what your business needs at this time and how much time/money you can allocate to making it happen, then it’s never going to get done.

The best way to avoid vague expectations is to take the time and create a concrete plan for how you want your business operations managed. This can be done by outlining key tasks that need doing, how often those tasks will be done, and who will do them (you or your virtual assistant). From there, the next step is communicating this plan with anyone else involved in getting things done — whether they are employees or third-party contractors — so everyone knows what is expected of them and when it needs to happen.

Ineffective communication

Communication is key to a successful VA relationship. It’s not just about talking—it’s about listening and understanding each other. Also, it’s about being clear and concise when giving instructions. It’s about checking in with the other person to ensure that you’re on the same page, both literally and figuratively (and yes, there will be some literal pages involved).

Unrealistic goals

If you are hiring a virtual assistant for the first, you must understand what can be accomplished with one. A virtual assistant is not a miracle worker. They do not mind readers and will only do what is written down in explicit presupposes if you have specific tasks that need to be completed by your virtual ass. In that case, stand. It’s best to make sure they are clearly outlined and either prioritized or broken into smaller parts so they can be completed efficiently.

Think about it this way: if you were going to repair your car on your own at home, would you spend hours searching online for “how-to” videos on how to fix your car? Probably not—unless maybe there was some emergency situation where someone needed help immediately. Instead of wasting time trying things out yourself without knowing whether or not they’ll work (and possibly making things worse), wouldn’t it make more sense just to call someone who has experience fixing cars? That person knows exactly what needs doing and how best to get those repairs done quickly, so he also helps others well! Likewise, if all we had were vague instructions from our boss about what needed to be done, guess who suffers most when deadlines aren’t met: The employee (or business owner).

Focusing on the cheapest virtual assistant

As you know, the goal of hiring a virtual assistant is to save money and free up your time. But if you’re not careful, you were testing more than you ever saved. So how do you avoid making this mistake? It’s simple: don’t hire the cheapest virtual assistant.

The best way to ensure that your business gets what it needs from its virtual assistant is to interview at least two candidates for each position, deciding who will be hired for that role based on price alone.

Lack of long-term results

One of the 8 biggest business mistakes businesses make when working with a virtual assistant is a lack of long-term results.

Working with a virtual assistant is like hiring any other employee. It’s not just about doing the job and leaving; it’s about creating a lasting relationship. It will help if you need someone who understands your business and has experience working in your industry, so you can focus on growing your company. At the same time, they handle all the tedious tasks that come along with running one.

When you hire someone who isn’t suitable for your business or doesn’t have their skill set in line with what you need, it’s going to cost you more money than if you’d hired someone who could do exactly what they were supposed to do right away.

Inflexibility and micro-management

Another common mistake is being too rigid or inflexible. When working with a virtual assistant, you can give them the freedom to do their job without micromanaging every step.

You also want to avoid being too vague about what you want them to do for you, which can lead to wasted time.

Not delegating

Don’t be afraid to delegate. Moreover, don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegating effectively can mean the difference between success and failure for your business, but if you don’t know how to delegate properly, things might not go as smoothly as you hope. Let’s explore ways companies can charge effectively by discussing what not to do first!

Don’t make these mistakes if you want a successful virtual assistant relationship

Please don’t hire a virtual assistant without understanding what you need from them and why. Moreover, don’t assume that just because they’re good at one thing, they’re great at everything. Also, don’t expect your virtual assistant to be able to run your business for you, even if it’s part-time. 


Regarding the 8 biggest business mistakes business owners make when first hiring a virtual assistant, you could avoid these common pitfalls, and you will be on the right track to having a successful virtual assistant relationship. Remember that it takes time for both parties to adjust to each other’s working style and build trust. So don’t be afraid if things don’t work out but keep trying until they do!

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