Hiring an offshore assistant may be the best move for business owners, but as with all working relationships, partnership is essential in making sure both parties get what they need out of the business relationship.
Communicate. Establishing a set of ground rules and setting expectations at the start of the partnership will go a long way in managing your transactions. Clear instructions with projected outcomes and timelines are better than too-detailed explanations, which can be time consuming to read. At the same time, ask for confirmation that the task has been understood, and open your doors for any clarifications. This ensures that what you need gets delivered, and your offshore assistant will be able to adjust to your needs.
Keep things professional. This means being firm but not overbearing, and treating your offshore assistant with respect. As the “client” in the relationship, you are in the position that pays for the services, but this does not mean that you can demand unreasonable stuff, like impossible deadlines.
Your offshore assistant can give you recommendations regarding the project, and it would do well to keep those recommendations on the table. Most freelance offshore assistants and companies network with each other and being a difficult client may prove detrimental when no one wants to do business with you.
Make technology work for you. As offshore assistants work on a different time zone than you do, make sure to use instant messaging, forums, email, and even VOIP calls work to your advantage. At the same time, set up a system that would allow for your offshore assistant to contact you in the event that the internet may be down.