Versatility is one of the traits a Virtual Assistant should possess. Apart from able to multi-task, work from home jobs typically requires you to be hands on in almost every department of the business.
Most of the time, you’ll be wearing different hats and companies will require you to do tasks that may be familiar or unfamiliar to you. It may seem overwhelming at first because you’re getting more tasks assigned to you and it may become unmanageable. But the important thing here is that you are learning new things and are able to experience it first hand — hence, developing your skills.
Below is a list of some of my duties as a Virtual Assistant.
All business that sells a product or service always have a customer service department. Having an active and cheerful customer care service is vital to the success of the business. Imagine, a buyer purchases your product and had a problem with it, customer then reaches out to customer service but to no avail. So in the end, that buyer would never buy again from your company and worst, tell everyone how bad the company is. Another example is when an interested customer wants to purchase your product but has some few questions before hitting the purchase button, but your company doesn’t have customer service so the buyer opted to buy a different product from a different company instead. There are two types of customer service, Voice (Phone calls) and Non-voice (Email and Chat). Now it really depends on what company you’ll land to if they offer Voice and Non-voice customer service, but in my experience as an e-commerce virtual assistant, I have only done Non-voice customer service, because I don’t like doing Phone calls. However, employers regardless if they are an e-commerce company or only does support for emails and chats would always loved it if you can do voice calls too. Customer service in my experience only talks about 2 things.
- Buyer Inquiry or any other related questions regarding the product or service that your business is offering.
- Customer complaints
This is all about voice calls and what you do here is you call potential customers to sell your product or services, I noticed that telemarketing is mostly done for products and services that are for personal consumption, such as insurance and real estate. Employers do provide you a virtual phone dialer or VOIP with a US number for you to call clients in the US as well as providing the right scripts when talking to them.
Inventory and Supply Chain Management
Specifically for e-commerce business since you have inventory or listings to sell. Usually what they do here is to track the inventory levels of the business to know when and what to order. Tracking invoices from suppliers for your purchase orders and invoices for shipping. Also, this involves coordinating with suppliers and shippers.
- Monitoring Inventory Levels
- Documenting Supplier Invoices
- Documenting Shipping Invoices
- Product Sourcing and Reordering
- Tax and other charges computation
- Monitoring Tracking Numbers
Applicable for businesses that sells products online on their website or in e-commerce platform like Amazon. Basically, when a customer buys your product, your role is to make sure that the order is processed and delivered to the customer. Now order fulfillment processes or methods vary from platform to platform, but they all share the same concept
- First, you get notified of the order through email.
- Next is to process the order in whatever fulfillment channels or platforms you are using by inputting the buyer’s details such as name, address, phone number, email, and order id (if applicable),
- Then select the shipping options whether it’s a standard delivery, 2 day shipping, or 1 day shipping (this will depend on whatever shipping options your employer have set for the business or if the buyer chooses to have a different shipping method apart from standard delivery, but customers opt to use standard delivery to save them on shipping cost.)
- Once you have hit send, record all the details such as order id and tracking number (very important) because you will go back to the fulfillment channel that you are using to confirm the shipment by placing the tracking number. This way, the buyer will get notified that the order has been shipped and is able to track the shipment with the tracking number you have provided.
Note: Order fulfillment is easy to learn and you do not have to worry about this because Employers will always teach you how to fulfill an order since every business are using different platforms.
A VA should know how to make reports because it provides a summary of how the business is performing. There are a lot of type of reports that you’ll encounter and it will depend on what type of business you are engaged in or what your boss tells you to do. Reports are a good gauge to know if the business is doing well and employers love it if their employees are good in creating reports and keeping them updated.
- Weekly and Monthly Sales Reports
- Inventory Reports
- Factory Defect Reports
- Customer Complaints Reports
- Ad spend Reports
- Product Researches
- Competitor Analysis
Note: Unfortunately, not all business will teach you how to create reports and it’s a skill that you should know and learn on your own. There is no need to create slideshow presentations, all you need is just create them in spreadsheet, and it would be a plus if you know how to create graphs and charts out of your report.
Social Media Marketing and Management
Involves the overall management of your company’s social media accounts. Most businesses now have social media accounts such as Facebook Page, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter, and so much more. How you use social media in a personal level is not much different when you do it for business — it’s just more professional when you use it for work as well as involving the products and services that your company is offering. Typical tasks Involve
- Answering messages.
- Responding to posts and comments.
- Setting up advertisements such as facebook ads.
- Uploading and schedule posts.
