If you want to sell on Amazon, then the FBA program is one of the best ways to scale quickly. It will allow you to grow faster than you perhaps otherwise would, and to make use of economies of scale along the way. Whilst this is great news for your business, and your bank balance, you’ll soon find that you need more hours than there are in the day just to stay on top of the admin. It’s a good problem to have though, and it’s one that we can help you solve with our latest article.
Here’s everything you need to know to hire an Amazon FBA virtual assistant so you can grow your business the smarter way.
Define the scope of the role you want to create
Perhaps the most important thing is to define the scope of the role. You might think this is common sense, but you’d be amazed at the number of businesses who never think to do it. Just because you’re always in a rush and somehow still muddling through doesn’t mean that your FBA virtual assistant will be able to do the same. It’s got nothing to do with their innate ability or experience, it’s just that they don’t have the same level of familiarity with your business as you do.
To ease the transition, and to ensure you get the most out of your new hire, you need to sit down as a team and give some careful consideration to what the role will consist of. Far too many VAs have been hired thinking they were going to do one thing, only to find out they’ve undercharged and actually have been tasked with a brief that grows week after week. All this does is reduce morale, and result in a high turnover.
Explore the different hiring platforms
Once you know what you want your FBA virtual assistant to actually do on a day-to-day basis, you can start browsing the various platforms out there. There are quite a few freelancers and large agencies who will have their own websites, but you’ll find all of them, and thousands of others, on the big freelance sites. UpWork and Fiverr are some of the most commonly used and are well worth a look if you want to see what you can get for your money.
They also have the added benefit of offering payments via an escrow account. This is where the platform holds your payment until the work is completed to your satisfaction. Ideal if you want the peace of mind that you’re going to get what you paid for.
Create a specialist job posting for each platform
Now that you know which platforms you want to advertise on, you can start creating platform-specific listings that will help your opening really stand out. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can put any old listing and price up there and people will apply. You’ll get applications on these types of platforms no matter what you post, but if you’re looking for a FBA virtual assistant who will make a real difference to your business for years to come, you’re going to need to really stand out for all the right reasons.
Use screening questions to identify the best and brightest
Take a site like Trust My Paper who outsources various copywriting tasks to freelance writers. Their brand would soon be tarnished and deemed worthless if they let anyone write for them — what they really need are a few select writers who are always ready and waiting. You could use screening questions like these to identify the best and brightest candidates out of your pool of applicants:
– How would you deal with an order that has been delayed due to circumstances beyond your control?
– Can you give an example of when you placated an irate customer, and what did you learn from the experience?
– If there is one area you would like to improve in, what is it?
Review references and recommendations
There’s no substitute for knowing what one of your peers made of your prospective new hire before they sign on the dotted line and join your team. Fortunately, this is what references are for, and any seasoned VA will be able to provide half a dozen glowing references.
Making sure you take the time to contact the referees will give you plenty of insight into the way the candidate works, what you can expect from them, and how their personality will fit with the rest of your team.
Use video interviews for your shortlisted candidates
There’s nothing like being able to put a name to a face, and with FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype all at your fingertips it’s never been easier. Treat it like a normal face-to-face interview and you’ll be able to get a great idea of how good a fit the VA is for your team. If you line up a few core questions in advance, then you’ll have plenty of structure to work with.
Consider any language or cultural barriers
Supreme Dissertations is a great example of an inclusive business that has made diversity one of its key strengths. If you want to be able to work as a single cohesive unit, you need to make sure everyone is able to communicate smoothly and effectively. Take the steps needed to allow that to happen and you’ll find your business is the real beneficiary when it’s all said and done.
Have an onboarding meeting to align expectations
Onboarding is the end of the hiring process and the start of the training process. If you want to get your new VA up to speed from day one, then you need to put in the effort at this stage. Give them login details, passwords, company policies, shipping information, and anything else you know they’ll need to add value to the team.
Meet periodically to keep everyone in the loop
No article on hiring a FBA virtual assistant for Amazon’s FBA program can afford to ignore the common mistakes people so often make. One of them is to hire a VA, onboard them, and then, rarely get in touch to hear how things are going. If you assume everything is fine, then it may or may not be, the point is you just won’t know. You can easily remove any doubt or barriers to communication with a periodic meeting by using an Amazon Helpdesk tool. It can help you to establish an effective line of communication with your VA, monitor, and measure their performance according to the metric displayed on the dashboard. Your VA will appreciate the transparency and feel valued, and your business will thrive as a result.
Update any training needs and requirements on an ongoing basis
Training a FBA virtual assistant is about ensuring they have the skills that will allow their input and portfolio of tasks to grow in line with your business. By being proactive and forward-thinking you can lay the foundations for a team that can run your business for you in the not too distant future.
Now that you’ve seen how to hire your very own virtual assistant it’s over to you to put our advice into action. With thousands of able and capable professionals out there, you’ll have a deep talent pool to choose from when you’re looking to make your next hire. Just what you need to take your online store to new heights whilst someone takes care of the hard work for you.
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at GrabMyEssay. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog