Welcome to episode 161 of Global From Asia. I am back from Digital Detox, Chinese New Year is mostly over – still some people getting back slowly. I want to introduce you to Claire Chen – she just joined the team here, and will be helping on Asia Podcast Network, as well as Cross Border summit and many other fun projects here. She’s been listening to this show now 9 months – we’ve been talking a few and she will be working closely with me now life is amazing right!
Now for this week’s show for Amazon FBA sellers, as well as anyone serious about growing their online business- you need VAs (virtual assistants) and we have an expert on today to give you the goods, let’s tune in – and as always the show notes are on globalfromasia.com/leveraging-virtual-assistants/
Topics Covered in this Episode
Introduce Guest Speaker
Welcome! Thanks for coming on the show, can you introduce yourself?
Starting on Amazon
How did you get started on Amazon?
Coming to the Philippines
How did you end up in the Philippines?
Starting a New Amazon VA
So there are quite a few things that a new VA (virtual assistant) needs to know when helping an entrepreneur with their Amazon account – would you say 1 VA can do all tasks – or should you have different staff manage different tasks?
What are some of the various groupings of tasks?
There are so many its overwhelming! Such as overview ASIN, customer service, stats and data, promos, sponsored ads, manage pricing, listing mgmt, sending inventory.
Finding the right VA
What should you look for when hiring a VA for your Amazon FBA business? Similar to any other VA or special things to look for?
Where to find VAs
Where do you go to find them? And then are they full time or part time? Do you let them work on other Amazon accounts in addition to yours?
Any concerns about them knowing all about your business? Any ways to protect your business a bit, put some lines of separation? Maybe some settings in Seller Central? Or split up tasks?
Sourcing from China, Which VAs?
You must source from China, right? How does an Amazon FBA VA get involved with the product development, QC, logistics, etc? New Product DevelopmentCan they help you find new products, searching Amazon?
Things NOT to outsource
Or better said, what tasks should you NOT delegate? Or can you fully outsource and delegate your Amazon FBA business?
Examples of Amazon FBA VA cases
Any students, friends, or examples of outsourcing their FBA account gone bad?Any success stories to share? Let’s stay positive here
Getting Started with an Amazon VA
Someone who is doing everything themselves now – where should they start when starting a new VA
What About Your Course?
Which leads to your course – what is VA Central?
One cool thing I see about it is it in in 3 languages, English, and the 2 main Filipino dialects – so there is no reason a local Filipino VA can miss out on some of the getting started videos.
And – we have a special offer for listeners today?
Finding You Online
How can people find you and your business today? What’s your Amazon ASIN? (joke!)
Thanks! Best of luck with this course and your other ventures, cheers
People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode
√ VA Central .co
√ vacentral.co 20-questions-for-amazon-fba-virtual-assistants VA Central Lead Magnet (The most useful questions to ask a VA before hiring)
√ Cross Border Summit 2017 in Shenzhen, China, April 21-22
Episode Length 47:17
Thank you for sharing that valuable info – that was a course in and of itself! Send some thanks to our guest speaker and seriously consider taking part in his course if you are serious about Amazon FBA and having VAs help you out.
And Claire, she has been helping out already with this show and if you have guests to recommend or other feedback, you can reach her (as well as me) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show notes, as always, on globalfromasia.com/leveraging-virtual-assistants/ – and Cross Border Summit is April 21-22 – hope to see you there!
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“For me ultimately, it’s all about how I live my life, as mentioned, I was in the bank and I wasn’t completely happy. But now with FBA what I’m able to do is live life on my own terms.”
Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice and now your host, Michael Michelini.
Mike: Okay guys, episode 161 of the Global From Asia podcast. I have a cool person next to me, Claire Chen. Hey Claire.
Mike: She’s been listening to us, for how long?
Claire: I think 9 months.
Mike: 9 months, cool. And we’re talking for a few months why you’re in UK and now you’re working with us. So, welcome to Global From Asia team. It’s great to have you.
Claire: Thank you, me too.