Note: If you are already using Social Media, then it would be easier for you to tackle on this tasks since you are already in familiar ground, though there’s still a learning curve especially when you’re doing ads and setting up attribution. Also, how you create your posts, how to answer to messages and comments will be collaborated with your employer at first. However, you need to be proactive and learn how to do things on your own by doing research.
An individual who has the skill set for this would be advantageous, but that is not always the case. Though some task involving this doesn’t require extensive knowledge and you are able to tweek minor or even the major ones by just doing some research. However, if the website needed a overall change or a facelift then that would be a challenging task. Some of the minor tasks in doing website management are listed below.
- Fixing bug fixes and page errors
- Uploading new content such as images, blogs, pages, products
- Updating content such as descriptions, headers, titles
- Improving the layout and design
- Adding plugins
Retail and Wholesale Management
E-commerce usually deals with individual customers, and if you are selling a product, some customers might be interested to purchase by bulk and purchasing on your website because buying in e-commerce platform such as Amazon would be expensive for them. Also, business owners would always prefer buyers to buy directly from them because it saves the money by not paying referral fees to this e-commerce platform such as Amazon, Ebay, or Walmart. A typical setup would be customers reaching out on your website and asking for wholesale pricing.
Note: All businesses that are capable of wholesale prefer this because they have direct control of their profit margins. And expanding their businesses outside e-commerce means growth for the business. This is more of an Offline Selling and it involves supply chain management and customer service as well.
Product Research and Listing
E-commerce companies usually outsource their products for resale. Rarely do e-commerce companies manufacture their own products in-house because that is a very big investment. So this primary involves researching new products and most of them are searched in China, since you’ll be able to find everything there and the price is very competitive.
- First is of course to know your niche or research whatever product is selling well.
- Then you look for suppliers in China and the most common marketplace to look into is Alibaba.
- You then request for a quotation for price, MOQ, and other conditions required by your boss. Then negotiations starts.
- Once both parties agreed to the terms, you then submit a purchase order to the supplier. So they can start processing your orders. Payment usually varies for international trade, but most of them do bank deposits or if the purchase is big, they will require a Letter of Credit.
- Usually, suppliers have preferred shippers already but if you can always look for your own shipper or use the companies existing shipper.
- That’s it, all you have to do next is to monitor and follow up the shipment.
- A dropshipping business model is different from private label ones. Since Dropshipping doesn’t need to purchase their products and have a physical inventory because all they need to do is post the products they’ve found on their website or e-commerce site and wait for someone to order. Once a customer orders, you do create the fulfillment order to you the supplier and the supplier will be the one to ship it to customer.
The industry is getting tougher and it’s difficult to grow a brand organically, so companies do invest in ads to boost their brand presence. Graphic designs skills and Analyzing Keyword Research are necessary for this task.
- Social Media Ads such as Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Pinterest, etc
- Google Ads
- Graphic Designing for Posts, Website Banners, Social Media Banners.
- Amazon PPC
Improving Business Systems and Processes
Every business has a system and it is important to establish a great working processes and procedures to increase the value of the company. This also helps everyone in the business to have a good workflow and are able to do their work efficiently.
- Creating Standard Operating Procedures or SOP’s
- Organizing Files and Folders
- Organizing Email Filters and Labels
- Organizing Contacts
- Task Delegation through Project Management
Marketing is an important aspect of the business because it helps build the brand of the company and at the same time, drive more sales. Here are just of the tasks that I’ve encountered as a VA.
- Reach out to Influencers
- Email Marketing
- Collaboration with Reviewers
- Collaboration with Media companies in print, television, radio, and internet.
As the company grows, so are its employees. This is very rare opportunity and some employers would assign you to do recruitment for the company. So you’ll be posting job ads such as in onlinejobs.ph or Facebook. So you’ll do the whole process of hiring, from posting jobs ads, interviewing, to creating their job offers. This might also involve sourcing for short term projects in Fiverr, such as you need to find someone to create you an online brochure, social media posts designs, banner ads, and chinese to english translation to name a few. As a human resource manager, you need to be able to train the new employees and guide them on their onboarding stage. And for some cases, you need to handle employee relations as well by looking after the employees and see if they are happy with their jobs or if they needed additional training for them to improve their work.
- Job postings
- Onboarding of new employees
- Training of employees
- Employee Relations
These are just some of the tasks that I do as a Virtual Assistant. I hope this guide gives you an additional idea on what is like working as a VA. This might not be all of the tasks, but it is already a handful for one person. You learn as you go when you’re doing an Online Job and what is important is that you learn and develop your skills, it’s the only thing that will make you valuable.