VAs, this one’s for you: Micromanaging can be a good thing.
Yup, I said it! You’re probably rolling your eyes and maybe even reconsidering our agency based on that statement but bear with me for a moment. I PROMISE I’ll show you how micromanaging can improve your client relationships. But first—what does micromanaging even mean?
According to Webster’s dictionary, to micromanage is to manage especially with excessive control or attention to detail.
Keep that definition in mind and consider the following:
I notice a few things ALL THE TIME when I’m meeting with a current or prospective VYA client for an initial discovery call…
- they are successful BUT worn down
- they have experienced tremendous growth BUT need someone/a team to help with their continued growth
- they have vision BUT find it difficult to keep up with the daily tasks
- they have a great work ethic BUT feel scattered, forgetful, and disorganized
- their passion inspires them to work on their business BUT their overwhelm keeps them working in their business
- they are “all in” for their business BUT it doesn’t mean they have to “do it all”
Let’s circle back to our definition:
To micromanage is to manage especially with excessive control or attention to details.
VAs—your clients have entrusted you with their businesses.
They recognize just how much their pain points are holding them back that they have chosen to enter into a contract and working relationship with you to see results. They want to feel a change. In a way, they are looking for someone to manage especially with excessive control or attention to details.
Bear with me once more.
I don’t have to explain or define “attention to detail” for us to know it’s a good thing. But what about excessive control?
Let’s look at it in another light.
Webster defines excessive as exceeding what is usual, proper, necessary, or normal. Webster also defines control as the power or authority to guide or manage. Those two definitions don’t sound so bad, right?
So micromanage is an icky word, let’s reframe → instead, a VA who micromanages is someone who exceeds normal management of your business and tasks. That actually sounds pretty good!
Let’s jump right in on how this can be done!
Three ways to effectively micromanage…
Without one feeling micromanaged…
While also producing results!
1. COMMUNICATION -> BUILDS TRUST
As we all know, communication is key. Weekly standing meetings are great (start of the week to discuss what needs to be done and end of the week to discuss what was accomplished), but is that all?
Question: How can a VA communicate with excessive control and attention to detail for the client to trust the work is being accomplished honestly?
Answer: Frequent communication of your progress report! This might feel more like the client is micromanaging the VA by needing constant updates, but it’s also a way for the VA to micromanage your client’s feelings: We want our clients to feel the impact of your work vs only seeing the end result. Invite them to share in your progress by giving updates and status reports.
By doing so, you’re micromanaging how they feel throughout the process, hopefully resulting in more trust and autonomy because you have proven your integrity.
2. SYSTEMS -> BUILDS PRODUCTIVITY
Ask for your client’s to-do list. DAILY! Check things off together for a dopamine kick!
Create a shared project management system. This is a great way to support your client on a daily basis with what’s priority vs what’s urgent.
- What are three things your client wants to tackle today?
- How can you gently check in throughout the day to remind your client of XYZ?
- Where are there gaps that need new processes and systems to efficiently create more productivity?
3. ORDER -> BUILDS PRIORITIZATION
Ask for access to your client’s calendar!
Knowing your client’s calendar gives you permission to keep your Clients honest, on track, and on time (meetings, important dates, reminders, etc.) Not to mention, it also gives you permission to protect your Client and their “white space” as well as their values and priorities. It may sound something like this: “Don’t forget about your meeting with ___!”, “Looks like two appointments are overlapping, which one can I reschedule for you?”, “Your client is celebrating 2 years of business next week, don’t forget to send a congrats text!” “I thought you didn’t schedule calls on Mondays after 3:00. There’s a call scheduled, was that by mistake? Can I get this rescheduled for you?” Show your client you care about their time and what’s important to them.
I know this is a stretch, and that’s why it’s an unpopular opinion, but when performed in a healthy manner, micromanaging can be a good thing. VAs, remember this: it’s one thing to simply check things off the list for your Client, it’s another thing when your Client can feel the impact of your work!
How can you start exceeding normal management of your Client’s business and tasks today?! Comment below to share your thoughts!