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Outsourcing can be a great way to free up time for you to work on what matters most for your business. Creating and managing a remote team, and hiring others to handle mundane tasks, can be good ways to

Creating and managing a remote team, and hiring others to handle mundane tasks, can be good ways to keep from getting bogged down in the minutiae that can hold you back. Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be one way to make your life easier.

As you hire a virtual assistant, though, try to avoid the following mistakes:

1. Not Asking for Regular Updates

One of the great things about technology is that it’s possible to set up your own schedule. However, this doesn’t mean that you want your virtual assistant working without any supervision at all.

Ask your assistant to send a report each day. What did they accomplish? Do they have questions? Where there challenges? You don’t need to dictate what hours they work, but you want a regular check-in to ensure that your assistants are on track and that they are prioritizing the items you find most important.

2. Giving a VA Access to All Parts of Your Business

While there are some aspects of your business a virtual assistant will need to access, you need to be careful about providing access to all parts. You don’t want any one person to have that much access and control over your business.

It’s also a good idea to keep your personal information out of it. Set up a separate business email that a VA can monitor. Personal emails can go elsewhere. Be careful about who has your passwords and what they access.

You want to make sure you have hired someone trustworthy, and you don’t want someone to have so much access that they could ruin your business.

3. Failure to Create a Backup Plan

What happens when your virtual assistant disappears? Do you have a backup plan? Do you have a way to access different areas of your business if you get shut out? It can be scary to put so much power in someone else’s hands. In some cases, it makes sense to set up a master account situation, where you have the ultimate say, and then assign permissions to VAs based on what they need to access.

You also need to have a backup plan in place just in case someone doesn’t show up. Can you plug someone in to do the work? Do you have members of your team cross-trained so that they can fill in — at least for a little while?

Put together a backup plan before you move forward.

4. Forgetting the NDA

When you hire a virtual assistant, you should have them sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). An NDA can give you legal recourse if a VA shares proprietary information from your company with others. Before you let any assistant into your life and your business, you need to make sure your intellectual property is as protected as you can make it.

Hiring a VA is a big step in moving forward with a business. It’s exciting, but you want to make sure you avoid pitfalls that can turn your working relationship into a nightmare.