If you’re a like many of the busy founders and executives we work with trying to grow your business, you’ve probably found your time is stretched pretty thin. We often have clients get in touch who know they need to delegate some of their tasks, but they haven’t yet had the time to sit down and figure out exactly which tasks are best to hand-off.

That’s where having a premium virtual assistant really comes in handy. Of course, they’re not mind readers, but almost…

A premium virtual assistant will actually get to know you and your business, and proactively seek out ways to save you time, (vs. having a task-based VA who takes on projects as they are assigned). And as you begin to delegate more and more tasks, your time opens up to focus on the important aspects of your business like growth and development. Because the virtual assistants on our team have so much experience in helping clients do just that, we decided to do a Q&A series with them to figure out exactly how they go about it.

Today, we are giving voice to one of our VAs, AnnMarie, whose generous heart and immense commitment to seeing her clients succeed has landed her multiple accolades.

AnnMarie has been part of the Worldwide101 team since 2015, and a virtual assistant since 2011. She has an extensive background in growing emerging businesses and nonprofits through attention to operational structure, process improvement, customer service, employee and volunteer development, and marketing. She prides herself on being able to anticipate the changing business needs of her clients and constructing valuable plans for organizational development. Her 17+ years of experience includes work in several industries including retail, non-profit, and industrial. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in marketing and business management/law.

We spoke with AnnMarie and asked her how she’s not only retained her clients for the past 2 years, but helped them experience significant growth.

Audrey: AnnMarie, you have a proven track-record of being very proactive with your clients. Can you share with us two ways in which that has proven to be an asset for them?

AnnMarie: Of course! I have been supporting my clients since November of 2015. When I very first started I remember one client in particular had put down as his main requirement extensive meeting scheduling as he was working on various consulting opportunities while trying to launch his own company supporting strategic marketing for nonprofits. It seemed easy enough and I was happy to step in.

But as we started working more closely together I started noticing in our weekly meetings that he would often speak of his long to do list, and in particular of the fact that he had lots to do but not so much the interest to do many of the tasks that were taking him away from, and so these tasks would fall low on his priority list. As it turns out, these were all things I could help with. So I suggested we start making a list for me to tackle. Slowly as we built trust and as I explained the ways I could help, he was suddenly able to focus his attention on higher priorities. Over the last 2 years, I have helped him grow from just starting his business (as a 10hr account) to now (using 50hr per month) having a successful consulting company with 5 employees responsible for attaining almost $2 MILLION in grants for various nonprofits focused on youth education and families in need.

Audrey: What process did you use to take over these tasks, while assuring them they were in good hands?

AnnMarie: The key to our successful partnership has been to establish trust – and that happens through consistent and reliable support. When we very first started, I suggested that we meet twice a week to review his pending to dos and to set priorities. It was also a time when I could update him on pending tasks and also ask questions and get to know how to handle his work in a way that represented him and his business accurately and in the best light.

Whenever I took on a task, I was sure to give an accurate estimation of time to complete and get it done well so he was able to have insight into each project. After a few completed projects, his trust in my abilities and skill set grew rapidly and has turned into him consistently tapping my business operations, marketing, customer service and human resources background for a number of projects as well as to consult on how he grows his business!

Since we started working together his company has grown exponentially, we have a “waiting list” of companies hoping to work with us as we grow!

Audrey: That’s fantastic. It’s obvious that a little proactivity can go a long way in building solid, trusting partnerships with clients.

AnnMarie: I take pride in exceeding expectations in everything I undertake for the clients I support. And I maintain a positive attitude – nothing is ever too big to tackle, especially when you have an established partnership with a client and there is mutual trust and a good dose of communication!

AnnMarie resides on a hobby farm in rural Minnesota, when she is not working on helping her clients grow their business,where she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 young children, 2 dogs, 4 cats and 4 horses! AnnMarie is also an avid equestrian and trains and shows her own horses. Part of her farm is devoted to a stable where she boards her own horses and those of others in the area.