Virtual Assistants


Tom’s Blog

Strategies for Delegating Work and Getting More Done with a VA (FREE download).

Strategies for Delegating Work Successfully.png

Perhaps you feel you are the only one with the skills to complete your work. Perhaps delegation can feel like more trouble than it's worth. However by doing so effectively you can make a huge difference to your productivity.

Delegating well means finding that balance between allowing people to use their abilities whilst maintaining an oversight and supporting, to ensure the job is carried out in a successful way. Successful delegation is also vital to growing your small business.

Now, the good news is you can overcome your fear of delegating so it needn't be a last resort, but rather an integral part of your growth strategy, allowing you to focus on bigger, higher priority tasks.

At we are passionate about working effectively and productively so we have put together a series of tips, each one illustrated with easily digestible bullet points to help you. If you are really strapped for time, just read the tips in bold, or better still, download this article as a pdf to read later. You can also watch this VIDEO by CEO; Thomas Smallwood.

Here are 8 tips and strategies on delegating work successfully:

1. Learn to Let Go

It is hard to let go of your business, it can feel like letting go of a child. It requires both trust and faith.

  • Start of slow and low. Delegate small tasks with minimal skill required to make you more comfortable.

  • Delegation requires time management so it will lighten your load but also increase your personal efficiency and productivity.

  • Build motivation and commitment by discussing how success will affect the company and your VA's role.

  • Understand that by delegating you also are allowing yourself the space to continue learning and improving.

  • Don't fall into the trap of doing something because its easy. Your mind should be on bigger things!

2. BreaK Down Your Work

Your work is made of multiple bigger projects and their component parts, but you should break it down into these parts to see what you can delegate. It's more than you think. Take a little time to make a flow of your work (Sales flow, CRM flow, whatever it may be) or simply list every task you do. For example:

  • List each individual step you take in getting a customer from a lead to a sale or list each individual step in a project or area of your work.

  • Examine which of these steps can be described and outlined in a process.

  • If you teach someone to do even 50% of a project or cover 50% of an area of your work, you are saving yourself a huge amount of time. You retain control and you can still oversee work.

  • Breaking down your work will also help you understand better how your business works and where you are being inefficient.

3. Establishing Priorities

Make sure you know the priorities of your tasks and be clear about this with your Virtual Assistant. Understand that which takes more time (or effort) but requires lower skill is the first thing you should delegate.

  • Assess the value of a task to your business (e.g. client vs internal).

  • Grade your tasks by skill (it makes sense to create varying degrees of skill category to see what can be delegated now and what requires more training).

  • Assess how much time / effort is required.

  • Define urgent vs important and be clear with due dates.

  • Delegate task with lower skills first and progress as your virtual assistant gets more experience.

4. Always Prepare Clear Instructions

A task may seem obvious to you but it isn't to others who do not necessarily know your business as you do. Document instructions and processes carefully for your Virtual Assistant.

  • Make sure you clearly outline what is required.

  • Clearly outline the desired outcome.

  • Clearly explain how something must be done if the VA has no experience, but allow their input.

  • Clearly identify the boundaries (where responsibility / authority ends).

  • Prepare clear dos and don'ts about your business, clients or how you work.

  • Be ready and willing to answer questions.

5. Don't be Scared of Training

The most common question I hear is "what can a Virtual Assistant do?". The answer depends almost entirely on what you need. Most skills can be learned. Along with preparing clear instructions, training is probably the best investment of your time when working with a VA.

  • Train as part of your delegation - there is nothing like practical experience for the purpose of learning.

  • Think of training as an investment - yes, you need to put some time in but in the medium to long term it will repay you handsomely.

  • Teach your VA about your business, explain what you do and how they fit in.

6. Play to Your VAs Strengths

Talk to your Virtual Assistant, get to know them. It is no secret in business that people are better at doing what they enjoy and they have most experience in. Use this to your advantage. 

  • Find out what your VA's areas of expertise are.

  • Find out what your VA enjoys doing the most.

  • Try to be consistent in delegating similar tasks whilst introducing new tasks to build confidence and ability.

  • Look to the future, invest in your VA and find out also what they would like to do in the future.

7. Trust and Check, Trust and Check.

Trust is the best thing to breed a successful working environment and a successful business relationship. Combined with regular checking and communication it will deliver better long term results than micro-managing.

  • Establish clear timelines.

  • Trust your VA to take on the responsibility.

  • Make time for progress updates to ensure timelines will be met and in order to provide adjustments.

  • Make sure your Virtual Assistant knows what to do and who to contact in case of problems.

  • Focus on results, rather than focusing too closely on how they are accomplished.

8. Provide Feedback

Clearer communication could probably resolve most problems in the workplace, both before, during and after tasks have been done.

  • Take time to review the work that has been done.

  • Provide constructive feedback on how it might be done better.

  • Make sure you also praise good work. Motivation is key to continued successful delegation.

  • This process builds awareness and trust from your VA, it also signals that communication is important to you.