In this article, we will talk about how your Amazon Virtual Assistant makes you money
What I want to talk about is Amazon virtual assistant, which makes you money. Yes, the ones who find the deals that you buy. Now, the idea is simple: they find you the deals to buy; you buy them and the business grows!
Yes, that is simple, but when you get into it, the detail of how you manage the performance of your VAs is a lot trickier.
Over the years that I have been running my Amazon business, I have interviewed hundreds, hired over 20 and fired 10 Amazon virtual assistants, and had a few left. Now, Amazon virtual assistants (VAs) do one of two things for you, save you time or make you money.
For me, this means doing admin or finding online arbitrage deals. I have only hired two admin staff members who are still with me today and save me more time than I can imagine.
I have met my bookkeeper and Amazon account expert in person, which is great, as she has worked for me for over a year now. She is my most senior VA and she took it upon herself to meet all the other VAs which was lovely to see.
What is an Amazon Virtual Assistant?
An Amazon VA is a freelancer that works remotely in your Amazon business. With their help, you can take some burden off your shoulders so that you can free your own time for bigger things that can scale your business more and, of course, more time for yourself.
Let’s have a look at some of the tasks that a VA can do for your Amazon business.
What can VAs do for you?
An Amazon Virtual Assistant can assist you in tasks that are easy to do and repetitive, such as account and shipment management, inventory management, product listing, and managing FBA orders.
If you want to know more about the Administrative tasks that a VA can do for you, we recommend you to check out our article about it called How to Train an Admin Virtual Assistant.
Product Sourcing and Market Research
As all Amazon sellers know, Product Sourcing is the most challenging part of running an Amazon business, for this is the most time-consuming. You need a dedicated Amazon Virtual Assistant who is patient in looking for online arbitrage deals that are profitable for your business.
Next, your VA can also help you in researching products you wish to sell in the future; look into the target market competition, determine the current trends, and help you learn the top-selling products. Then, this will help you have a better understanding of how to expand your business.
What you'll want is a purchasing manager that will do the purchasing for you. Some of their responsibilities include reviewing online arbitrage deals, analyzing risks, keeping a record, setting minimum prices, sending daily reports, monitoring profits, and more.
How do you know who is a star and who you need to fire?
The simple answer is Key Performance Indicators or KPIs.
Our Amazon businesses are the same as any other business, we set targets and monitor performance. Easy right? What you need to do is take time to think about what targets you set and if that target adds value to your business. Some targets whilst seem great in principle and you think will help grow your business actually can cause you to lose money.
Interested to get the checklist for working with your VA?
Example targets with our deal sourcing Amazon Virtual Assistant
Set Minimum Deal Criteria
The first thing to do is set minimum deal criteria for your staff to aim towards. For example, Minimum Profit of £3, Minimum Return on investment or ROI of 30%, and minimum listing sales of 10 per month.
Find 10 deals per day
This is the usual one people talk about. It's simple and clear. My issue with this one, which I have seen, is that I could probably send you 10 deals a day from a major store like Argos that sell 10 units per month but have 50 FBA sellers because it has been on all the leads sheets. So we passed on this one as the Amazon virtual assistant could meet the KPI easily, but it did not mean the business grew.
Find a certain number of deals per day so I can spend my £100 per day
This is a good choice because you can only spend a certain amount per day, so you look at your Amazon virtual assistant to find you enough deals to buy for you to spend that money. The issue I have found here is that my VA can review what they are submitting before the end of the day and simply change the amount they recommend you buy to meet your spending when this might not be the right choice for the deal or business or the VA might be working to the standard required.
Find enough deals to make me a certain amount of profit
Another interesting option, we know our costs each day or week, so buy enough to cover that and then add a fixed amount on top to give you a healthy profit. Sounds great as a concept, but if the VA finds too many deals today, will they hold them back for tomorrow to balance out their stats?
Find enough deals that cover 5 times their salary cost
This was quite simple: they cost a certain amount and we expect them to add value by 5x their salary cost. I liked it because we could easily hire people at different rates or offer a bonus and extra payment for those who achieve better. We saw that when the deals were great, achieving 5 times their salary cost was easy, for example in Q4, but when deals were not so great they struggled. We saw that they did not use the time when deals were plentiful to learn new ways to source by investing in knowledge for the future, but simply just sourced by using the same techniques.
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Hiring an Amazon Virtual Assistant
There is no perfect time to hire an Amazon Virtual Assistant but consider these two things.
1. How much free time do you have?
2. How much free cash do you have?
If you have the money and don't have the time, hire. You don't want to be caught up doing administrative work since you already got the resources to invest in an Amazon Virtual Assistant.
If you don't know the steps to interview a VA, you can watch it here.
Give them freedom
For us, we wanted to give them the freedom to try new things, not simply source from the same places but have the ability to think outside the box and find new ways to do things. So we implement a few things differently. We try to provide a positive feedback loop to our Amazon virtual assistant as quickly as possible so they do more of what works and less of what does not.
We only discuss the results each week on a Monday, but update them daily. This allows the good days to ride with the bad days and for the VA to see their performance during the week, but we don't say anything until Monday.
We use the minimum profit and minimum ROI values, but we get our staff to work out how many we expect to sell in the month and calculate the Total Deal Profit Figure for one month's supply.
Get the Amazon virtual assistant to work out the number of sales a listing has, and the number of people who will share the Buy Box and then calculate the number of sales we would expect to make in a month. Use this figure and multiply it by the number of units we expect to sell, to make a “deal profit figure” for that deal.
For example, one deal makes 3 pounds per item sold, it sells 30 units per month with 2 FBA sellers. Add us to the listing, which makes three FBA sellers who would expect to make 10 sales per month at 3 pounds each. The total Deal Profit Value is 30 pounds (£3 per sale X 10 sales per month).
Communicate with your Amazon Virtual Assistant
A big part is that we only count the total number of deals that we buy, not submitted. This way, if they submitted poor deals we don't count them and if they are good that we buy, then they are counted. A VA can also submit just one amazing deal that makes enough profit and we are happy.
We also get our team to record via Slack a quick 5-minute rundown of their day with three questions.
What did you do?
What worked well?
What is your plan for tomorrow?
These questions allow us to see what works, share best practices, and for our VAs to know that we expect them to have a plan when they source, not simply start on a blank sheet each day.
The Amazon virtual assistant records all the deals submitted on a Google sheet and we give feedback if we buy the deal or not, adjusting the Total Deal Profit Value and if they have worked it wrong or tweaked it.
We encourage those who have already met their weekly target early to try new methods to see what they can find by trying to encourage new ways of thinking by showing them deals that exist that we don't normally do or find.
The outcome of this approach is we have seen the deals found in various ways. For Example, one deal with a massive profit of £120 per unit was only found through sourcing a different method because they had reached their weekly quota. We have seen VAs watching YouTube Videos and then doing Keepa Sourcing, Amazon's same marketplace Buy and Holds, Amazon EU flips, and voucher code sourcing to name a few.
This sourcing effort aimed to ensure we met the requirements, but once they were reached, let's give our team the freedom and tools to try new things and then share this with everyone else when it works.
Is your Amazon Virtual Assistant making you money?
I want to point out it has not been easy, whilst we have given a certain amount of freedom and encouragement to our staff to try new things, we have had many Amazon virtual assistants who have chosen to take the time to watch TV, walk the dog or start another job, all of which were investigated and later fired. This is never a nice thing to do, but it comes as part of the challenge of any business.
If you're interested in Amazon Virtual Assistants and want to know When is the right time to hire an Amazon Virtual Assistant? you can check an article we created just for you.