Working as a virtual assistant for the past seven years, I’ve worked with a wide variety of clients. Different industries, personalities and managing skills can either make for a good relationship or a bad one.

Having a team of my own, also allows me the opportunity to see things through the eyes of a client. I’ve made mistakes when working with team members, just like any entrepreneur.
Being on both sides of the coin affords me the ability to know what clients want, and also what team members want.

Here are my top dos and don’ts when working with team members.

1. Don’t micromanage. This is probably my biggest issue. When I get a client who is a micromanager, I feel suffocated. It’s like constantly having to look over my shoulder and I can guarantee this type of client will cause me to make more mistakes than anything else.

Do allow team members space to get their work done. Remember they are not employees, they are business owners like you with other clients. They aren’t always at your beck and call and you need to respect their boundaries.

2. Don’t be vague. There’s nothing like opening up a project management system to see a task that says something like, write an article. And nothing else. Well, ummm what would you like me to write about? How long? What’s the deadline?

Do be very clear with instructions. We’re good, but we’re not mind readers. Be as clear as you can on what your expected outcome is for the task you are assigning. Give your team member the who, what, when, where, why and how. If you aren’t sure of what exactly you need, talk to them. Have them help you get clear. In doing so, they will be clear as well.

3. Don’t give unrealistic deadlines. Most VA’s for example can get things done in the same day. But don’t drop a last minute product launch in their lap and expect it to be done in 24 hours.

Do be mindful of your team member’s time and other obligations. We all like to feel as if we are their only client, but reality is we aren’t. And we aren’t their only obligation. Family and outside appointments are also a factor. It’s best to expect a 24 hour turn around on most minor tasks. If you have something last minute, check with them first and make sure they can get it done.

4. Don’t forget gratitude. I’ve worked with clients who never acknowledged what I did for them. No thanks, I appreciate you, nothing. When you don’t let your team members know you appreciate them, you’ll soon find yourself with sloppy work, chasing deadlines and replacing team members.

Do let them know often how much you appreciate them. Nothing motivates a team member more than when they have a client who truly appreciates what they do and what they bring to the table. It can be very simple as an email, a hand written note card or a shout out on social media.

5. Don’t pay late. Most of us are very small business owners. We don’t have the budget to wait to be paid and that’s why most of us work on retainer. We have families to take care of and we rely on your prompt payment to care for them. Don’t make them chase you down for payments. It will sour your relationship.

Do pay on time. If for some reason your payment is going to be late, let your team member know. Find out when you first start working with them when they expect to be paid, and what kind of grace period they have.

The key to having a long-term relationship with your team members is to be the kind of client they want to with for years to come.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey Osborne is an expert Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant who assists high achieving entrepreneurs in surpassing their goals by managing the behind the scenes operations. By removing the stress of daily operations, Tracey allows her clients the focus and freedom to do whatever it is that they do best…thus resulting in heightened profit and growth. Grab her FREE time saving report; Inbox Management in 5 Minutes or Less here: