Ah…Summer…a time for watermelon, sunscreen and the outdoors. Kids are out of school and your family is anticipating vacation time. Except if you are an entrepreneur or solo practitioner. YOU can’t take a vacation – OR CAN YOU?
DOES THIS SOUND LIKE YOU?
- You can’t even conceive of stepping away from your office for more than a day or two;
- You haven’t taken a proper vacation in years (turning off the computer for 2 straight hours does not count);
- IF you go anywhere, you only choose destinations with high-speed internet;
- Even when on the beach enjoying the sun, sand and marguerites, you have a hard time turning off. You are always thinking of the work that needs to get done;
- You’re still handcuffed to that darned smartphone!
UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS A REALITY for many lawyers and hard-working business owners. BUT HERE’S ANOTHER REALITY – IT IS POSSIBLE – even for the busiest workaholic. All you need is the right assistant.
There’s a myth running around the Internet which suggests that virtual assistants are only qualified for basic admin tasks. It got there because many of the Big VA companies do only offer limited admin-based tasks. But the new breed of virtual assistants – with coveted skill sets – the business grade VA’s – are capable of much more.
STEP 1 – HIRE A “BUSINESS-GRADE” LEGAL VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
To prepare your business for head-honcho away time, you need a business-grade, legal virtual assistant. Expert VA’s have the experience and maturity to cope with the unexpected, problem-solve, and hold things together while you’re away. What’s more, they know when your help is truly required and will get in touch if – and only if – an urgent situation arises.
STEP 2 – TRAIN YOUR LEGAL VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Even the most skilled virtual assistant cannot step into your company, 100% prepared on the first day. The key is to bring her onboard at least a few months before you plan to be away. This gives both of you time to figure out the details: put in place any ongoing processes and agreements; delegate every day and occasional tasks; and make sure your VA meets your expectations.
Time – with no travel looming on the immediate horizon – means you’ll have time to work out the bugs and get comfortable with your virtual assistant before you ever step out of the office. When vacation finally does roll around, your VA continues with business as usual.
Of course, some tasks – those responsibilities that no matter how much training you do, only you can handle – will need to be put on the back burner during your time away, but your VA will keep your core business functions running effectively and smoothly, and make sure that you don’t lose any valuable opportunities.
STEP 3 – PREPARE FOR VACATION
Here are some tips to help you prepare for travel:
- Does this have to be put on hold? You can often delegate more than you think. Now that you’ve been working with your assistant for a few months and have come to trust her abilities, is there anything else you can hand over?
- If this happens, do that. To put your mind at ease, schedule a Skype conference with your VA to anticipate any unexpected things that could come up while you’re away. Establish an if-this-happens-do-that list: a set of guidelines that will help your assistant handle almost any situation.
- Create a contact plan. One (or several) of your if-this-happens-do-that scenarios will involve true work emergencies that should include contacting you. Agree on what constitutes a “call-worthy” situation.
Remember, trust is like a muscle – you have to build it and use it. Your legal VA has the skills and maturity to take care of your business while you’re away, but the most important component to a relaxing vacation is trust. Give yourself – and your assistant – the time and preparation necessary to build confidence and establish a good working relationship. You can always build up to a two-week vacation by taking 2-3 days off and testing the waters. When you finally do step out of the office, you can truly relax.
How do you prepare your VA for your vacation? What works and doesn’t? How can we help you relax and enjoy your time away?