What Can a Virtual Assistant Do for My Subscription Box Business?Oct 24, 2021
When you first start your subscription box business, you do all the things yourself. Maybe you have a helpful family member or friend who pitches in when it’s time to pack and ship your subscription boxes, but all the day-to-day tasks that go into running your business? They’re all yours.
You’re the shipping person, the receiving person, and the packer. You’re handling your own social media, answering emails, and even acting as the janitor. I understand. I was there, too.
As your subscription box business grows, you’ll come to a point where you realize you need more help. You need to focus on the big picture things like being creative, working on marketing, and creating content.
In order to focus on the things that will help you grow your business, you need to take some things off your plate. Of course, those things still need to get done. That’s where a virtual assistant or VA can be the perfect solution.
I hired my first VA, Allison, to do just what I’m talking about. To take some tasks off my plate – some things I needed to stop doing in order to focus on the things that would make the biggest difference in my business.
Allison was my first VA and she’s still with me! She’s now my head VA and has become a truly irreplaceable part of my business. Learn more about Allison and all she does for me by listening to this podcast episode.
Let’s talk today about why a virtual assistant is a good first hire for many subscription box businesses.
What is a virtual assistant?
You’ve probably heard the term virtual assistant or VA. As the online business world has grown, so has the need for virtual assistants.
Virtual assistant is a term that can mean a LOT of different things. It’s important to understand that VAs are independent contractors. This means they are not your employee. Most VAs have other clients they are also working for. A virtual assistant will work a set number of hours for you or complete specific tasks for your business..
Some virtual assistants help with a wide variety of tasks. Others choose to specialize. There are administrative VAs, tech VAs, social media VAs, and so much more.
What tasks can a VA help a subscription box owner with?
When looking at how a virtual assistant can come in and help you with your subscription box business, ask yourself three questions.
- What things are you not good at doing?
- What things do you not like to do?
- What things are repetitive?
The answers to these questions are the first things you should consider delegating to a virtual assistant.
Launch Your Box members often ask what they should have a new VA help with. They know they need help, but they’re not sure exactly how a VA can help them in their subscription box business. I break it down into three task buckets.
Administrative virtual assistants can help with a variety of tasks.
- Customer service
- Billing and bookkeeping
- Calendar management and digital organization
You know how much time it takes to develop graphics and marketing materials. A VA who specializes in creative tasks can be a huge help and save you so much time!
- Creating social media graphics
- Creating custom email templates
- Designing newsletters, worksheets, or e-books
If you’re not tech-savvy, hiring a virtual assistant who specializes in tech can be a game-changer and a sanity saver!
- Maintaining the back end of your website
- Integrating waitlists to email lists
- Optimizing website plugins
- Segmenting and tagging your email list
- Optimizing blog posts and more for SEO
Look back at those three questions I had you ask yourself and match up the answers with these admin, creative, and tech tasks. That should give you a good place to start when deciding how a virtual assistant can help you in your subscription box business.
Why hire a virtual assistant instead of an employee?
Hiring an independent contractor instead of a full-time employee is often more cost-effective and allows you to hire to meet your business’s specific needs.
As a business owner, you’re not taking on the additional burden of providing benefits and paying payroll taxes like you would if you hired a W-2 employee. Instead, you are hiring an independent contractor for a set amount of hours per week/month or to complete a specific set of tasks.
The benefit to the VA is that they can work a flexible schedule from any location. I told you about my OG VA Allison. She lives in Washington State and I’m in Texas. We’re several states and two time zones apart, so Allison works hours that are convenient for her while doing all the things to keep me and my business running smoothly.
Where can you find the right VA for you?
There are so many people working online as virtual assistants. Once you decide you need to bring a VA into your business, it’s time to find one. And not just any virtual assistant - you need the right virtual assistant for you and your business.
I found Allison through another online entrepreneur I met in a class we both took. Emily Reagan has a great training program, her VA Crash Course, where she teaches smart women all the skills they need to work as virtual assistants. She then posts job opportunities inside her private student and alumni groups. So Emily is the first person I send Launch Your Box members to who are looking for a VA.
There are important things to keep in mind when you’re hiring a virtual assistant beyond them simply having the skills you need.
To make this relationship successful, make sure you:
- Set clear expectations - on both sides!
- Agree on pay rates and hours to be worked.
- Realize that as your VA’s workload grows, your budget will need to grow, too.
If you hire the right person, you may be blessed with someone who cares about you and your business – someone who becomes a valued member of your team. Someone… like Allison.
Learn from me:
- Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
- Launch Your Box: My complete training program that walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
- Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired!
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