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Has anyone hired a Virtual Assistant?

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  • Has anyone hired a Virtual Assistant?

    Has anyone hired a virtual assistant to do the busy work tasks associated with running an online business?

    Like:
    Adding products
    Updating products
    Taking pictures
    Editing pictures
    Modifying spreadsheets
    Responding to customer email/requests
    Updating product feeds
    etc.

    I am going to start looking for someone to help me with these tasks, and would like to know if any of you have experience with using someone out in cyberspace, for these tasks. Or would I be better off finding hiring someone the traditional way.

  • #2
    I personally would consider both options. I would prefer someone locally that would be able to come into the office if needed on occasion. If I could not find any quality applicants locally, I would open up the idea of hiring someone virtually. To me, trust would be the biggest issue at first since I would not be there to over see their work directly or their interactions with customers via email, phone or chat. At first, I would probably give them work that can be reviewed like spreadsheets, writing product descriptions, etc.. and as I built up trust with them, I would probably entrust them with further duties. Just my 2 cents.

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    • #3
      I am defiantly open to both options. I am really looking for advice and insight from someone who has actually hired a virtual assistant.

      I have the same concerns as you, and wonder about ways to handle managing, and paying someone who works virtually.

      Thanks!

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      • #4
        Offshore/virtual can be a lot cheaper, but its a management headache. The trust issue is a challenge. Their is no way to know if they are actually doing 40 hours of work. If there is a physical person in your office it is easier to see what they are doing. Face to face has its advantages. At a former employee I was laid off and replaced by 3 people off shore, and the company still saved money. The major challenge with using a virtual person is communication. Sometimes cultural. A repeated issue I have seen is they will do exactly what you tell them to do without thinking.

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        • #5
          Yes I do...have for 2 years

          I Do! I actually have 3 part-time virtual assistants that have been woking with me for 2 years. One is the in the united states the other two are out of the country. I use one for SEO/Marketing/Store Maintenance (adding products etc), one for Chat/Customer support (via phone and emails-this is the US based one) and I use the other one for social media: Twitter, Facebook, Blogging etc. I could not live without them.

          They are extremely affordable and reliable. The training process was a little time consuming since they are not in office but I was able to get them fully trained via Skype (voice and video) and putting together information sheets. I also have 1 in office assistants who over sees all three virtual assistants. She double checks work (although we don't really needed to since they know what they are doing), handles time sheets and payment, and delegates work.

          I get all my virtual workers from vworker.com. I tried odesk for a while but found those workers to not be as reliable. I like the payment process for vworker.

          Hope that helps

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          • #6
            I have done a lot of virtual work for 3dcart store owners and it does work well on both sides as long as communication is steady. You have to be able to provide input for the vision you have in regards to your store and understand the options in return from the worker. Communication is key to every aspect of virtual workers and store owners.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the tips everyone.

              I have started accounts with vWorker, and oDesk. I am starting with small graphics projects to get a feel for the systems, and how to manage remote workers. Then once I get a feel for the systems (and hopefully choose one over the other), I will try to find someone to do more complcated tasks like updating products on the websites.

              If you have any more tips let me know.

              For example, if you need a new product added to your 3dcart, how do you provide them with the required information?

              Do you send a spreadsheet? just an email?

              Do you create instruction templates for each task and fill them in with details?

              Thanks for any ideas.

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              • #8
                Virtual Help

                I have never hired a virtual assistant, but have been hired by many to do the tasks you're asking about. Most of the people I work with give me full access to their sites. I have done everything from adding products, creating graphics, restructuring categories, moving sites to other servers (ex: ProStores to 3D), creating custom titles and urls (SEO), adding and linking images (shipping, etc.), writing articles, correcting grammar/punctuation/spelling, business consulting.... Hiring a virtual assistant, especially one you give site access to, requires trust. I manage my 2 stores and do these things for others. My clients have also asked me to take on their customer service too, since I know their sites and product lines better than anyone else! I'm curious as to what others charge for these services.

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                • #9
                  Celebra1 Rocks

                  Hi All
                  If you need virtual help I can vouch for Celebra1. Celebra1 has many years of designing sites along with all the other task and insight of SEO and running a store. So if your looking for help from a very trusted and dedicated source that can provide personal attention then you should not hesitate to PM Celebra1.
                  Good luck with your site and may success be yours.
                  .
                  Clayton
                  Go Live Industries

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