Mike: Yeah, she just started in January, now she’s down here. Chinese New Year is over, a little detox my mind has been passed. We’re all refreshed and ready to rock. And you’re focusing a lot on the Asia podcast network and sponsors as well as the Cross Border Summit which is our big event of the year. Second annual, I’m excited for you to help us out.
Claire: I’m excited to join the team and work for the event and excited about that.
Mike: Yeah, so if you guys didn’t hear I tried to mention it more and more about crossbordersummit.com. It’s our annual conference for the show here. It’s got to be April 21st and 22nd in Shenzhen China. So, I hope to meet you guys there. It’s got to be great, Claire will be there as well as many other amazing speakers and previous guests on the show and friends and everybody. So, and I was talking about this week’s show. It is a good one I think a lot of Amazon sellers as well as non Amazon’s sellers will like. We’re talking about managing virtual assistant for your Amazon business. We have Amazon seller expert Tim who is in the Philippines and he has been working with FBA’ around the world but specifically in the Philippines. Today he comes on the show to give us some ideas and insights on managing virtual staff with the specific focus on the Amazon spaces to find them and others. So let’s listen in and enjoy. Again as our show notes globalfromasia.com/episode161. Let’s roll.
Mike: Alright. Thank you everybody for tuning in to global from Asia podcast. We have with us Tim, who is from VA Central.
Tim: Hello, pleasure to be here.
Mike: Yeah, it’s great to have you and we met at Diamond Circle event in Bangkok couple of months ago and had a really great conversation over breakfast.
Tim: Great breakfast indeed to meet people at the breakfast.
Mike: Yeah, it’s true. So, it’s been great to get to know you. I’m really excited for today’s show. Maybe first, you could give listeners a quick introduction of yourself.
Tim: Absolutely. I’m Tim. I’m from London. I’ve been living as a digital nomad for the last 5 years now. I’m an FBA seller. I’ve been selling on Amazon since 2013 and now I have a smooth coaching program. It’s more on education program actually that helps sellers trained best often investiture systems on the system and processes of Amazon and central.
Mike: Its very needed services as we got a conversation about. You know I’m pretty fascinated with you know working with online teams and I think it’s core to the whole digital nomad kind of industry right to be able to travel and work with teams anywhere you have to have a good system. So of course, there’s more and more Amazon sellers and so I think I’ve mentioned to you like in my foreign community in China, we have people asking about how to make some processes and train VA specifically in the Philippines which is what your program is built for and today we got to go through a lot of different ways and give people tons of value right here and of course if they want a full boat you have a great offer for them. Maybe first your story, you said 5 years now as a digital nomad which is pretty respectable. So, did you start with Amazon? Or how get things started?
Tim: Well, I used to be a banker for the largest retail bank in the UK. I was there for a number of years that was financial sector for a number of years. But I wasn’t enjoying the role for various reasons. I decided to leave the bank to go travelling around asia for few months. I wasn’t allowed to have a school. So, I have to meet the role and then the idea was I have to come back and find enough role in the industry opt to our returned. But a couple of months before I made the decision to leave, I actually went to new York to visit a couple of friends and one of which is a very successful internet marketer in the dating niche and I was extremely inspired by his success. And another friend who I knew there who also a successful internet marketer. He’s a mass professor and he had written an e-book. It was actually an essay theme prep book. He wasn’t very good at selling the book and I suggested to him while I was away in Asia for months, why not I try selling the book. So, he agreed that we became partners for a while. And I travel around Asia and I learnt how to promote this book which was actually to create a based platform. And if you haven’t create this spaces, it’s a great platform because you can actually upload your content and if someone buys the book on Amazon the book is printing on demand. So, the customer’s getting a physical product for our purposes is really I think buy product. And it took us a little while to get going. It took me about 6 months before I made enough money to cover my expenses in Southeast Asia. And that was really my introduction to online selling. And we were in partnership for about 1 and half years before we decided to go different directions. And luckily just before we broke up our partnership, I go to spam email from ASIN from someone promoting ASIN and I decided to take the plunge and haven’t looked back since.
