The success of a business always comes with stress, lack of sleep. Other than that, you might be overwhelmed by all the demand and supply. In simple words, the more customers and sales mean more data & information to process and more work to do. It would be hard to do all the things by yourself. So, you need to hire other employees. But, if it is difficult for you due to any reason, you can hire a Virtual Assistant.
A Virtual Assistant is an employee who provides remote help. They can operate from anywhere in the world. A Virtual Assistant may have multiple clients. You can hire a one to hand over some of your day-to-day tasks.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a common thing for the first hire of online sellers. The difference between a freelancer and a VA is that a freelancer owns an entire function while a VA performs only specific tasks. Hiring a Virtual Assistant is cost-effective as they do not require you to pay additional expenses like you have to for a regular employee.
What task can you assign to the Virtual Assistant?
As long as you provide the right instructions, a VA can handle tasks from sales to social media management. Simply, you can assign them repetitive tasks with proper guidelines and instructions. Addition to that, if there is any task that requires an intelligent and resourceful person to process, you can hand over them to a virtual assistant.
Customer Service – responding to emails & phone calls
Social media management
When you are hiring a virtual assistant, you must ensure that you are knowledgable enough to teach and guide them. You must be familiar with the process and there shouldn’t be places you doubt.
When should you consider hiring a virtual assistant?
Have you ever think ‘only if I have more time… I can do much more things’.? Or some task is draining you out. For these things, you may not need permanent employees but help for a few hours. If so, hiring a virtual assistant is the best option.
Suppose you have used IFTTT, Zapier, Shopify Kit etc. and feel like it would be better if another person handles them. Then you can reach for the help of a virtual assistant.
Some tasks such as dealing with customers are very stressful and time-consuming. So, decide what worthy your time and focus on them. Invest your time for more important things like profit, revenue.
How much does it cost for hiring a virtual assistant?
It varies according to the region or country they are from. They might charge per hour, per task or project or a flat rate for a specific amount of time. If you are to choose from these options, the hourly charge is the best option.
If you have a stable financial status and very busy, you can consider hiring a remote executive assistant. That person will be like your right-hand person and help you with handling a wide range of tasks.
You need to vet your virtual assistant carefully and provide them with a proper job description.
Things you need to take care of before you outsource processes
1.Record the process
Explaining everything over the phone and hoping for your VA to complete their tasks is futile. So, you need to record the whole process and provide guidelines to perform the task. You can use a screen recording app like Quick Time to record every action you make.
For customer service, you can go through your past replies for frequently asked questions and prepare a script consisting of canned replies. So, the VA can refer them or directly use them to answer questions.
It would be better if you hire an experienced person rather than teaching from scratch. You can use Zendesk, Hootsuite or Facebook to find an experienced VA.
2. Writing the job description
Your job description must include the scale of your business, tools or apps they will use, language requirements, tasks they need to perform and keywords that people might use to search for.
The best place to hire a virtual assistant for your Shopify store is Upwork. They provide you with the tools needed to manage the virtual assistant.
a review system
a time-tracking feature
a chat feature
easy invoicing and global payments
a non – disclosure agreement built into the Terms & Services
Once you find prospects, make sure to interview them through skype or google hangouts, etc. Looking for references from past clients might be useful.
After you hire the person, it would be better and safe, if you can avoid giving login credentials to them. You can assign a separate staff account for them with specific permissions needed for their work. As a precaution to exposing any detail for your competitors as they might have multiple clients, make them sign a non – disclosure agreement.
You can set up a system to keep your VA accountable as it is hard to gauge the pace your assistant has to work. So, it would be good to enforce time-tracking. You can use Upwork built-in feature or a free tool like Toggl for this.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant can be seen as an impractical approach by some entrepreneurs who relish control. But doing business can not be done by yourself or you might run into bigger troubles. So, you must be willing to outsource when it