This week I had a bit of a learning curve as a blogger and business owner. It was the first time that I had to let go of an employee (albeit virtual) and the experience was an intense one— not because I felt about bad about the firing, but because I was mad at myself for not having done it sooner. Here are a few takeaways about hiring and firing a virtual assistant that may help you choose more wisely.
Don’t accept recommendations on blind faith. Even if your colleague has had a great experience with someone that comes highly recommended, don’t be so quick to hire them without a probationary periods. Your colleague’s working style may be different than yours, so be sure to think about the best fit for your leadership style, company goals, and vision. Reflect on the type of relationship that you want (i.e. formal, casual) and be sure you honor it. This will save you a lot of headache when you building a working rapport with your virtual assistant.
Draft a contract. Verbal contracts are ok, but as a part-time or full-time blogger, you are going to want to get specifics about the parameters of the work. A simple write-up of rates, hours, and deadlines will suffice. I made the mistake of not getting these things in writing which made paying invoices unnecessarily more difficult than it had to be.
See the signs and act. If you are not satisfied with your virtual assistant’s work, don’t wait too long before you let them go. I pussyfooted on parting ways with my virtual assistant because I didn’t want to come off as a bad guy and I was thinking that my virtual assistant needed the job. My indecisiveness ultimately impacted my financial bottomline: I lost money because I missed deadlines, had to redo work, and had to consistently reschedule meetings.
As a blogger, you are a business owner and leader. If you want to take your business to the next level, you have to get comfortable with the hiring and firing process. If not, you are bound to waste money and lose sight of your greater vision.
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