First, we shall answer the question of what is a virtual employee, or as professionally referred to as a VA?
Virtual assistants (VAs) are the people that help us in the ongoing management of our online business.
Usually, we prefer freelance workers, working from home, or even workers from a foreign country that is less expensive than the country in which we live, to save costs as much as possible.
Ultimately, this workforce is the engine of our eBay dropshipping business, they push our business forward, and therefore we must know how to manage them correctly to promote our business success!
So, if I already employ virtual assistants, how should I manage them?
We understand the difficulty in managing virtual assistants, as we never meet them face to face, and it’s a quite difficult task to monitor their performance.
They are not always available to us due to time differences, and they might just simply disappear one day.
The question is, how is it possible to cope with such complex management, and how is it possible to deal with the distance and uncertainty to ensure the work is carried out in the best way possible?
This is undoubtedly a complicated matter, and therefore we decided to give you a few tips that will help you correctly manage a team of virtual assistants.
1. Maintain your knowledge, don’t create a dependency on any human factor.
VAs tend to disappear, be replaced, changed or just be ill and then someone is needed to replace them.
Training takes time and costs money, and sometimes misses critical issues the virtual assistant must know to do the job properly.
Therefore, we recommend using a method that is a bit old school but simple and easy to use – Google Sheets.
Just create a file, which includes in one column the header of the task, and in the other column – an explanation of how to do it.
The second column may contain a short text explaining the steps in performing the task, or something much more straightforward, more convenient and time-saving – a short video with a clear explanation.
2. Record videos, It saves time and works better.
You have no idea how much time and energy can be saved by video recording, we recommend a plugin called Screencastify.
This fantastic plugin, in its free version, includes everything you need to manage your eBay dropshipping business’ VAs.
This way you can create useful videos up to 10 minutes long, and easily share them with your virtual assistants.
The most important feature which makes it extremely valuable is that through one click you can upload your video directly to YouTube or Google Drive, and share the video with your VA.
So easy, so fast and you have no idea how effective!
3. Know when your VAs are there, and when they’re not
Sometimes we want to know whether a virtual assistant is there for the purpose of training or just for asking a question.
So, how can we know? How can we track the VA’s activities and schedule? To do this, we recommend using a time management platform.
You just have to instruct your VA that once he begins his shift, he must press “Clock In,” and once he is done, he must click “Clock Out.”
This type of system will help you with employee scheduling, time tracking, task management & payroll reporting. It will basically help you to keep your eBay dropshipping business organized.
It will save you those additional yet unnecessary messages that place a burden on performing the work and allow you to be aware of the VA’s hours of activity and availability. In this case, we recommend going with Time Clock Wizard.
4. If we don’t manage tasks correctly, we will lose a lot of money and waste work time, so how can this be done properly?
The answer is simple – Asana.com! A task management platform, the most convenient one we have ever come across!
Simply and easy, we create a user, creating the profiles of all the VAs, and then when we wish to assign any task to one of them, all we need to do is to add the task line to the appropriate assistant!
In addition to routine tasks, it is also possible to set the date by which the task must be completed.
Alternatively, there is an option to prioritize tasks and to create recurring tasks.
For example – to respond to cases on eBay – a daily basis task, and therefore it is necessary to add it to the proper virtual assistant and set it as a daily recurring task.
Once the VA completes the task – the next day it will pop-up automatically!
The VAs work remotely, and we don’t know how many hours they had spent in the “office” today and what they had done during these hours.
True – there is software for screen capture and tracking assistants’ activities this way. However, we don’t really believe in this, we feel that this lessens their motivation and causes a sense of distrust.
We don’t believe in the method of tracking hours with stopwatch and inspecting screens.
You should believe in measuring the output.
So how do you do this?
3 Simple Ways:
- Ask the assistants for a report at the end of the working day. In the report, they should elaborate on their progress on the assigned tasks and provide some feedback regards their difficulties and challenges.
- Remember Google Sheets? Create an additional sheet with dates, as for each date they are required to fill what they had done that day, and how long each task took.
We are recommending to restrict the virtual assistants, so they can access only the screens they need for completing their work.
In AutoDS dropshipping platform, we have the option to give your virtual assistant (VA) access only to specific pages and actions.
For example – if the VA’s job is to upload items, there is no reason for him to have access also to our orders screen!
This will help us prevent a situation where the VA opens his own dropshipping business and competes with us, and in general, prevent putting our eBay business in jeopardy.
That’s it, we’re all done!
We hope that this guide helped and you’ll be able to work with your VAs in a convenient and efficient manner. This way you will only keep your eyes on your eBay dropshipping business.
Share with us in the comments how do you manage your VAs, what are your tricks and tips? Also if you have more ideas about things you want to see posted on our blog, let us know.