Selling products on Amazon come with a lot of obstacles you need to overcome. Even the best sellers of various categories of products need to make trade-offs. To achieve success on Amazon, you need to constantly watch everything happening and efficiently manage all tasks to remain successful. There is no time for oozing off or delaying a task to some other time.
Such a rigorous routine means you need to manage your daily tasks on a routine basis. Else, you are going to miss crucial business opportunities and start losing profits. You may also have less time to identify and address real customer concerns.
At such a stage of business management, you must consider hiring an expert Amazon virtual assistant.
What is an Amazon virtual assistant?
VA or virtual assistant is a term fast becoming prevalent within the e-commerce industry. An Amazon virtual assistant is a person who knows the e-commerce industry and Amazon well. They are a resource that can work off-site for you to effectively manage your Amazon stores and keep your business running profitably.
When hiring an Amazon VA, you rely on their expertise and skills to save yourself more time for other tasks or for family. The VAs take care of the more repetitive tasks that are crucial to your e-commerce support. You have the option of hiring virtual assistants on a project, part-time or full-time basis.
Are you still not sure whether you want to hire an Amazon virtual assistant?
Many of the clients that we come across are hesitant in hiring virtual assistants for Amazon. Some find it a trust issue, and others think it is not easy to manage critical business tasks via remote personnel.
Some are skeptical about the performance of a VA. Many think that they may not accurately represent the hours that they are spending on different tasks. Others fret remote VAs may leave the project in the mid.
If you think the above concerns make it difficult for you to consider hiring virtual assistants for Amazon, let us give you answer to these questions in a detailed manner.
Amazon VAs are trustworthy individuals, know their tasks, and capably perform them. The only thing you need to consider is making the hiring process of an AMZ VA as rigorous as possible. It means collecting all the right information and verifying it afterward.
To help you further ease the process of hiring AMZ VAs, let us go through the steps and tips that you can follow to find the right human resource for your Amazon store.
Steps to Follow in Hiring an Amazon Virtual Assistant for Business
Let us have a look at some of the top reasons you must consider hiring an AMZ VA.
Step 1: Know the Tasks to Outsource
The first step is determining the repetitive tasks. Those to-do items are repetitive and you are comfortable outsourcing them to a VA. These are the tasks that a professional can perform and you can save yourself time. For instance, editing photographs may not be something that you have the skills or time to do. Thus, you should outsource it to a VA with graphic designing skills.
This list of tasks for the VA to perform lets you set realistic expectations about the work they are going to perform.
Step 2: Key Performance Indictors
Set the KPIs you are going to use to evaluate the VA’s performance. KPIs help you set realistic expectations between yourself and your VA.
Here are some of the pointers to help you determine the KPIs.
- Total number of hours they will work for your e-store
- List of all the tasks they will perform
- Key performance indicators they will have to reach each month
- Tasks they will perform and be held responsible for
- Ways to communicate with each other
- The right format for the report and the business processes
Define the Work Scope
There is a common mistake that many of the Amazon sellers make, expecting too much from the VA beyond their job description. If you hire an Amazon VA for performing a particular task, you cannot expect them to help with any other task not related to the main work.
If you hire an Amazon virtual assistant for graphic designing, you cannot expect them to perform tasks related to copywriting. The VA neither has the skills nor the proficiency to perform any other tasks out of their domain of expertise. Such out-of-scope tasks take more time and they will not be able to complete it to your satisfaction.
This is why you have to set the expectations regarding the work your VA will perform. Try to add all the details to their responsibility so that there remains no ambiguity between you and your virtual assistant.
Create a Simple Yet Elaborate AMZ VA Job Description (Responsibilities)
No matter which method you choose to find out VAs for your AMZ store, you need to make the processes crystal clear. Make sure that your job posting has no ambiguity. The listing must contain details on your expectations for hiring an Amazon virtual assistant.
Many experienced AMZ business owners include a question or two that the VAs applying for the job have to answer in their email correspondence. If the candidate’s reply email has an answer to that question, it means they did read the entire job description. This approach makes it a lot easier for you to shortlist candidates for the VA job posting.
Step 3: Find Candidates Fitting Your Budget and Requirements
Once you know the responsibilities of the VA or tasks they have to perform, the next step is to define the business process. Find the candidates that match your requirements and come within your budget. Connect with so many VAs as you can for your Amazon FBA business. You can find a vast talent pool on sourcing websites, independent consultants, and AMZ VA service providers.
