Outsourcing: Expectations vs Reality.

Posted on February 19, 2019

Whenever you embark on a new business venture it’s important to keep your expectations in check. It’s so easy to get carried away in the magic of a moment, believing that a new team member, a new project or a new partnership might be a life-changing development for your business. When anticipations are high you can run the risk of having your hopes dashed when initial perception doesn’t quite match the reality of your situation. The truth is expectations impact our attitudes and mindset. When things don’t go as expected we lose motivation and feel like we can’t trust in our own judgment. For an entrepreneur, this can be crippling.

A lot of outsourcing companies market themselves in a way as to present their Virtual Assistants as the answer to every business woe. And don’t get us wrong, utilized correctly a Virtual Assistant can be a highly valuable asset to any business, but they are not going to solve all your problems. With the right mindset and planning in place, you can strike the perfect balance where your expectations align with reality. Here are a few truths that will help you set realistic expectations and get the most out of your outsourcing.

Expectation: Hiring a virtual assistant will solve everything. No need for training or micromanaging.
Reality: Hiring a virtual assistant is just like hiring a regular employee. They will need to be trained in your processes & procedures. Training is a vital part of a new job, the key to training remote staff is over-communication and patience. Everyone has the capability to learn but each person learns at a different pace and in different ways. We’ve found Google drive, Skype, and weekly meetings are extremely helpful in training new virtual staff as well as providing updates, feedback, discussing goals, and checking on project deadlines.

Expectation: Outsourcing is a quick fix to company problems.
Reality: Outsourcing can help companies solve specific challenges, but only if they have a clear map of their objectives upfront. Organizations that are successful with outsourcing are those that turn to outsourcing as a catalyst for change. Set modest and achievable targets. Dream big, but take the pathway there with sustainable and actionable goals. Don’t expect too much of your VA and yourself from the get-go.

Expectation: I don’t need to plan anything before I hire a virtual assistant.
Reality: Educate yourself and set up your business so it is optimized to handle a virtual worker. The best first step is to always have a crystal clear job role description to present to your Recruiter. This will make interviews, expectations, and transitions with your new VA so much smoother and more efficient. By being realistic about the planning stage you’ll set yourself up for success. Take the time to build a great relationship with your Virtual Assistant and focus on developing the role over time.

Expectation: I can give my new virtual assistant any amount of tasks right away.
Reality: When inducting staff, it’s always important not to overwhelm them.  It takes time for a new staff member to familiarize themselves with the business and processes.  Give them time to get up and running and find their feet. Once you gain confidence in them you can start delegating tasks accordingly, effectively growing the role using their strengths which will ensure success.  No one wants a stressed out and flustered employee.

Whatever your ambitions, success takes time. Allow yourself time to reach the goals you have for your company and for your virtual assistant. In any successful journey, it’s important to celebrate small wins. Acknowledging how far you’ve come helps you to gain perspective and sustain enthusiasm in your projects. Be liberal with your praise for a job well done and celebrate your successes with your Virtual Assistant. By developing and maintaining realistic and reasonable expectations you can stay in control and motivated – setting yourself up to maximize the potential of outsourcing and realizing the long term success of your business.