What do I do when my VA is making errors?

Animated character looking at a pot that is on fire. Caption is VA making mistakes?

What do I do when my VA is making errors


Click on the gif above to watch this video on YouTube or click play below to listen to the Podcast version



If your VA keeps making errors, there are plenty of ways to address them. Oftentimes there are several straightforward ways to address what’s happening, and I’ll not just go through the process of getting to the bottom of the situation, but also cover several specific solutions that will work for everyone involved.


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:15 A specific example – TYPOS!
  • 00:55 Questions I asked about the VA
  • 03:15 So what do you do when it’s just this one thing?
  • 03:34 Check the process!
  • 04:02 What’s the skillset?
  • 05:50 What if everything seems to be in place but there’s still a problem?
  • 06:30 Is there a missing tool?


The transcript is below if you would prefer to read this yourself instead of watching the video!


Hey! Welcome back or welcome to Sidekick COO. I’m Sandra B your Sidekick COO and today we are answering the question:

What do I do when my VA is making errors? 

So this question actually came to me because somebody had a virtual assistant who was constantly making typos. So basically, this person would always take what somebody had written and load it into their email service provider. They were responsible for proofreading it, making sure it was all good, testing the email, and all of that stuff before it got sent out. But the problem was that typos were constantly happening. So this person reached out to me and said, “what the heck am I supposed to do? Should I hire a proofreader to do this step for the VA? or I don’t know”. 

My answer to this specific question was to ask a few questions. So I was wondering if this virtual assistant was somebody who in all other aspects of the role was doing very well. Was this just the one thing that was problematic and if so, then maybe you take that off their plate? Maybe that’s not something that they do and you find somebody else to do it. Or, if it’s they’re constantly making errors in other places, maybe this just isn’t the VA for you.

You really have to think about really what’s happening as a whole and not just focusing on that one thing. I did say to this person as well, just to kind of double-check to see what kind of typos are being made. Is this something where it’s like

  • Are these uncommon words?
  • Are they industry jargon?
  • Are they fairly new words like solopreneur?

Is there a possibility of creating a glossary for them to refer back to or for them to create a glossary to refer back to? Also, thinking about “is this potentially something where maybe English isn’t their first language”? Maybe it’s harder for them to catch those errors because English isn’t their first language. So it’s not always super easy for them to catch English errors or vice versa, depending on what language you’re writing in. 

It can also be even just regional as well. If you’re in the United States and you have a VA who’s in Canada or the UK, it might be harder for them to catch certain errors because different words are spelled in different ways. Even though they’re very, very similar. I’m thinking of words like neighbor. In Canada, it has a U and in the United States, it does not. So even that can be harder to catch.

If typos are really the only thing, I would recommend double-checking your process. Make sure that they have a process. Find out from them. Ask them ‘What is your process when you’re going through the loading of the email”?

Making sure that checking spelling is one of those things and that they’re not relying on just their own cognizance to actually catch it. Have them install something like Grammarly so that they can actually set what region you’re checking for, and what type of voice you’re checking for and double-check spelling that way. They should be using a tool to help them with that because you know as humans, we’re gonna make mistakes and if you use a tool it’s gonna be easier. So that was like very specific about that one type of error.

However, the question does come up often for people about when they have a virtual assistant who seems to be really good at everything except this one thing.  That question is:

What do you do when it’s this one thing that this virtual assistant is struggling to do? 

# 1 – Check the process. 

What is the process that they’re following? Make sure that there is a process that they’re following and it has all of the steps. Make sure that if anything needs to be written, there are templates as much as possible. If there are any little things that keep being missed, make sure those are part of the process and make sure that they are using it every single time they do the task. Have it as a checklist. They have to check off that they did those things. So that’s the big one. What’s the process? 

# 2 – What is the Skillset

Is this something that if they just follow the process it should be fine? Or is there some other skill that’s involved? Do they need to be a little bit techier and understand how things connect to one another? Do they need to be a little more design-oriented and understand, you know, the value of white space or what colors work well together or how to make sure that things stay on brand? Or do they need to have a little bit more customer service skills? Maybe that’s lacking. Are there other skills that they might need to beef up in order to be good at this task? 

Once you check the process and the skills and you make sure that both are there, then you need to find out if this is something where they just don’t like doing it. Are they rushing through it? This isn’t something that’s in their wheelhouse, they just don’t have the skill to do it or they just don’t have the desire to do it. If they have the process and they have the skill and they’re still making errors, likely it’s like something where they’re rushing through it or it’s just something they don’t like so they don’t pay attention to it. 

Maybe it’s something that really needs a lot of detail and maybe they have a lot of skills to do the actual work, but they’re missing that soft skill, like attention to detail. See if they’re missing attention to detail in any other thing. When you’re thinking about skills, it’s not just tech skills or design skills, or customer service skills, but also attention to detail.  There’s also, you know, organizational skills, writing skills.  Whatever is required for that process for that task, you want to check out all of the skills that are needed and make sure that they have them. 

If the process is there, the skills are there, all of the skills are there, and they’re still getting it wrong. If it’s just this one thing and everything else is amazing, then maybe take that off their plate if you want to keep them as a VA.  If other things are suffering too, then maybe this isn’t the VA for you. Just make sure that you’re going through and double-checking things cuz a lot of the time I have business owners who kind of focus on this one little thing where everything else is amazing and this one little thing is the problem and they want to throw it all away. So I just wanna make sure that you’re not doing that. Make sure that you’re looking at the person as a whole and the job as a whole, and double checking that everything is good otherwise. 

# 3 – Tools

The last thing that I wanted to add to that actually is that if the process is there, and if the skill is there, and they’re like great at everything else and it’s just this one little thing, is there something else that you can implement that will help them? Is there a tool that you can install that would help them? I’m thinking like in this very specific case with the typos, getting a tool like Grammarly could help. 

If you’re doing social media and they’re having problems with coming up with designs, maybe you get some templates or have some templates created that they’re just filling in the blanks. Think about what else you might be able to do to support them in the role. If you really need them to do that thing and they’re really good at everything else, then it could be worth investing in something else to help shore up that weakness that seems to be occurring.

Again, definitely have the conversation with them because if it turns out it’s just something that they really don’t wanna do and they don’t offer it to any of their other clients, maybe you just take that off their plate and you find somebody else to do it. That is possible. If that comes up a lot then maybe you might have to think about a different VA cuz your VA is there to support you and people can’t always love everything. That’s kind of my last resort though but yeah, that’s kind of the overview of what I think you should do. 

So, if you like this video, please don’t forget to like and subscribe and if you know somebody that needs to hear this or has been asking this question, please send that video to them. 

Don’t forget, together, we thrive. 

Talk to you later.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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