Watch the video, or read the Blog Post below.
In order for a business to operate smoothly and become as profitable as possible, the owner must be able to find a way manage all of its different departments efficiently and flawlessly without getting lost in the vast sea of tasks and responsibilities each one offers. Now, I'm not saying that you alone should manage your whole store -- no, you won't find any seasoned and experienced entrepreneur telling you that!
What I am saying is that you need to be able to find people best suited for different managerial roles and then direct them towards success. Trust me when I say this: hiring a LOT of people is never a wrong thing as long as you know that they are doing their respective jobs the way you want them to with as much efficiency and cost-effectiveness as possible.
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So today we are going to talk about virtual assistants, where to get them, and some tips for effective and constant communication to establish an efficient workflow around your whole team. Don't miss out!
To start (but you probably already know this, anyway), let us find out what a virtual assistant is.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is a person who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location. [...] Virtual assistants are especially in demand by entrepreneurs and online businesses that need help but don't want to bring on staff at their location.
-- Randy Duermyer, The Balance Small Business
Hourly VA Rates
The hourly rate of a VA greatly depends on the type of work he or she will do. However, in general, it is also dependent on the following factors:
- Negotiation and communication skills (of course, if they communicate well, they might be able to get you to fall right into their hands!);
- Certifications and licenses (if necessary); and
We won't go too deep into the details -- though if you want to get a generalized idea, an article by the Time Doctor has prepared a summary for the average hourly rates offered by VAs from the United States:
|Accounting and Bookkeeping Services||$12-25+|
|Miscellaneous Services (Marketing, SEO, Research, etc.)||$10-20+|
Now that our quick lesson's done, I'm going to give you a bit of context about why I created this video in the first place.
Did you know that I've made the mistake of not hiring enough people in the past? I thought that if I did, I wouldn't have to spend as much on manpower. But instead, I ended up having to do majority of the tasks all by myself! I can't rely on the other people on my team to do them, too, since they didn't specialize in them nor do they have any idea how or where to start!
Afterwards, I tried more virtual assistants than ever. Soon enough, I found that I had more time on my hands -- I was able to relax more, observe my website's analytics for an extended period of time, and regained that work-life balance I've always dreamed of! Now, I have been running this kind of system for my own stores for many years.
If you're curious about how many people are in my team and what their respective roles are, well you're in luck! I'm feeling kind of generous today and have decided to share this information with you. Maybe you can get some insights and build your own team based on mine, too, so keep reading! And as a bonus, I've prepared some juicy tips to help you and your amazing team of virtual assistants win and gain more profits!
My Current, Cost-Efficient Team
My main team consists of the following specialists (note that this is the case for my main store, general store and niche store, and I might have someone different for every store, or I just have one person do a specific task for me for all my stores):
- Video editor. Pretty self-explanatory.
- Media buyer. This person manages my Facebook Ads.
- Google Ads. Yep, you got that right.
- Order Fulfillment / Customer Service. These people are my customer care team -- they pretty much face the customers (via phone calls or messages) to handle questions or complaints.
- Suppliers. I probably have around 5 different suppliers for one store. Oh, and you should also view this as a pro tip: keep your suppliers to a minimum to avoid confusions and having to handle a lot of people with different product offers.
- Comment Mediators. These people go through all my ads and other posts and confirm or reject comments and even reply to them.
- Graphic Designer. This person may also be my video editor, although some professional graphic designers are not so adept at editing video files. And of course, there's;
- Me! I handle the rest!
Where to Get the Best VAs
Here's the big reveal: the place where only the best of the best professionals gather, waiting for you to handpick them and add them to your team: UpWork!
Visit their website to learn more about the many services you'll find. But basically, the platform allows virtual assistants and clients find each other through tailored job postings. The process goes as follows:
- A client posts a job.
- Freelancers try to apply for the job (and believe me when I say that there will be MANY applicants).
- Clients may also choose to send invites if they wish for a specific freelancer (often endorsed by the UpWork team themselves) to apply for the job.
- The interview process commences.
- You being the client will then choose the best freelancer out of the rest and offer a contract.
- You can modify the contract according to you and the freelancer's agreed terms.
- Finally, the contract is sealed and both of you can start working together!
How It Works
So yeah, you've found a place to outsource, but when would the "cost-efficient" part come in?
According to #6, you and the freelancer can negotiate specific terms for the contract. You can agree to their proposed rate or set one for themselves if you feel they are a bit too pricey.
If that's not enough, you can also set their weekly time limit (e.g., 10 hours, 20 hours per week, etc). Let's say your agreed hourly rate is $10 and the time limit is 10 hours per week; that would mean you only have to pay $100 per week, or $400 per month for a single virtual assistant!
Setting a time limit also allows the freelancer to work more efficiently since they have a goal they need to accomplish. "I need to finish my tasks within 10 hours so I can get paid in full for this week!"
Furthermore, as they are being bound by a contract, you can trust that they will actually do their tasks as per their own advertisements. Otherwise, you can give them the rating they deserve towards the end of a contract, or if things take a turn for the worst, report them to the UpWork team.
We're almost at the end of this blog post, so let me take this opportunity to give you some pro tips to help you and your team win in the business game.
Yep, in order to make all of these work, you need to have constant and effective communication with the people in your team. You can use applications such as Slack and Skype for instant messaging and Trello for proper task management.
...the Philippines! This country has super talented freelancers who offer their services at surprisingly lower rates, as compared to their US-based counterparts!
Best of all, if you're in Australia like me, our time zones work perfectly with theirs!
Don't stress your freelancers out by rushing their projects or actually being rude or mean to them. Verbal abuse won't result to anything productive. Give them reasonable time frames and let them take a breather every once in a while.
You can give them bonuses, too, if you feel like they deserve them!
Let's Wrap It Up!
No, you don't have to carry the burden of having to do EVERYTHING on your own. Feel free to hire virtual assistants that you think would be a great fit for a set of tasks you will be assigning them. After all, the hiring process starts with an interview, so you don't have to worry too much about getting the wrong person (just ask the proper questions, though!).
Before we end this post, I would like to invite you to my monthly membership group, The Pirate Club, where you can get everything you would need to build a successful online store. By joining in and becoming a pirate yourself, you gain access to the following:
- The Pirate Academy;
- The Pirate Product App;
- The Pirate Community; and loads more!
Intrigued? The Pirate Club is now open with an early-bird pricing plan, so be sure to grab this super affordable deal before it expires!
If you have any more questions about UpWork (and other freelancer platforms), proper hourly rates, task management or anything regarding this video, feel free to personally contact me via email at email@example.com. You can also leave your comments and feedback below, and our team over at WagePirate will definitely get back to you with a response. For more reviews, news and updates, don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!