Mike: Very cool. Good times like, so what is it, ASIN few years ago or I guess some time off, a year and a half. When did you get started?
Tim: Yeah, ASIN started in 2013 and I was in the second one ASIN 2. So, I was in the October 2013 tran.
Mike: Got it, very nice and so you are in the Philippines and I’m still in Hong Kong now but as everybody knows, I bounced between borders. But yeah, so I mean, you can be anywhere but I guess, Philippines is pretty convenient and how did you end up in picking Philippines?
Tim: Yeah, well I went to the Philippines show a trick to Southeast Asia. After I left the bank I did visit Philippines for a couple of weeks and I met some people here. Before I came back to the Philippines I went back for my sister’s engagement and that’s a big deal for Indian families with Indian background and so I best came back for that engagement. And then my family was from different employment in the financial sector at that time. But as we are starting to make money for AST prep books which helping my expenses, I decided to stay on travelling. So I actually went back to Cambodia coz I went to Cambodia first and then I went to, back Philippines. In between I went to my sister’s wedding and I returned to the Philippines hang out with a pal, I went to Japan for a while. As I tried to live in Japan for a short while but it’s very expensive there compared to the Philippines. I met a girl and we got a couple of kids here now.
Mike: Very cool.
Tim: So, we’re making it work now.
Mike: Yeah, very cool. Like I said during our breakfast, we have a lot in common and that’s awesome. I knew that a couple of kids and it’s very exciting times for you and for me, I think. I think it’s a great, it’s a great transition and I guess everybody is ready and I think we learned to grow into it and enjoy it. So, congratulations.
Tim: Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t ready for, I have to be honest but once I was told I was having kids or a kid, I think my whole life changed really, it’s like okay, this is it now. Life is serious now. So that was cool but, my FBA business was just beginning to grow and I didn’t have that financial pressure on most new, so it’s quite a lucky in that aspect.
Mike: Okay, very, very nice. Amazon’s been great to a lot of people, it’s great making lots of entrepreneurs and great stories like yours so getting into the business side. Of course, Philippines is a great place for VA’s or what you called Virtual Assistant. And sometimes people think they can have the Super VA, one size fits all but is that usually I think not true. But there’s lot of times small sellers or small business owners don’t know how to have multiple staff or think that they can’t afford or use multiple staff, what are your thoughts here on like, can 1 person do everything and like our VA?
Tim: I think 1 person can do everything. But if you hire that person, be prepared to lose them very quickly because they can start up their own FBA business or own e-commerce business or whatever. Because you have a certain drive as a new FBA seller. You want to create well for yourself. Want to grow business and you want to many different areas. I called myself a jack of all trades. I can do enough of everything just to get by. But then once I, okay I know this is my limit, I need to hire someone to take her about that particular role. So, I believe that you need to hire for talent and you understand what is the role that you need to fulfill. So it might be graphic design for example, it might be content writing and then you need to hire for that specific role. So I hire VAs from the developing countries naming Philippines. A Filipino VA will have much different drive to an Amazon seller in the west for example. So as I mentioned, Amazon seller in the west would want to create a business to generate wealth, hopefully in the long term. Whereas the VA in developing world, would probably want to have income stability. Probably not always. But usually. And they advertise their talents and they probably look to fulfill the role that’s hiring for that talents. So you wouldn’t want to hire someone who say a web developer and have them do customer service. I don’t think that’s very efficient.
Mike: True, true.
Tim: Yeah, I think I would have few different part time VAs to fulfill smaller roles than if you have full time doing everything. I think it’s more interesting that way as well.
Mike: True. You know, I think sometimes I’ll be honest I mean when we all started as newbies and I think I used to try to find a super VA way back in my early days. You know, maintaining online businesses. But then again the next challenge is, of course it may be a programmer or website developer can do customer service. But Amazon, there’s a bunch of different groups or is there subways that you could suggest to kind of group things together for people.
