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5 Ways To Hire and Train a Virtual Assistant for Your eCommerce Store

If you are the founder of an ecommerce business, chances are delegation will only come to you as a second habit.

It's only natural how people are scared of handing over certain tasks to people thinking people will not be able to perform tasks the way you desire. However, as businesses take a leap ahead, things will invariably need to be delegated to people with a specific skill set.

And that's where Virtual Assistants make a difference. However, before they can take on the tasks, you will need to train them right.

In this post, we list out five ways to train your VA for your e-commerce store and everything else in between.

1. Identifying tasks to outsource

Before you start training your functional team for your e-commerce store, you will need to start with identifying the tasks.

The below pointers will make your life easy in identifying such tasks easily:

  • They should be the most time consuming
  • They do not attract any significant return on your investment
  • They won't require your constant supervision
  • They are ones that are repetitive in nature

In time, while aiming to scale up your e-commerce business, the best approach would be automating as many administrative tasks as possible.

Since you have single-handedly performed all these tasks and are aware of the complications and challenges involved, it is advised that you create a process document listing out the same. Doing so will also give you a clear perspective of things at hand and what skills you would be looking for in a VA to help you out.

Below listed are some of the commonly identified tasks that you can outsource to a VA:

  • Customer service
  • Order processing
  • Returns and exchanges
  • Inventory management
  • Site maintenance
  • Label management and package tracking
  • PPC ads management
  • Invoice management
  • Social media management
  • Content writing and keyword research
  • Personal tasks, such as travel arrangement
  • Drafting and scheduling newsletters

2. Posting a job

When you choose to hire the right VA for handling the tasks for your commerce store, it is important to post the details of the job correctly. And by correct, we mean, you will need to keep it clear, concise, and as direct as possible. Also, don't miss out on including details, like the e-commerce store volume, the traffic count, the platforms and apps integrated, and any specific language requirement.

As a last step, to cut down the time involved in shortlisting candidates, the serious ones especially, try including a random question that people will reply to when browsing through the job posting. The number of replies will help you put together just how many candidates are actually looking to get hired for the role.

3. Shortlisting and Interview

Say you have shortlisted six candidates and have scheduled their interviews. The next step is to fix up an online meeting and spend no more than thirty minutes per call, and no less than five to eight questions.

No matter what you do, while hiring remember you can always teach skills, but never alter personalities. So, it's important you ask the right questions. The following set of questions I'll give you a better idea to frame your own :

  • What jobs do you enjoy doing?
  • What skills do you want to perfect and learn?
  • What are their strengths?
  • Why are they interested in the job?
  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Once you are sure you have found the right guy for the job, discuss the payment terms upfront. Some job posting sites also give you the option to hire candidates on an hourly role depending on the number of hours they clock in a month.

No matter what, you should always inform the candidate about a 2-week trial phase during which you will be deleting all intended tasks to gauge his capabilities. This will also be the period when you can gain a clear perspective on his areas of strength, and whether you want to continue working with him.

4. Training and Management

Once you are done with your initial training phase, it is needed that you establish a workflow to help strike the right chord. Ensure that your VA is learning and picking up things at the right place. If you reckon he needs additional insight or can do better if a little bit more guidance is needed, have him take a course online and learn from several wonderful tutorials available. Online learning platforms like Coursera and Udemy are great choices.

Additionally, you must ask them to put together a weekly recap of things they have worked on and ask for their views on how they can do it better. Regular insights like this will have you spending minimal time on supervision and gain more productivity from your VA.

5. Delegating To Grow

Delegating your tasks to a VA for your e-commerce store can be a tad bit tricky at the first instant.

Fret not!

It's always worth doing as you have built your e-commerce business right from the scratch and only want the best to happen. By delegating tasks, you will not only be saving time but also have taken the first step towards building a team that can work for you.

In essence, all you need to do is to offer the structure required for a VA’s learning curve, train him right, and free yourself some good quality time to focus on other important aspects.

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