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Hiring Your First Associate: A Virtual Assistant's Guide to Agency Growth

by Lottie, Co-Founder, Virtual Lottie


For many virtual assistants (VAs), the decision to hire their first associate marks the transition from solo practitioner to a budding agency owner!


Exciting, right? Well… there is more to running a team than people think.


You're not just changing your business operations but also a shift in mindset from working IN the business to working ON the business.


The first thing to recognise prior to bringing on help, is recognising the need to hire.


Here are the MAIN signs it is time to expand:

  • Overwhelming Workload: If you're consistently turning away clients or working overtime, it's a clear indicator that you need help.

  • Opportunity for Growth: Hiring an associate can help you accept more work and expand into new service areas, fostering growth.

  • Focus on Core Tasks: Delegating routine tasks allows you to focus on high-value activities and strategic planning.


Experiencing the above? Then let’s find you the RIGHT person to hire.


Don’t just outsource to anyone. I’d recommend at the beginning to delegate tasks which you currently look after.


This will be an easier way to gain experience in hiring and managing an associate, which will then help to streamline your processes to ensure that you have something in place for all future associates.


When recruiting, focus on these key areas:

  • Skill Match: Does the VA’s skills align with your clients' needs and your company's services.

  • Cultural Fit: The associate should share your work ethic, values, and vision.

  • Adaptability: In a small agency setting, flexibility and the willingness to wear multiple hats are crucial as their role may expand.


So, you’ve found your new associate, how exciting!


Now, it’s time to put some effective onboarding strategies in place:

  • Structured Training: Implement a comprehensive training program to set standards and expectations.

  • Regular Feedback: Establish a routine for providing and receiving feedback to foster a positive work environment and continuous improvement.

  • Clear Communication: Maintain open lines of communication to ensure alignment and address any issues promptly.


With any new project, client or associate coming on board, there will be teething issues BUT if you are communicative, give clear feedback to enable the VA to work on what is required to complete tasks effectively then you shouldn’t have any issues!


Once you have a process in place, it is then time to create a checklist so that you can look to outsource your outsourcing, or better still set up automations to do it for you!


At Virtual Lottie, we not only support VA’s with aligning their processes to help them systematically but we also are renowned for supporting VA’s optimising their social media profiles.


Don’t just focus on bringing on associates, remember you still need to market your business!


First impressions count.


Get your socials audited today and receive a BONUS CALL to run through all recommendations and next steps to help you reach new clients!





This blog was prepared or accomplished by Lottie Doherty in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Kayleigh Johnstone or COZ PR.

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