This post was written by our friends at FreeUp for the TurnKey Playbook for Amazon Blog
So you’re ready to consider hiring freelance virtual assistants for your online business – Congratulations! Hiring remotely is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. They will help you get unstuck and fuel the growth of your business.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you begin the process of looking for and hiring freelance virtual assistants for eCommerce.
1. Value Your Time
Delegate Simpler Tasks
When you find yourself spending too much time working on repetitive tasks, you are hurting your business. As the owner, you might want to spend some time systematizing those tasks by SOPs. You need these to keep things optimized as you aim to automate what you can — this is how eCommerce businesses like yours can get ahead.
Once you’ve created the different processes and systems to execute repetitive tasks, you are ready to outsource them to freelance virtual assistants.
Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed
Another sure sign you’re in need of a virtual assistant is that you find yourself completely overwhelmed by the number of tasks on your to-do list. You may hesitate about delegating these tasks because you’re good at them or you enjoy them, but you need to spend your time focus on what tasks that cannot be handled by anyone other than you. If you continue to perform these tasks you run the risk of getting burned out because there’s just not enough hours in the day. As a result, these delegatable tasks won’t get done properly anyway.
Hiring a virtual assistant will allow you to regain some freedom in your business and give you time to focus on growth and help you maintain the passion that you had for your business at the beginning. Not only that but if your business is reliant solely on you to complete every day-to-day operational task, how will you ever take a break? You need to have the flexibility to get away when you need to and spend time with friends and family, or at the very least know that your business can function in case of an emergency.
2. Know Your Weaknesses
As you look into different areas of your business, you will encounter different tasks that you continually performing, but aren’t necessarily good at. You can continue trying to develop the skills needed to perform these tasks, but that may not be the best way to tackle it. If you’re not an expert in these areas, you won’t be able to complete them with excellence or create the best processes for their completion.
Your business deserves the best! Hiring people who are experienced in the areas where you lack knowledge is a worthwhile investment. From creating the process or system to performing the actual work, you need freelance virtual assistants who have made careers out of doing these exact tasks. With the boom that eCommerce has experienced over the past decade, these professionals are easy to fins. Moreover, hiring them will save you the time and hassle of learning eCommerce tasks, which are usually highly technical.
3. Prepare a Detailed Description
Before you even begin to look for freelance virtual assistants, you need to know exactly what you’re hiring for and exactly how to enumerate these tasks. The more attention you give to the task description you’re going to post online, the better your chances are of attracting the right candidates.
Since you usually do not speak to freelancers face to face, a proper description of the position you are hiring for will help both of you determine whether or not it’s a good fit.
If you’ve spent some time creating systems and processes within your business, then this shouldn’t be too much of a burden for you. Just make sure to be as clear as possible about what you want done and how you want it done. Be sure to add in any other requirements you have, like specific skills and experience, along with your personal preferences. Being clear from the outset will ensure that you are able to find the perfect match for your tasks and your business!
4. Don’t Settle
If you’re busy – as most business owners are – you’ll be tempted to hire as fast as you can. For most people, this means picking up the first freelance virtual assistants who respond to your postings and seem “ok”. Don’t make this mistake!
You need to be careful and patient throughout the hiring process if you want to find the right people for your business. The Internet is a wild world with a lot of scammers lurking around, and because you’re online, there’s a higher chance of attracting them.
Consider utilizing a contractor marketplace like FreeeUp rather than an online hiring platform. FreeeUp pre-vets freelance virtual assistants with a focus on eCommerce so that you don’t have to wade through dozens of resumes, cover letters, profiles and portfolios (on top of trying to weed out the scammers and spot the true professionals). You submit your request and get introduced to the best match. This allows you to use your valuable time to focus on a final interview before you hire and do a test project to make sure you have the right fit.
5. Properly Onboard Hires
Once you’ve found a few great freelance virtual assistants to work with, don’t just send them off to start working on tasks. You need to spend some time to properly acquaint them with your business. Even though it seems that there are thousands of stores just like yours, every eCommerce store is unique.
Onboarding is a very important step when working with remote contractors. Freelance virtual assistants don’t have the benefit of a central office location where they can meet everyone they’re going to be working with on a daily basis. They won’t be able to get a feel for the company culture or the work environment unless you talk to them about it. They won’t know what you expect from them unless you tell them directly because there are no conversations to listen in on or water cooler talk to guide them during their transition.
Schedule a time to meet with new hires and introduce them to your business and the people they’ll be working with. Write down your personal preferences and your expectations regarding the tasks they’re going to take on. Then discuss these with them so everything is clearly laid out. Make sure that everyone is on the same page before they get started on whatever you’ve hired them to do. Also, be sure to build in periodic check-ins to state expectations and offer feedback.This will make everything go so much more smoothly and prevent costly misunderstandings.
Hiring freelance virtual assistants can be a truly rewarding experience if you go about it carefully. Make sure that you keep these 5 tips in mind as you prepare to search for the people you need for your eCommerce business, hire the right fit for each task, and integrate them into your business operations.
TurnKey Tip: Pair our Inner Circle Coaching with a great hire from FreeeUp! Not only will you get the customized strategies you need to grow your business, but you’ll also get a quality team member to help you implement those strategies!