When you do a fake trial run with your chosen VA subcontractor, you should monitor your trial run VERY CAREFULLY.
Did they do everything you asked, in the way that you asked, and within the time frame that you asked? If any warning bells or major issues occur in this stage, this is your chance to get out while you still can! Remember that this person will be representing you and your business while you’re away, you absolutely must be able to trust their ability and their integrity.
Trust me, I’ve had folks that were the nicest gals on the planet and really seemed like they knew their stuff, and then they crashed and burned during the trial run. In one case they were lying and they didn’t actually know how to do what they had claimed they could, and in another they just weren’t able to take care of details or stay within a time frame.
It’s very frustrating to have spent all this time and effort in finding and starting to train this person only to have to get rid of them before the main event, but at the same time I’m SO glad that I didn’t set them loose on any of my clients before I knew how they worked!
So, if you do experience any problems you have a major decision to make: Do I want to retain this person’s services or not? This is major decision that should not be taken lightly.
If you’ve decided that you don’t want to use their services after all, give them the news quickly and cleanly. Either call them or send them an email giving them feedback on the tasks they completed for you (or didn’t complete, as the case may be!), and state very clearly that you will NOT be using their services in the future. No need to be nasty, just state the facts and give them your feedback, and hopefully your honesty will help them in their future endeavours.
Once you’ve given your honest feedback and stated your intentions make sure to pay their invoice immediately, and you’ve got a clean break. Not the most pleasant of outcomes, but at least you found out before any damage was done to your business.
On the flip side, let’s say, for example, that you’ve done your fake trial run and everything went smashingly well. Yay! At this point you know that you will be giving this VA some more tasks so you can feel free to spend more time on more training without wondering whether you’re just wasting your time. Congratulations! You have gained confidence and now know that you can work with this VA and trust their results. Whether you ever tell them that this was a trial run is completely up to you!
I’d love to hear some stories & experiences that others have had with their new VA subcontractors! Please do share, and then hopefully we can all learn something new.
Stay tuned for Part 9 in the series: Getting Prepared for Going Away…