Tim: Yeah, well I would personally I write down every single time a little thing that you do. You can just do on a notepad. So, every time you do an activity, whether it would be writing a title for a listing, or replying to a by message, or adjusting PPC bid, click bids, whatever is, write all this stuff down on the list. And then you could arrange those list so there are similar tasks much together so with the PPC task bunch together in all the customer service task bunch together. Then you can tell what you can delegate relatively easily with 1 hire. So if you have many customer service then that’s you need to delegate then you do at the moment then you should look for someone doing, someone who can fulfill that role for you. Some of the various groupings that I worked for or I used currently I have customer service, I have doing some sales and admins, sales and crew selling for Amazon. I have graphic designers, I have photographer in the US, I have sourcing agents some in the Philippines some in China. I have a branding manager, I have content writers, I even have a web developing coders. So these are all things I needed to hire out for and I realized okay all of these activities need to go to someone else.
Mike: Alright, yeah, very good organization. So I feel I guess it’s a similar but our VA “normal”, Amazon FBA I mean I guess you broke down the task but any specifics that you could think of that would maybe make them special or looking for somebody?
Tim: Well I typically hire people about very keen to Amazon coz I like to train them. I have a very specific training material which I made on VA and then I applied it them to the Google drive. And what I typically do is once I hire someone, I asked a new VA to watch a videos and make notes and them asked them to actually do the work, do the task and make sure to do it correctly. So, I have a very specific SOPs for that person, tons of questions I guess not, the reason really a difference between hiring a VA and Amazon VA. I guess you can find someone with Amazon experience if that’s what you’re looking for. It might be easier for you to train or you don’t have to do any training. But it will probably cost you a little bit more as well.
Mike: Okay. I’m sure there are so many places but is there a place success in finding the right person or maybe is it, I guess depends on the size of the business full time or part time.
Tim: Yeah, well my Filipino staff or team rather not my staff. They are my contractors, they are full time and part time people, depending on the role. I found them in various different places I’ve got a friend that runs an agency here for Virtual Assistant. So sometimes I approached her. It’s a great resource onlinejobs.ph where you have to do a lot of stones turning and lot of kissing that you can find someone special. There are Facebook VA groups upwork. I’ve got many different contacts from many different agencies online website actually help you find VA. But it’s not hard to find, if you are willing to do the work, let’s say onlinejobs.ph is a great place. If you want someone that’s really polished and ready to go, then I would probably go somewhere like free op. I don’t know if you know that, Mike.
Mike: Yeah, I’m learning too here. That’s great.
Tim: It’s a great resource of course. The guy who runs that company Nathan actually hires people and these VAs are actually tested for the ability from the beginning. So, if you go to them and you know that they are completely competent. But again that’s going to be more expensive service for you.
Mike: It makes sense. Talking about talent and skills and we’ve kind of wrap up the sentences couple of times like then can do it themselves, I don’t know, I mean, you can have any business. But I have jokes on that some videos for fun, you know in the events and I spent seller events in China and I take my camera and what’s you ASIN. It’s kind of joke that nobody wants to reveal their product or kind of reveal what they’re doing. So, there should be concern or not I mean when you’re recruiting or training these staff, so is there a way or you shouldn’t be concerned at all or is there something? I guess the tasks are broken up that could help you out or what are your thoughts here or maybe coat protecting yourself in this stuff.
Tim: Okay, that’s a great point. I think a lot of new sellers have that concern that worry if they let go of control then things might not get done as well as what they could do or even worst that somebody is going to steal the business ideas and take money from the table. I think the way to deal with this is hire for talent. So again, don’t try hire someone who is going to do everything for you, hire that super VA is the jack of all trades, I think you could go more chance of losing out that way. I personally hire many different VAs as mentioned and I have 4 people including myself on one source central account. So each source central account has use permission in which you can select what access you want to give to anyone who’s got to have sub accounts to that main account. So you can restrict different areas. My customer service for example doesn’t see anything to do with PPC, doesn’t see to do anything with fulfillment, etc. And the same goes for my fulfillment person, my fulfillment person my sourcing agent she doesn’t see to do anything with customer service. So yeah, you can definitely break up the central that way. It shouldn’t be much of a worry. But the whole letting go of control thing that something I think you just need to dive into the depend and accept that, you don’t have to do this to grow. If you don’t you just got to stay the same level.
