Reading her email felt like a slap across my face.
Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but hearing that someone who had been helping me in my business for years now wants to leave, well that’s exactly how it felt.
Looking back, it took a lot for me to decide to hire someone. I felt very uneasy letting go of all the things, and trusting someone else with my clients.
To say I resisted, is putting it lightly.
But when I knew I couldn’t keep up with the pace of my growing business, I decided it was time.
Having the systems and tech tools in place made the transition much easier, but on an emotional level it required a compete mindset shift.
I’ve been lucky to have had only 4 virtual assistants in my business in 18 years.
The first one left abruptly with no notice. I was left having to publish my newsletter on my own (again) … which consumed time I didn’t have.
The second one accepted a full-time job and got out of the virtual assistant space altogether.
The third one left and thankfully gave a month’s notice. I was able to have time for a transition with my new assistant, and pinpointed the bumps and gaps in advance.
I still have my fourth VA and she is awesome!
The scary truth is this … assistants will eventually leave your business. Whether they’re employees or on contract, this is a fact and a reality.
What do you do when they leave unexpectedly and you’re left suddenly running the show on your own?
How can you alleviate the fallout from their departure?
Watch this video and I’ll answer both those questions.
First of all, every business owner I’ve met has had someone on their team leave at one stage or another.
So if this is happening, or has happened, to you … know that you’re in good company.
Because it’s so common, it’s vital that you make sure you create your own systems and choose your own tech tools … not your assistant.
This is so important and something I tell all my clients.
If you’re depending on your assistant to create systems and choose the tech tools for your business, you’re setting yourself up for misery.
Because when they leave, you’ll be left with tools you don’t know how to use (or don’t like using) and systems that are likely still in your assistant’s head.
So what do you do when they leave unexpectedly?
Pinpoint the biggest gap as a result of their departure and focus on on that.
Is it scheduling? Publishing your newsletter? Social media posting? Whatever it is, focus your attention and energies there. If you have the systems and tech tools in place, fill the gap yourself. If not, let it go until you find someone.
Communicate with your clients.
Let your clients know that your assistant has moved on. Manage their expectations in terms of some bumps along the road. Alleviate any concerns they have by telling them this situation is temporary and you appreciate their patience.
Remove their access from all your apps.
Likely your assistant had access to your tech tools, including your email, calendar and shared folders. Make sure to remove their access. If you use a password manager, you can do this in a matter of minutes.
How to avoid the stress of an assistant’s departure.
Write down all your systems.
Make sure you’ve downloaded all the HOW TOs from your head and your assistant’s head. Store these systems in your Business Playbook.
Cover their departure in your contract.
Ensure your outsourcing contract stipulates that you require at least 2 weeks notice (ideally 4).
Always have a back up plan.
Routinely be on the lookout for other assistants, even if you have one. This is so you’re not left at ground zero with no hope of finding a replacement for weeks or months.
Become their favourite client so they won’t want to leave.
Run a streamlined and organized business. Regularly recognize their contribution and how it makes a difference. That way, if another opportunity presents itself, they’ll think twice before moving on to another client.
Your Next Step
Is your business back-end prepared to handle the loss of your assistant? What steps have you taken to mitigate the stress and overwhelm that comes when a team member decides to leave. Leave a comment below and let’s continue our conversation.