Many business owners have discovered that delegating email management to a Virtual Assistant is the most effective way to end their long struggle with their inbox.
A chaotic mailbox is a common scenario for busy business owners. At a quick glance it may seem easy but as the business grows and more people try to connect via email, it will be necessary to delegate this task to a Virtual Assistant.
Going over mails can be stressful especially when left unattended, so it is wise to enlist the assistance of someone trustworthy.
Before you pass on this job to a Virtual Assistant, make sure that you have a system set up already. It would be easier for your staff to manage your email when you give them specific instructions. It is also advisable to get someone who is experienced in handling this kind of task.
Keep in mind that Email correspondence is essential to the growth of one’s business so if you cannot handle it on your own, let someone else do it for you.
Here are steps to take before turning over your email to your Virtual Assistant.
- Set up a business Gmail account if you do not have one yet. You can also use your domain name email account. Grant your Virtual Assistant access to your account and share your username and password.
This will allow him/her to go through your mailbox to be able to read and reply on your behalf.
Make sure that this account is dedicated solely to business and just set up another account that will cater to mail coming from family and friends.
- Give guidelines on how to manage your email. Do not just turn over your email account and expect your staff to know what is in or out. It is best to prepare a set of rules on how to filter and organize your inbox.
Determine what goes straight to trash and what goes to archive. You can set up a selection process based on sender. Group your contacts according to order of priority.
For example, existing clients and prospects will be handled by you, while first time queries will be replied to by your Virtual Assistant.
- Set a fixed schedule. This will allow your Virtual assistant to work on your inbox at a set period of time. It’s standard practice to check email first thing in the morning so you may opt to schedule your email review at 9AM every two days. Opening your email with a filtered inbox is surely a great way to start the day.
- Give your Virtual Assistant the authority to delete mails. Initially, it will be difficult to give someone else control over your email. You have to fully trust your staff to differentiate beneficial from waste mails.
Allow him/her to make decisions, after all he/she will strictly adhere to the rules you set. Do not think of it as an invasion of privacy but rather see it as a step to email freedom.
It is also important that your Virtual Assistant is well oriented on your business plans. This way he/ she will be able to figure out what kind of email correspondence suits your kind of business.
Delegating e-mail management tasks to your Virtual Assistant may seem uncomfortable at first. But as long as safeguards and proper guidelines are established and clearly cascaded, you will be able to have more productive work days.