Mike: True, I mean, that’s I think entrepreneurs shift have to go through at some point. It’s harder for some than others but you know at the beginning you have to do everything yourself like you mentioned jack of all trades. I think actually a lot of us entrepreneurs have to be coz we can’t afford or we should know how most of our business works before we can hire or outsource. So yeah, but we have to let go and totally agree with you. But it’s a little bit nerve wrecking I think at the beginning for anybody. But on the same like, I have team members I have access to what some people might think is risky or whatever but I think sometimes by trusting them they feel like, I think if they know that you’re trying to hide something from them the kind of want it more.
Trusha : Sure. I agree, absolutely.
Mik : Then there’s this sourcing. So you know, I’m here at the border Hong Kong and China and of course there’s agencies and service providers that could help. But I guess VA could also get involve with this whole headache which a lot of times talked about this podcast is exactly is sourcing and QC things like that. Is that something that you should get your team members involvement?
Tim: Well, I mean the person that I’m closely with is actually my sourcing agent. So, she’s in the Philippines and I hired her over a year ago. She’s being with me for some time. And I completely trust her. 100% faith in her. You have to understand my kind of run my business. I’m someone who lists a whole bunch of products. So lift for opportunities on Amazon and we find products that will, that we can actually buy and sent to FBA very quickly, we brand them very quickly and we buy small MLQs. So there’s dance that you need to do with your supplier, someone to order large amount and you don’t want to buy large amount, that you want someone to customize packaging, they don’t want to give you customized. This all kind of stuff. I’d like to think I mastered that a few years ago and then I actually hired someone and I told that person what I called my dance with the suppliers. So, whole cheap dance. Yeah, she do exclusively with list and that was the part of the business that I enjoyed the most because i have history in product development from university. In fact, I learned how to make perfume in that university, believe or not. So, I did a science degree in london with Fashion. I’m still very interested in the sourcing development side as much as I contact with my Filipino sourcing agent. We have a team meeting every day and she tells me what’s going on. So I’m very much up to date. She looks for those opportunities on Amazon. She finds those suppliers she doesn’t dance. She gets the products sent from China to us, for us to evaluate and she send some to me if I need to look at it. More often than not, that’s not the thing we do. But sometimes we do on more technical products. And then we buy bulk order and she send them over to FBA leverage USA, Japan, UK and then we re-order when we need as well. The great thing is once you start buying a lot of volume in China, the suppliers will actually work as your sourcing agent as well. So now, Ingrid my girl in the Philippines, she’s got now a network of people that actually do her job for her because she’s great.
Mike: That’s pretty awesome. Im curious, I lived in Manila for about a year back in 2010 or so. I don’t know if I told you that before. I still actually have teams there, Philippines is great for FBA or any kind of business for have a support team. I had some of the teams was actually coz a lot of Chinese, I’m not sure if it’s the correct word but Chinese have been going to Philippines. Of course, everyone in the world but there’s some clusters of Chinese people in the Philippines and I had some people working for me in the past either have Chinese names and they spoke, sometimes they spoke dialects of not mandarin but I’m wondering if your sourcing agent in the Philippines has speaking Chinese or is she dealing mostly purely in English like you and I would.
Tim: Yeah, she actually speaks in English, she speaks English very, very well. But no other languages and the way we do outsourcing by mainly via Skype, Skype chat so we don’t have that benefit. But we do have suppliers in China that we worked very closely with and we sent a lot of volume, too, that we get a lot of volume from them. And yeah, these guys were pretty much work for us well. If I need to go to the Canton Fair, my guy in Dongguan, he’ll join me and be my translator and make sure look after, etcetera. So we have that network as well.
Mike: Got it. Very interesting. I’ve got some paranoid in my questions but I have been in China too long. But you know, we’re talking about trusting your team, you’re hiring. Is there any times that task you shouldn’t or can you like to, for our work week and check the money on the bank account every week or something like that.
