Guide to working with a Virtual Assistant for Psychologists, Therapists, and Wellness Professionals.
You know you need help, but you are not sure where to start.
Are you at the point in your business where tasks are becoming overwhelming? Do you spend all day with patients, and then have to start doing your admin when you would rather be spending time doing something else?
I have been there, in my previous business I had the same problem, I never envisaged how much time would be taken up with the admin side of a business. What makes it worse is you don’t get paid for it!
Perhaps you have considered working with a Virtual Assistant (VA for short) but you are unsure of how it all works, or the tasks that you could hand over? This is what I hear from all new potential clients, so I have pulled together this brief guide.
I recommend tracking your time to audit how much time you spend on admin tasks. You may be surprised to see how long you actually spend.
How long do you spend each day replying to patient emails?
How do you invoice customers? How many hours a week or month do you spend on this task? Have you thought about using Accounting Software or a Practice Management Software (or both) such as WriteUpp? You may be spending time manually creating invoices when there are systems out there that can automate this task.
Diary management – Arranging or changing patient appointments. This can be a time consuming task! Lots of back and forth emails that can be reduced greatly with an online booking system or with a VA’s help.
What about when someone does not pay for an appointment? It can be a difficult conversation to have with someone you are providing therapeutic care for. A VA can be the ideal person to follow up with late payers without you needing to get involved.
Perhaps you are an expert witness? Dealing with third parties such as solicitors, case managers and families can be time consuming. Here at Psych VA we are experienced in dealing with these stakeholders and have an understanding of the process.
You have a new or existing Practice Management Software such as WriteUpp or Cliniko, we are experts in these systems and can help you set them up, create forms, create workflows, integrate accounting software and much more!
We can help with all of the above. You could use that time to see more patients, or spend it doing things you love.
I have put together a few useful tips about working with a Virtual Assistant as it is important to set realistic expectations:
A Virtual Assistant is a self employed professional business owner, they may work with multiple clients, VA’s plan your work into their working week.
When you start working with a new Virtual Assistant, allow for a settling in period, just as you would with a new employee. Your new VA needs to get to grips with your business and familiarise themselves with your systems and processes.
Communication is key! Try to explain clearly what you would like them to do, and set realistic deadlines. As we manage multiple client tasks, deadlines are really helpful!
Plan ahead where possible, sometimes it is not possible to expect a quick turnaround, we try our best, but we may have other work scheduled in.
Your inbox may only be checked once a day so please be aware that it may take 24 hours to respond. The frequency will be agreed before signing a contract. If you require your mailbox to be checked constantly, you may be better off employing a member of staff.
Virtual Assistants are not available 24 hours a day. As each is a self employed individual, they may work full time within school hours, part time, evenings or weekends. It is important to ascertain when your work needs to be carried out and if your VA works these hours.
Finally, a good VA will see your business as their own, they will be your business’s best friend. Here at Psych VA we pride in our work and are passionate about helping our clients and more importantly, their patients. We communicate with your patients with empathy and we care.
So what happens next…
Putting trust in others with your business is a big deal. You need to ensure you have the right fit with a VA.
To start with you can schedule a discovery call, these are free of charge and last around 30 mins. This is a two way process, please ask lots of questions, we understand this is new for you and may not know where to start, we can help with this and help guide you through the process.
Do check recommendations, ours are on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-bunch-psych-va/
Chat to other business owners who use a VA and ask for their experience of the concept.
The next step is the contracts and GDPR paperwork, these are really important and give both parties the opportunity to raise any questions and alleviate any concerns around data safety, who is responsible for what, passwords etc.
We will agree on the frequency of tasks, systems to use, communication methods, reviews and boundaries.
Do you want a retainer contract? This means you secure a set amount of hours each month for your VA to ring fence for your business. Or perhaps you prefer adhoc hours?
Once the contracts are signed and the tasks are agreed we can make a start, and then you can take back your time.
Please do get in touch if you fancy a chat [email protected]