Before hiring a Virtual Assistant for your Amazon business, you have to set the payment method and research on the pay scale for VAs pay. Much thought should be put into this as well as creating a list of job responsibilities for the role. If you are hiring from the Philippines, the pay scale is relatively low as compared to VAs living in Western countries such as the United States and UK.
Ask Experienced Amazon Sellers
It helps if you ask other Amazon sellers who already have experiences with VAs from whichever country you are hiring from – if you haven’t already had any encounter with a VA from the that country. For instance Filipino VAs would be cheaper than Romanian ones. Other Amazon sellers should have a first-hand experience regarding the matter. Join forums or seminars to help you decide.
Search rates on Payscale
You may also search online through payscale.com how much a VA is paid – it should be able to give you an estimated calculation of pay per work done for an hourly basis. Also, you can search for how much a VA is paid based on experience and skill. Taking the example of Filipino VAs, be sure to specify the Philippines as the location when you start searching on payscale.com. Noticeably, the pay rate for Filipino VAs is also relatively lower if you compare it with salary rates of VAs who are native English speakers.
Research on outsourcing sites and blogs
In addition, there are outsourcing sites that display thousands of resumes of Filipino VAs. An example is onlinejobs.ph. The site also has some useful blogs on how to hire a Filipino VA and how much should be paid per productive work done. Aside from this, there are hundreds of other blogs available in the world wide web – refer to these to help you decide your payment method.
Determine the nature of the role
If you are torn between paying by task/project or by time, it actually depends on what you think best considering the nature of the role. If you are offering a permanent or full time position, then you will have to pay by time. Perhaps you can offer weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payments. On the other hand, if you are only looking to hire for someone to finish a particular project in a specific time-frame, then you can pay per milestone.
Remuneration & Motivation
The pay rate for the training period, probationary period, and regularization could differ. Implementing higher pay after a probationary period motivates your talent to keep on improving from time to time and to deliver on a timely, qualitative, and quantitative manner. Your new employee should have something to look forward to in the future working with you. Moreover, you should be able to provide a bigger picture for him/her, especially if you start at a lower base pay. However, you need to consider years of experience and skills.
Of course, you also have to consider if your payment method and your remuneration strategy actually keeps your VA motivated. Remember that motivation is the key if you demand high quality output from your new hire. Thus, you may also have to think of incentives or bonuses. But this needs time to think through. You don’t want to make promises to your new hire and eventually take them back if you think your VA is not performing as expected. Regular communication and evaluation is the key here.
Decide like a boss
Some VA tasks may require you to pay project-based or based on time. But really, it’s down to you. As the boss, you should be the one deciding how the payment method works. You simply need to know the average pay rate a Filipino VA is earning to make sure your VA worker gets enough even while you are keeping your operational costs at a minimum.
Other employees require the use of technology that captures screenshots of the actions of the VA worker as evidence – to see if the assistant is really working. However, if you are paying based on tasks, there is no need to check if the VA is working every second as long as the task is completed within a week’s time. That is, if you are giving weekly tasks to your VA.
Paying on time and in full
Regardless of how you decide to pay your VA, you have to pay on time and in full – there are no exceptions. Here’s why it is crucial to pay your VA on time: Your Filipino VA may have mouths to feed, may need to pay rent, may have bills to pay, etc. Learn to empathize to your VA’s every need knowing that living in the Philippines as a third world country may not be easy.
Paying by time – weekly or monthly?
Most VAs in the Philippines are actually paid on a monthly basis. This is especially true for those working full time. However, there are some who prefer to be paid on a weekly basis. Some Amazon sellers like to pay their VAs that way but it depends on how tasks are assigned. This works when tasks are given per week and expected to be completed and submitted before the work week ends. Note, that if you choose to pay on a weekly basis (every Friday, for example), you would end up paying out more than if you paid on a set date every month (every 28th of the month, for example) – think rental agreements and how weekly rent is annualized and divided by the number of months for the true rental amount paid on a monthly basis.
Paying per project done
Project-based tasks are usually for freelancers who will work for you on a short period of time. For instance, you have hired a graphic designer to work on the layout of your company logo – this task does not take a long time. So you can pay your hire by the time the project is finished or per milestone accomplished. You just need to be very clear with your methods so there will be no confusion and misunderstanding.
But be warned – payment given per milestone done may be risky. There could be a tendency that the VA will no longer show up for work after finishing a milestone or two, leaving your project hanging. When things like this happen, you’ll have a stagnant business flow. To prevent this from happening, it may be best to pay the VA in full after accomplishing the project. However, you both have to agree on this arrangement before the project starts.
Furthermore, hiring a part-time or full time permanent VA is more ideal than just hiring a temporary worker. The thing with hiring a permanent VA is that it gives you time to establish a professional relationship – eliminating any trust issues as time progresses. As an Amazon seller, the tasks are done in a continuous manner. Tasks such as creating listings, sourcing products, customer service, etc, are done continuously, otherwise, your business will not move forward. Your VAs will do these tasks for you while you do more important things to improve your business strategies.
Therefore, we think that hiring a permanent part-time or full time VA to be paid by time is ideal. It’s all up to you if you will pay per week, bi-weekly, or per month as long as the VA is properly compensated. Again, consider his/her experience and skills. Often, it does not matter how your assistant is paid as long as you establish a good relationship built on trust and respect. Praise your VA if he/she is doing a great job – recognition is also one thing that will make an employee stay. Give incentives if you think performance has been exceeded – that is a great way to keep your VA motivated and dedicated to go the extra mile to finish tasks relevant for the growth of your business. Start a working culture that is ethical, professional, and moral by being a good role model to your staff.
Once you discuss pay with your new Amazon business hire and both parties are happy with the remuneration structure, you will then need to train your new hire correctly. And the first stop should be VA Central. Here your new hire will learn about the very basics of Amazon and Seller Central – leaving you not needing to explain the fundamentals and so can go straight to discussing strategy.