Tim: But in fairness that was my inspiration. I have this birth kin in 2005.
Mike: Yeah, me too.
Tim: That’s what got me going. Do me a good few years but I eventually I got there and yeah I think it’s possible. But I don’t think you can be completely removed. You need to hire project manager, you need to hire CEO. You need to hire players that are really accountable. Personally, I don’t have that right now. But I see sudden things that I need to look into. I delegate everything apart from 2 things the listing optimization and PPC. And I think with these 2 things is more about optimal science. I can’t really make video, SOP on how to optimize a listing. I haven’t figure it out yet, Im sure. I’m sure if I really sit down and think about that it could make something. But to make 5 minute long SOP concised to the point. I think it’s got to be quite difficult right now. So I probably need to hire an A player for these 2 areas and I would go to somewhere hire my mom or maybe Upwork or Freeup which I mentioned earlier. So yeah, that’s what I think.
Mike: Now, I agree I mean, I guess so many of us are inspired by Mr. Perez. there’s 4 M’s you know and the things, he kind of left that whole lifestyle or may use the experiment book. But he’s not really living that lifestyle. I think it is possible but no matter what you got, you have to be still accountable, I think right? Of course, even public traded companies, the owner, the board of directors and the management has to like check on the CEO and make sure, check on everything, not just printing money. But it’s always worth going towards that.
Tim: Going back how to, it’s not about travelling, it’s not about place to place, its about freedom, that’s ultimately what is it all about. What are you doing with your time? And you might love your job which is great and you may want to do it forever, sure. But I don’t think many people do want to do that. I think most people want to do something that is very interesting, quite fulfilling but also have a lot of free time. So they can spend it doing things that they enjoy and spend time with people that they like the company all that. Learned your experiences and stuff like that.
Mike: Alright. Okay, so it’s been amazing thing again Tim for coming on and sharing some amazing value with listeners. Maybe we could learn from some stories. I know there could be so many I know you worked with so many from just your network and coaching and everything, probably show itself some couple. But do you want to pick out any body that you’ve worked with or heard about that maybe hasn’t gone so well to start and maybe we could talk one later about some successful. So many, I have my own , personally maybe you too. I think that’s part of it.
Tim: Yeah, I mean just last weekend in fact. We had a labelling issue. We bought some products from the supplier. We bought 2 products from the same supplier. And they run labels on each of the product. We send them tons and Amazon actually scanned this bar code which is called the FNSQ. And they didn’t recognize the product because it didn’t match the description. there’s a label on the outside which is one thing that when they open up the box, and they scanned the inner carton so the outer carton there’s a label that says what it is. And the inner carton there’s another label and that doesn’t match the outer carton and then these products that we have to basically destroy. And i’ve got lots of stories like that. I got suppliers that make really nice first batch.
Mike: We all know that trick.
Tim: Yeah, exactly but the good thing was on the last occasion that it happened we paid by PayPal. And they charged us 7%, can you believe that, 7% to pay on paypal? And they gave us this defective products. I’m just, hey look you better give us some money back or you want to tell PayPal or money back stray away. So we got our money back which is really nice but not convenient. So yeah, the thing is, the point is if you’re doing something just keep acting until you strike gold.
Mike: Exactly. I think that’s the ultimate right? Like so many entrepreneurs are, they said bad words like wantepreneurs. I think maybe what’s separates the man from the boy and from the girls is, hitting rock bottom and still getting back up coz if you keep getting back up like Rocky Balboa or something, they can keep beating you down but you don’t lose until you stop getting up, right?
Tim: Yeah, well you know, I mentioned that I read Tim Ferriss 4 Hour Work Week. But actually, I started my first business when I was about 23 I think and I’m 35 now, so long time ago, it took me about 10 years to actually get somewhere. So, it’s never an overnight thing. You have to keep pushing away.
