What to Do if Your Virtual Assistant Sucks…

This happens a lot…

Someone gets upset over a situation with their virtual assistant. They get frustrated because their VA didn’t complete a task as requested. The VA didn’t follow the instructions given and this person wasn’t sure how to handle the situation.

Of course, this is rather foreign to me because I honestly can’t figure out why you wouldn’t just tell the VA.

Then I remembered what it was like early in my outsourcing journey, treading on eggshells with virtual assistants. I quickly learned that you can’t be that way and expect your business to prosper. You also can’t expect to have a good relationship with your VA if you sugar coat everything or simply ignore the problem.

When you work with virtual assistants, especially when you are just beginning to outsource or the VA is new to the work, you have to remember one thing above all else. A virtual assistant is a business owner, just like you.

New here? I also have the following posts to help women entrepreneurs outsource their business tasks like a boss:

And of course, you should definitely take my free quiz to find out the #1 task that you need to outsource to not only free up your time – but to give you the space to focus on revenue-generating tasks in your business.

Good  Virtual assistants have a thick skin and take feedback and move forward with it, improving where necessary.

When mistakes are made, they don’t expect a scolding for it, but IF they are told about the error, they can fix it and do their best not to repeat it in the future.

For me personally, I think it’s a disservice to your VA NOT to tell her.

She is a professional and wants to ensure she’s done a good job. If she didn’t perform to your expectations and you don’t tell her, she’ll never know. You can’t expect her to correct a problem if she doesn’t know there is one.

Be sure that you are clear in your instructions.

9 times out 10, the problem with your virtual assistant can be traced back to a break down in communication.

Be sure that your VA knows if at any time she needs clarification, all she needs to do is ask. Be open to helping her out until she fully understands what is expected of her and what the outcome of each project should be.

I know the title of this blog post is over-the-top, but the point I’m trying to make is that communication is key with a virtual assistant (or any assistant for that matter).

So, for her sake and yours, don’t hold back for the sake of feelings, when things are not done up to par. Without proper communication, the work relationship CAN’T grow.

A VA worth it will take the feedback as constructive and will improve on it. If not, that VA probably isn’t one you want to work with in the first place.

On the flip side…

When your virtual assistant does a good job, make sure she knows it and that you appreciate the work she does. Positive feedback is always a good thing and you just might be impressed with the outcome of future projects when the VA knows how valuable she is to you.


  1. This makes a lot of sense and was a swift kick in the behind for me. Thanks!

    I’ll bookmark your blog as it’s my first time. Gotta love JustRetweet…

    Have a great day. 🙂
    – Carol Amato

    1. Melissa Ingold

      WOO HOO, I love doing some butt-kicking, LOL! 😀

      I’m thrilled to have you here with me, and I hope I see you around often!! Thanks Carol!

  2. Perfect timing. I have a few VA’s and they are all wonderful. However…isn’t there always a ‘but’ or an ‘however’…anyway…2 of mine are sometimes a little tardy, but the work is excellent so I always overlooked it or accepted it.

    After reading your post, I thought no…it isn’t right. My other VA’s are always on time and just as perfect.

    So I sent them both an email saying if their work wasn’t completed by XYZ I would have to relinquish all future assignments. Even when I sent the emails I knew they would be thinking, she doesn’t mean it…Susan is so sweet. 😛

    Well, I did mean it and I just sent a follow up email saying the deadline was up and work not received or even started, so I was ending our ‘contract’.

    I feel sad but also relieved. I could never count on them for promptness.

    Thanks Melissa for making me strong in my business.

    1. Melissa Ingold

      WOO HOO!!! 😀

      I know it’s not easy to put on your CEO hat and stand your ground for the good of your business, but it’s so empowering, isn’t it?

      It was clear that those 2 VA’s were taking advantage of you, so I’m thrilled that you finally stood up for yourself and did something about it. The thing is, as much as it sucks, there are thousands of awesome VA’s out there who would LOVE to work with you, so you really don’t have to put up with this kind of behaviour.

      And besides, by firing 2 people who weren’t serving and supporting you, you just made space for other amazing people to come in and truly support you in the way you need them to! 😀

Comments are closed.

I’m Melissa. I’m an entrepreneur, mom to two teens and a dog, and married to the love of my life.

I’m an outsourcing strategist for women entrepreneurs who are sick of struggling to get everything on their to-do list done while also growing their business and income. Hiring help will free up more of your time to focus on your big vision and the actual creation of your dream business. You’ll be able to earn more, reach more, and have the freedom you crave.

Obsessed with: adventure, camping, books, and essential oils.

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