What Type of Virtual Assistant Should You Hire First in Your Amazon FBA Business?
A question I get asked often is what type of virtual assistant should be hired first in an Amazon FBA business.
Now, I LOVE virtual assistants. In general, they are an absolute game-changer - they certainly were for me - helping to grow my business and take it to the next level, just two months in to my Amazon selling journey.
So to answer this question, let’s begin with what exactly a virtual assistant is.
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What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is a person who provides support to another business from a remote location, which can be anywhere in the world as long as it has a decent internet connection. The assistant is hired to help you and your business in any area that you might need support in, from admin and customer support through to marketing, finances and more.
These are some of the many ways in which virtual assistants can help you and your business:
- They save you time: by taking those tasks that were taking up the most of your time off your hands, they free you up to concentrate on other aspects of your business. In particular for me, outsourcing maintenance tasks to virtual assistants freed me up to devote my time to growth tasks
- They save you money: there are highly skilled virtual assistants all around the world, especially in countries where the cost of living and wages are much less than those in the UK. This means you can save money by hiring someone abroad while getting the same or even better quality of work
- The vast range of expertise and skills: anything that you need in your business, you can most definitely find in a virtual assistant. You can hire graphic designers, web-developers, accountants, lawyers, admin assistants, social media specialists, writers… the list goes on and on!
- They can help you to make more money in the long run: as mentioned above, by taking general day-to-day tasks off your hands and freeing you up to concentrate on growing your business, hiring virtual assistants will actually help you to generate more revenue in the long run
The difference between sourcing assistants and senior virtual assistants
When it comes to selling online and business models such as online arbitrage and wholesale, there are two main types of virtual assistant that are key in helping to manage and grow your business: sourcing virtual assistants and senior virtual assistants.
As a seller on Amazon, you firstly need to find something to sell. Finding products that are profitable can become very tiresome and time-consuming - especially if you’re not super passionate about this side of the business.
A sourcing assistant is someone who sources potential profitable products for your business on a daily basis, and submits those products to you, usually in the form of a list, taking this very important and necessary task off your hands.
I started hiring sourcing assistants just two months into my Amazon journey and they were such an incredible asset to the business, right from the start.
Senior virtual assistants
Senior assistants are positions I developed myself within my Amazon business, currently split into two separate managerial categories.
This is the person in charge of reviewing and placing orders for those winning products that either you or your sourcing assistant have found.
The growth manager is a virtual assistant who is working more specifically on the management and growth of your business, including tasks to do with administrative duties, managing your Amazon Seller Central account, repricing products and more.
Both are hugely beneficial and I do not know what I would do without mine!
So which one should you hire first?
Well, this is the million dollar question.
And the truth is that the answer to this is completely subjective, depending on your own personal circumstances.
If you are currently in a place in your business journey where you’re really enjoying the sourcing of products, I’d recommend hiring a senior assistant first.
If you don’t particularly like sourcing, then I’d recommend getting a sourcing assistant first.
And in the most ideal situation, you would hire both at the same time - but of course, I understand that when you’re starting out, it’s not possible for everyone to do this.
My own story
My Amazon journey began in June 2015. Just two months in, in August 2015, I hired my first sourcing assistant. I then hired another in September and was spending a lot of my time reviewing products and placing orders.
In January 2016, I quit my full-time job as an electrical engineer, and proceeded to hire two more sourcing assistants. However, very quickly I began to become overwhelmed with the constant reviewing and purchasing, which then made me realise that something needed to change.
I went on to then hire my first senior assistant, who gave me the time, space and energy to focus on the growth of the business in other areas such as systemisation, marketing and team performance.
Looking back, if I’d have been able to hire both at the same time, I certainly would have but my situation at the time didn’t allow for this.
Whether you hire a sourcing assistant or a senior assistant first, it is up to you and depends on your own individual circumstances. All of the virtual assistants mentioned here are important and necessary in the growth of your business.
Look at the areas in your business in which you could do with the most help. Look at the areas in your business that you specifically don’t need to do, or those that you don’t really enjoy doing. Make your decision from there.
If you’re in a situation where you have the capital to do so, hire both at the same time.
Living in a time where it is possible to outsource two massive components of your business virtually is truly amazing and we should make the most of it.
I’m sure you will always decide what is best for your business.
Here’s to your massive success!