Mike: I do agree. I mean,. again some are ages and experienced levels, too. Another thing I liked, I’ve been reading this like try to learn a skill, maybe that’s specific project or business could “fail” or not work out. But if you’re developing a skill, right? Like what you have been doing, I’ve been doing eventually use that for “success” or maybe what you should have been doing for the beginning but yeah, I loved that attitude. Well, let’s talk about the good one. The good guys, good cases.
Tim: Well, I mean I could tell you about products that worked out. I have a high profit margin that you know, for me ultimately is all about how I lived my life. As mentioned, I was in the bank and I wasn’t completely happy or stucked in the office. I was in the big client actually but I was spending more and more time in the office and I wasn’t just doing any good. But now with FBA what I’m able to do is to live life for my own terms. I’ve got a team that handles most of what needs to be handled. I got time to spend with my family, my 2 young toddlers. It’s a very, very good lifestyle I lived, for me.
Mike: Very good.
Tim: Also, on top, I’ve got to provide income for my team which makes their life more comfortable as well. So that’s great.
Mike: Definitely. And now like sort of parents and spending time with our especially young ones at this stage. Before they forget about us, right? Like a totally gives you perspective for the other fathers, mothers, and parents listening. It’s true like I used to take for granted my parents differ from me. Like I think other children, mine also at different ages. And now, when the tables are turned, you really appreciate your parents, that is for me. But I’m trying to get that time while the kids are still around me before they got to like, pushed me away before they go to school or go to our date, night dance or stuff.
Tim: Dad, leave me alone, you’re so embarrassing.
Mike: Yeah, exactly.
Tim: Well, very lucky to get this, spend the first year to our kids life. Well, we are working but we are just in different way.
Mike: Yeah, exactly. Cool, so some of the listeners that, I’m hoping they are taking action but maybe some of them are been hiding under the rock and they haven’t got started. Maybe lets keep on focus of VA, maybe they’re doing FBA or their own business, any type of business. But which they do to start delegating or you know empowering others.
Tim: Yeah, so, I would say make a list of every single task you do for your business if you’re not hiring. And then bunch this task into similar task, understand what the overall kind of role list that you might be writing down content writing task, if you’re writing a listing for example. Or you might be doing graphic design work on photoshop or game. Smooth things such as needing background from images or scaling images. You have to do that every now and then. Write all this task down, you understand you have to do graphic design work then, it comes the stage, Okay, I really need to delegate this and then once you understand that, you have to create a job description which can put up on a website. Taking applications, very good job description and once you get the applications, shift to those applications that are personalized to your job description. You’ll find a lot of people that apply having actually read your requirements, and make sure that you want people on that. And before you actually ask for an interview, send out some questions to that person or ask them to do a small piece of work. So for example, those graphic design you’re looking for, you ask them to sketch something or if its content writing ask them to write something, something small you know. 200 words or whatever. Judge what their work is like and ask them not any the technical questions about the role with us. A lot of lifestyle based questions as well. Is he at home? Where’s the work space? What equipment did they have to work from home? All that kind of stuff to make sure they can do the role and you get to find out bit about their personality. And if you like that person, give them a go. Go them on trial and train them right. And I personally like to have a video SOPs, obviously if there’s a creativity based role, you can’t really do video SOPs for that. But certainly for someone like her, a customer service person, or someone running an Amazon account, you can’t have video SOPs for that.
Mike: Which goes right into your new project, VA Central which I think is really.
Tim: That’s a sneaky segway there.
Mike: Yeah, we’re sneaky here on Global From Asia podcast. Well, I mean, you saw a need. You made these assets and you have this ways to help people so. For those who don’t want to spend the time, especially make those mistakes that you and I have made many times. Of course, let’s talk about what you have on the table here for people.
