The power of a dream team: taking your eBusiness to the next level
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Sophie Howard, founder of Aspiring Entrepreneurs.
There came a point in building my eSelling businesses on Amazon where I just couldn’t do it on my own any longer. Balancing the day with young children running around and trying to cope with the demands of an online business operating from my mobile phone and kitchen worktop was just too demanding.
I most certainly didn’t sign up to become an entrepreneur to have to work 12 hours per day, 7 days per week!
Finding a dream team to help you is a necessary aspect to scaling your Amazon business. It’s very hard for you to be at the top of the pack unless you’ve got your business structured and working properly. Now that I’ve got my team set up, all I need to do is keep choosing profitable products, stay in stock and manage my virtual team.
Expanding from a one-person business to a team
By simply acting on the decision to hire help, I was able to grow my business quicker and more profitably than before. I now have a small team to help me on a daily basis, use Payoneer to pay them and other related invoices and am happy that my business now runs like a well-oiled machine.
On talking about outsourcing in the The 4-Hour Work Week, Timothy Ferriss states, “It is not just about working smarter. It’s about building a system to replace yourself”
You will find that once you have your dream team in place, it is not only a great assistance for your liberty, time and productivity, it also makes your business sellable. Working with virtual assistants from around the world can often mean that someone is operating your business virtually 24 hours per day! There are extra eyes on your business to make sure that things don’t get missed and, as a result and less stress and workload overall, you get to sleep better at night.
Getting started in the hiring process
Rather than finding someone just like you, ideally you want to look for someone who enjoys and is good at the things that you are not; that way things will get done properly the first time. It is also a great idea to find someone who can do all of the regular urgent chores on a day to day basis, such as responding to customer queries.
For your first hire, it is best to make sure that you make a ‘low risk’ decision where, if they make a mistake, or a problem takes a while to get sorted, the sky is not going to fall and your business won’t shut down. I like to test new hires with product or market research tasks so that we have time to work together to see if they are a trustworthy, good fit. If all goes well, I feel comfortable with giving them more sensitive tasks.
There are a number of websites that you can look at to find your virtual assistants. I struck it lucky with finding my first virtual assistant through Fiverr.com. The criteria comprised of an assistant that had some technical knowledge, a willingness to learn and who spoke English as a first language (simply because I wanted to be confident that they could communicate sufficiently with Amazon Seller Central and customer queries). I also wanted to see that they had an employment history on the site and a good rating as a result.
For the shortlist selection, I give 4-5 people some small pieces of work, covering analytical and written work and some original research to do over a 1-2 day period. I wanted to see if they could do a number of different tasks, work it out themselves if they couldn’t or come back to me to get more information, rather than just not do it well or not at all.
A virtual assistant who is a self-starter, takes initiative and is a good problem solver is a gem to find and will help you so much in your ability to scale your business quickly.
Managing your team
Once you have your dream team in place, it is essential that you keep regular communication with them. I like to speak to my team directly several times per week and it is great to know that they can also communicate and work with each other behind the scenes so that I don’t have to be involved with every small step of the way.
This helps my business run smoothly and gives me the confidence to know that I can keep on growing my Amazon business, while my team is aware of the bigger picture and can handle what is required at every level.
Be proactive on the personal level
One last essential piece of advice is to take an interest in the personal aspirations of each member of your team. Not only will you become aware of any issues arising early on, they will also feel happy in the knowledge that you are taking a real interest in them and what skills they would like to learn or improve. This makes your working arrangement with them as enjoyable as possible and instils a sense of belonging.
Paying your international team members
Using Payoneer to pay my team around the world works for me and them. I love the fee-free and instant payments with the Make a Payment service, I love the security and the low fees if I choose to withdraw funds to my New Zealand bank account from the USA.
Setting up your dream team is a crucial step on the journey to growth and success. Find excellent professionals on Fiverr, Upwork, PeoplePerHour and many more.
Sophie Howard is an entrepreneur and eCommerce business owner located in New Zealand. Sophie has become an eCommerce guru, helping aspiring eSellers to get started and find success on Amazon. Her ongoing coaching program Product University guides learners through the entire process from selecting a great niche and product to listing and marketing the product online. Product University is a great place to overcome fears, answer questions and ease any concerns – all 100% within Amazon’s Service Terms and Guidelines.
Visit Sophie’s site today for a special offer!