One of the number rules of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing when to ask for help. When it comes to running a small business, such as an Etsy store, it can be very tempting to do everything yourself - every dollar counts, right?
However, when you start exploring the benefits of outsourcing some of your day to day work, you can soon discover that this is a great way to take your business to the next level.
Virtual Assistants are the next big thing - you can essentially engage someone from the other side of the world instantly to work on pretty much anything you can think of: bookkeeping, listing management...to researching which up and coming craft shows you should be appearing at next.
What can an Etsy virtual assistant help you with?
In essence, a Virtual Assistant (otherwise known as a "VA") can help you with anything that can be performed or communicated online.
To determine the areas that you need help with, sit down and create a list of all of the tasks you currently do to keep your business running - you'll most likely want to start with the tasks outside of creating your products, however if you feel that some of these tasks may work with a VA then go ahead and include these too.
For each of these tasks, also write down roughly how much time you spend on doing this on a weekly basis. Now, figure out which of these tasks can possibly be performed online without needing to be in your physical workspace.
From here, you'll now want to isolate the tasks that take you the most amount of time and focus on finding someone that can help you get these done.
As an idea of the possibilities, we'll outline the typical tasks that an Etsy seller might like to outsource using a VA:
An Etsy virtual assistant will be able to help you with marketing your store and the products that you sell. A lot of Etsy store owners do not have a lot of time to spend on marketing because they are so busy making and selling their products. As marketing can lead to more sales and profits, this can be a really smart way of employing a VA - a good assistant can pretty much start paying for themselves in a short period of time.
A Virtual Assistant is also able to assist on the customer service front. If you are constantly behind in answering your Etsy messages, then this might be a good area to tackle first. This work includes acknowledging customer comments across different platforms and replying to customers, updating them on shipping information and their delivery date, and answering queries. This is a great way to ensure that you maintain strong relationships with your customers even when you’re extremely busy fulfilling orders.
Another area that a Etsy virtual assistant is going to be able to help is in writing product descriptions and adding the relevant tags for maximum impact on your marketplaces and on Google. They can also proofread anything that you write to ensure that it is grammatically correct and engaging.
There are now many photographers that specialise in product photography that you can use to improve your product offerings. As part of their packages, they will ask you to send them examples of your product and they will then take professional pictures with models or appropriate backgrounds and send you the samples back.
Bookkeeping and Inventory Management
If you struggle with keeping up with the financial side of your business, a Virtual Assistant can be an absolute savour. There are many VAs versed in popular bookkeeping and accounting packages that can maintain your data entry and ensure that the reports you need are at your fingertips when you need them.
Tip: If you are falling behind with your bookkeeping on Craftybase Bookkeeping and Inventory for Handmade Sellers, a Virtual Assistant can be help with keeping your stock changes updated and also help you get back up to speed - you can find many VAs that specialise in data entry and bookkeeping on places like Fiverr and Upwork.
The benefits of hiring an Etsy virtual assistant
When you have someone to help you with all of the tasks that have been mentioned above, this gives you the chance to focus on what you do best. This means more time and effort is going to go into the products that you sell. You will also be able to focus on creating new products and adding them to your store. While someone else is taking care of all of the other tasks, you have the time to focus on the core of your business your strategy to grow.
Plus, by using the services of an Etsy virtual assistant, you will be able to tap into the knowledge that you may not have yourself at the moment. For example, if you do not know a lot about marketing, it can be very difficult to market your Etsy store in the way that it needs to be promoted. After all, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and such like can't be mastered overnight. It takes time and effort. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about any of this when you bring in outside assistance. You will have someone who already has all of the expert knowledge that is needed to make your business a success. Tapping into this expert experience could be just the thing you need to propel your Etsy store to new heights.
Another benefit of hiring an Etsy virtual assistant is that you have someone objective to bounce ideas off and to run things through. It can be very difficult to manage everything by yourself, especially when you re so close to your business and the products you sell. It can be hard to think about things objectively and to consider what the customer really wants over your own views and opinions. This is why it is often good to bring someone else into the equation who has no affiliation with you and will be completely honest when it comes to their thoughts and views about the products that you sell.