Tim: Well, thank you. So again, I created a lot of SOPs for my team. I actually have shared them with a lot of people I mastermind with. But the very personal to my business and a few people have asked if I could make a general SOP, a membership site. So I have done that and that specifically for Amazon Seller Central. And it’s what I called process and systems based. So Amazon Seller Central has a lot of different tools that you can use and my video SOPs explained how to use the different tools, processes, and systems in seller central in Amazon. So the benefits of this is, you as a seller can hire someone, someone’s who’s keen to seller central and you can say to them, watch this videos for let’s say, you want to spike your VSR creator, a promotion with a discount code and then monitor reviews. If you sell that to someone new, they probably wouldn’t understand what youre talking about. But you can taught strategy to your new hire. Your new hire can go to my membership site and look at those specific videos about VSR, reviews, coupons, etc. So, yeah that’s the benefit of it. Basically, you don’t have to train your team members on the very, very basics and fundamentals of Amazon seller central. We do that for you.
Mike: Great. Yeah, I mean, which I think is very valuable and helpful and I think one cool thing is you know I’ve taken a look at the course and you also put in your materials, there’s 3 languages, of course English, if they will learn themselves or watch themselves and then. Of course if they are working with staff in the Philippines. There’s a 2 main local languages Tagalog and Visaya, where they were located. So that’s even easier or better for the Philippines staff so they could read it in their own local language, right, which is pretty awesome.
Tim: Absolutely. So I hire from the Philippines, a lot of Amazon sellers do hire from the Philippines, so it just made sense to have transcriptions in Filipino languages. The feedback is very positive right now.
Mike: Awesome. But of course we both have team in the Philippines. But of course, I have people around the world as well but it is still seems like a good spot to have a good chunk of your team is Philippines, they’re pretty tech savvy and English speaking people, so that’s pretty cool.
Tim: Absolutely, I have members across the world as well. But when you are talking about hiring on a budget, I think Philippines is a great, great place to hire because of the reasons you just gave.
Mike: Yup, alright and so we’ve said the word VA Central is the membership site, I guess you called the video SOP materials. So how could people get into that, and do we have something to offer them today?
Tim: Well, the URL is www.vacentral.co and if you buy into it, then what we do is offer you on some advice on how you can run your VA Team. You just message me at my email address which is email@example.com. And then a ring at Skype call for an hour and we can discuss at any areas that you might find daunting and for a lot of new sellers delegating is a pretty scary. Let’s be honest, so If you want to discuss hiring, training, appraising very important re-numeration, firing that may have happen, etc.
Mike: Yeah, firing is a hard one.
Tim: Yeah, if you hired us, we shouldn’t have to do that, we will solve it anyway. So, I’ve got a lot of experience in this and I’d be happy to share with anyone that goes into program. So again just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike: Awesome, thank you so much and this is very generous sharing with us today Tim. So thank you so much. So enjoy the rest of your time today.
Tim: You’re welcome. Thank you very much. All the best.
Mike: Okay, thank you Tim for sharing that valuable knowledge. It feels like that it was a course on itself. I couldn’t believe he’s giving us all the goods. So, definitely give him a shout, thank him for this. Seriously that is amazing course at vacentral.co for managing virtual assistant for your Amazon business. Because this is something I know when you enter the community. You have talked to a lot of guys like Eric and some others and the rest of how to make SOPs and processes for different staff especially in their FBA businesses. So this is already to go. He’s even ready in the Philippines language so they can get right into it. So Claire how do you feeling today?
Claire: Good, great.
Mike: Great, first time on a podcast?
Claire: Yeah, I have been kind of like one thing to go on the show.
Mike: Yeah, this is just a little taste, will get you involved more as we go. Alright everybody shownotes globalfromasia.com/episode161 and of course our big event almost, a little bit more in 2 months away crossbordersummit.com/2017. And we always loved here. So Claire is helping me out with emails and she helped back me up even with working with Tim show and today and some others coming up. So, if you’re ever interested email@example.com will go to Claire as well as to me. I’m still checking emails, I love email I mean I do love to hear from you guys, so just keep them coming and we always like guests suggestions and many other guests have been recommended by listeners and just like Claire, don’t be shy to send us a message as well as email. Let’s see if we can work together, make some deals, help each other’s businesses grow and without adieu downs got to keep going. So it’s late Friday night and let’s get off and take a good weekend. See you guys later.
To get more info, on running international business, please visit our website at www.globalfromasia.com that’s www.globalfromasia.com. Also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.