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What is an Amazon Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an Amazon employee who works remotely for your company. They can work full-time, part-time, or on a contract basis (for instance, per task). A virtual assistant can assist you with a variety of actions, varying from administrative work to content production, product sourcing, and whatever else your imagination permits.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss my experience with using virtual assistants in my Online Arbitrage business, as well as will illustrate how you can do the same. If you are interested, please read it thoroughly.

Is a Virtual Assistant Right for You?

My answer to this query is a big “YES”. Even if it’s only one person helping for a few hours a week, I feel that everyone will benefit from having one or more VAs on their team. Your time is important, and you should not waste it on mundane administrative activities.

Having said that, finding a VA who will help you is a time-consuming endeavor, but it is time worth spending. I’ll show you how to get a VA on board by following the steps outlined below.

What Can a Virtual Assistant do?

As earlier said, I recommend outsourcing any repetitive work that will free up your time. Your time can then be spent on more productive activities or something unrelated to business. Consider what you could accomplish if you had an extra five or more hours per week.
One of the most efficient ways to choose which activities to delegate to a VA is to keep track of what you’re doing every 15 minutes for a week. Review where you spent your time at the end of the week and ask yourself the following question… Is it necessary for me to complete this assignment on my own? You’ll be astounded by how much time you spend on certain activities.
Here are some of the responsibilities I assign to my employees in my Online Arbitrage firm.

1. Product Sourcing

Product sourcing takes up the majority of your team’s work. However, I believe this is the most difficult activity to teach a virtual assistant in, as well as one of the easiest to outsource in the form of deal sheets. It’s a matter of personal preference whether you hire a virtual assistant for product sourcing or not.

2. Customer Service

In my company, I don’t have any virtual assistants who devote a lot of time to this. Simply because it does not take a long time for me. The majority of my problems are handled by Amazon, which completes 99.99 percent of my orders. As a result, I wouldn’t make this a top priority for VAs.

3. Lots of Admin

This, in my opinion, is the most crucial thing to outsource because it is simple to perform and consists of a series of repetitive chores that do not create revenue. For example, you can quickly make a video demonstrating VA how to reconcile a shipment. However, getting a VA to source as efficiently as you’d like will take a long time.

As a result, hiring a virtual assistant to help with administrative work has become more convenient. These are also crucial responsibilities. Your profitability will suffer if you do not make inventory adjustments, shipping reconciliations, pricing, etc.

My Top 3 VA Hiring Tips

1. Before You Start

Before you engage a virtual assistant, be sure you know what you want them to do. Be as precise as possible. Don’t just think to yourself, “I’d like them to source.” What sourcing approaches would you enlist their help with? How long do you want them to be on the job? How much will this set you back? What kind of software do you require? Do you have the funds to buy the deals you’ve found?

Recognize what you want the VA to do and what they’ll need to execute it. You must also be able to do these procedures on your own. If you can’t source items yourself, I don’t see the sense in hiring a VA to do so.

2. Where to Hire From

Hiring from the Philippines is something I strongly recommend. This is based on my own positive experience and that of friends who have used virtual assistants. These VAs were found using Get A Quotation.

3. Job Post and “Low Wages”

You may readily find job posting templates online; I won’t go into depth about one in this piece. I would, however, advise you to keep the job posting generic. This is because you will be avoiding those who are specifically looking for Amazon FBA jobs. As a result, you’ll limit the likelihood of “double-dipping,” which occurs when a virtual assistant finds the same leads for numerous clients. You can also train the VA based on your individual needs, rather than assuming that they already have undesirable habits.

You’ll notice that VAs in the Philippines earn “poor” salaries. This is because the cost of living in the Philippines is much cheaper, thus a dollar will go a lot further there than it would in the United States, for example. As a result, a good VA can be found for roughly 15000 PHP per month, or around $2 per hour, which is what I paid the sourcing VAs I originally employed as a starting allowance.

My Three-Step VA Hiring Process

Here’s a quick rundown of how I went about hiring my first virtual assistant team:

I made a job posting and required all applicants to answer a specific question in the title of their application in the main body of the text. This allowed me to rapidly weed out applicants who hadn’t read the entire job posting.

  1. From there, I sent out a Google Forms-created questionnaire, which elicited further information from applicants while also assessing their fundamental abilities. In addition, I made a video that explains the task in greater detail. This significantly reduced the number of candidates, allowing me to review questionnaire responses rapidly.
  2. After that, I had a Skype interview with the remaining candidates. I checked to see if they had access to the video if they had a strong internet connection (have them visit a speed test website), whether they were interested in the job and dedicated to my standards, and to get a general “feel” for their personality.

VA Training

As with the rest of this piece, I’m not going to go into great detail because this isn’t a course; instead, I’ll simply summarise the various training alternatives available to you, as well as what I did.

You basically have three choices. Either train them yourself, hire a pre-trained VA, or pay for private training. I chose the first choice because I wanted to train all six of my new hires to meet my standards.

I bought a course that VAs utilized to help with their training. I first completed the course myself so that I could make any necessary alterations to meet my unique requirements.

I then developed additional training resources using Screencast-o-Matic to create video instructions and Google Docs to supplement these videos, using the purchased course as a foundation.

I utilized Skype for one-on-one and small-group instruction and feedback, and Slack for general communication

Managing a VA

Payment

I pay my crew via Transferwise. This is done to cut down on currency conversion fees. Every month on the 1st and 16th, I pay my crew. I wanted to pay them monthly to save money on fees, but I know your VAs would prefer to be paid more regularly, so it’s a compromise I’m ready to make.

Holidays and Customs

Pay attention to holidays and customs, such as the Philippines’ 13th-month pay. Create a public holiday calendar for your workforce, regardless of where they are located.

Expectations Understood

To avoid future misunderstandings, make sure everything is crystal clear with your staff. Are they full-time, when do transactions have to be submitted, and are their hours flexible?

Feedback

Communication with your team regularly is critical for continuous improvement. Make sure to ask questions and allow your staff to speak with you. My staff rarely asks questions unless it is necessary. I think it’s best if you praise in public and criticize privately.

Time tracking

This can be done in a variety of ways. To keep track of how much time my team spends on deals, I use my deal analysis program. This software will also take regular screenshots, which one of my VAs will review to verify no one is gambling.

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to build a strong team. It will take time, but the benefits will far outweigh the time commitment. I began by enlisting the help of six sourcing virtual assistants (VAs). This is not something I would advise you to do. For the reasons stated above, I recommend that your initial employee be an administrative VA.
One of the members of the group has taken on the job of senior/manager. This consumes a great deal of my time. I honestly believe that without these VAs, I would not have been able to grow my company to its current scale.

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