Business today is transitioning and many entrepreneurs are performing business operations online and/or from home. This is just one of many reasons business owners may need the services of a Virtual Service Provider rather than an employee.

Here is a list of eight keys to help you easily transition to working with a virtual service provider.

  1. Build a relationship with your VSP. You will both understand each other better and communicate your needs to each other better. View your VSP as a team member. Their goal is for your business to grow and for you to succeed.
  2. Be clear with what you need, the time frame and the desired outcome.
  3. Keep in mind that VSPs are not employees. They are independent contractors that operate their own businesses and they have their own procedures and business models.
    • Communicate with your VSP according to how they request. Unless you purchase all their available hours, they most likely are serving other clients as well. This means they have scheduled time on their calendar to work on your project as well as their other clients. Your VSP will also have time off. Never assume they are always available to chat or text.
    • Develop systems (or hire your VSP to assist you) if you have tasks that need performed in a particular manner. Procedures such as sorting your emails into specific folders or a procedure for client intakes, document the system so that every time you need your VSP to perform these specific tasks, they are worked out in the same way.
  1. Select a VSP that has a network of other contrators available to them. If your VSP does not provide a service you need, most likely they know someone who does.
  2. Turn your repetitive tasks over to your VSP as they can quickly and easily take these off your hands, saving you money and freeing up your time to do what you do best.
  3. Ask your VSP for their recommendations for applications and programs. They are there to help you better your services and grow your business.
  4. Know and respect your VSP’s hours of operations. Just because they work remotely does not mean they work every hour of the day and night. Refrain from texting or calling in the evenings or on the weekends unless they have specifically said it is alright to do so.
  5. Ask your VSP about all the tasks you can delegate to them. It is very likely they provide more services than you’re aware of. They may be able to take more off your shoulders than you realize.

The most important thing is that your business relationship with your VSP is beneficial to both of you. Using the services of a VSP should be positive and bring relief to your work load. Your relationship should also challenge your VSP and provide the opportunity for them to grow as a person and a business.

Whether you are currently working with a VSP or in search of one, I hope these 8 Keys to Working with a Virtual Service Provider (VSP) assist you in building the best relationship with the person you trust to help you grow your business.

Sandra Fry is a Business Strategist at Fry & Company