Step 4: Interview the Candidate for the Post of VA
Hiring the right candidate as an AMZ VA takes time. You need to be patient with the hiring process to recruit a virtual assistant for the job. You can also schedule online calls on Skype or Zoom to know the candidates better.
Job interview questions to ask when hiring an Amazon virtual assistant
- Total experience of the VA in years
- The skills and expertise they bring along
- Any additional training, certificate, or diplomas they have done
- Previous experience in managing products similar to that in your niche/category
- Are they OK with receiving regular feedback calls?
- Do they have any particular skills that can further help you?
- How do they deal with sensitive company information?
- The number of working hours of the VA
- Do they have any particular days or times of the year they want to take off as holidays?
- What payment model and frequency suits them for compensation?
- Any particular Amazon-related tools like Helium 10, Jungle Scout, or others they need for their work?
- What are the software and tools they have experience in operating?
- Do they give consent that you can use monitoring software to see their productivity?
- Do they have any other clients they are working for?
- Can they provide any previous clients’ fdreferences?
- Is there any particular area they want to improve?
- What values do they expect from their employer?
- Do they charge extra for any additional tasks?
- Are they ready to sign with your NDA and a contract?
Give the VAs Demo Tasks
Before you hire a virtual assistant for various tasks, it is a good idea to give them demo work. You can give the same work to different remote assistants to see which one performs the best. This test helps set your expectations regarding the quality of the work they will deliver.
Pro-Tip 2: Even if you hire the VA services for Amazon, do not expect any major change overnight. They do need time to settle down and understand the work before bringing big positive changes.
Are you worried about the payroll expense?
Many business owners consider virtual assistant hiring as an added cost for their e-commerce venture. They may consider using their existing staff to do the work or rely upon full-time employees for the completion of pending tasks.
The virtual assistance industry of Amazon is undergoing a big change. VAs of today are more professional, acting as independent freelancers to offer their services by adding value.
In some cases, the hiring of a VA for AMZ can result in close to 80% annual cost savings.
You only hire a virtual assistant for Amazon when you need their services. This means selecting a resource as per your requirements and their location. The starting salary of an AMZ VA is $6 per hour for managing the day-to-day administrative, fulfillment, and customer service responsibilities.
The more experienced can even fetch more VA compensation from $16 to $20 per hour, offering a specialized skill set like market research, PPC campaign support, or graphic designing.
Are you still wondering if you require the services of a VA or perhaps is it the right time?
Well, there is no right time when AMZ sellers can consider hiring an Amazon virtual assistant. If you are not certain if you want to hire a VA or not, then see if your business’s daily tasks are done on a timely basis.
If everything you are managing for your AMZ store is in order, you do not need to worry about hiring a VA. However, if you think that things are getting neglected and impacting your business profits, you need to consider getting external help.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to know if you must hire a VA or not.
- Are you overwhelmed with the number of tasks you need to perform daily?
- Feeling unhappy about the important tasks not getting completed on time?
- Do you feel unproductive or undervalued for your time because you are spending most of your time doing tasks like account management and product listing?
- Do you feel your business is not reaching its full potential because you are unable to find time to identify new expansion opportunities?
If the answer to any of the above questions is a yes for you, then you need to consider hiring a virtual assistant. Let us have a look at the right way to find a VA for your e-commerce business.
Sources for Hiring an Amazon Virtual Assistant
The best amazon virtual assistant providers fully comprehend the challenges that the clients face in hiring the right talent. Therefore, you must know from where you can hire such talent.
So from where can you hire the top Amazon virtual assistants?
The first two resources are Upwork and Fiverr. These are the top two freelancing websites that connect freelancers with clients searching for professional help. You can hire the VAs offshore on a full-time basis, with a long-term commitment to manage your day-to-day Amazon store management tasks.
You can also find online different virtual assistant companies for VA which offer services to manage your Amazon store.
Invest time in finding the right resources so that you can focus on the big picture of your business. Set realistic expectations and convey the work requirements upfront. Make sure that you understand the working culture of people in different countries to show some flexibility. Lastly, give time to your VA and yourself to understand each other. Ask questions, give feedback and facilitate in the beginning to ensure smooth flow of work.
M Farrukh Iqbal is the CEO & Founder of AmazinEcommerce.com, specializing in professional Amazon FBA Wholesale & Private Label business. We create Amazon online business success stories through proactive management of our clients’ portfolio for customers from across the world.