Policies and Procedures

Discuss the importance of policies and procedures in your virtual assistance business.

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View Poll Results: Do you have an operations manual in place?
Yes, I have an operations manual for my VA business 13 16.88%
No, I don't have one and don't plan on drafting one. 11 14.29%
I'm working on my operations manual - it's incomplete at this time 41 53.25%
What's an operations manual? 12 15.58%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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    #31 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
I get them in place for my clients, so I keep individual ones. I don't have one for my own biz but yes, it's a great idea and will start one.

I agree and Ops Manual is always evolving. I have an ITILv3 background and CSI (continual service improvement) is the wrapper round it all - it's always worth being on the lookout for ways of doing things quicker and cheaper without loss of quality.

I make a lot of Jing vids as well. I have a few jobs I have to do for clients monthly, and it's easier to follow along with the video than to read something. As the tasks I do are so varied (this is nothing like working in a "proper" job than goodnesss!) I can't always remember exactly how to do them, so having the Ops Manual with vids means I can get tasks done much quicker.
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    #32 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
I don't, but plan to start working on one.
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    #33 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
Originally Posted by RhondaHolscher View Post
I already responded and I do have a manual, but I wanted to add this. You don't have to have the whole thing done all at once. Chances are if you are just starting out you aren't completely sure how you are going to handle all things. My suggestion is what you do is create what you have in your head already. The stuff you know you will do and how you will do it, and then just keep it handy and constantly update it as you go and before you know it you will have a very decent one. Here's the thing. They are almost never complete because you are testing and changing things which means you are changing and updating your manual.
I agree with Rhonda - I have a 'manual' to date for instructions on a server indexing project we have been working on with subcontractors for a few years. However, I am now taking it to the next level and building a manual to include the day-to-day processes, including the standard new client pages, etc. It is very important to have something another person(s) can refer to if they need to step into your shoes in case of an emergency, or gasp, vacation.
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    #34 (permalink)  
Old 06-12-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
I am in the process of hiring my first sub-contractor. I think I am at the point where I need to create an operations manual.
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    #35 (permalink)  
Old 07-04-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
I never really thought this to be necessary. I would rather utilize my time to market my business.

Just My Opinion,

Julie
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    #36 (permalink)  
Old 07-06-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
I created an operations 'manual' for one of my previous employers. Instead of the traditional binder system, I used a large black metal file box and I color coded and tabbed it according to the task.

I worked at a law firm at the time, so I had a tab for 'pleadings, subpoenas, requesting a new case number, conflict searches, etc.,' and the index cards matched the related tab, which made the cards quicker and easier to return to its correct slot in the box.

I think I may do that again as it was a really cool system.
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    #37 (permalink)  
Old 07-29-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
Lisa that sounds like a really effective system - as well as user friendly. I feel we don't always need to have the normal document type manuals. Sometimes some initiative can yield a wonderful solution, well done.
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    #38 (permalink)  
Old 07-29-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
Lisa, I like your idea a lot as having things colour coded s more up street :-)

I must admit I hadn't really thought of doing one but will definitely get started working on that.
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    #39 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
Thanks Tarryn and Celeste,

It was much faster to make as well. In the past, I've created the basic document manual which is very boring (to me), so the card system was a nice change. Whenever I worked on a task or project, or if something came to mind, I would simply pull out a blank colored card and start writing the steps. With this system, I never dreaded the task. I would always title each card if I had to use more than one for a particular task, staple them together and write "1 of 3", etc. on the bottom of each card accordingly in case they were ever separated for some reason.
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    #40 (permalink)  
Old 08-06-2012
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Default Re: Do you have an Operations Manual for your virtual assistant business?
My processes are either in my head (not good) or laid out in Evernote, but not accessible.

I'm in the process of getting documents laid out in Google Docs with an In Case of Emergency document that tells someone how to get access to the all the information.

I will also have that document printed incase someone needs to access it here in my office.
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