Product Sourcing VAFind the best products at the best prices for your eCommerce store – hire a Product Sourcing Virtual Assistant today!
What is a Product Sourcing Virtual Assistant?
Product sourcing is an integral part of any retail business. Whether you have a physical store, an online store, or both, as long as you sell products, you will need a good source of supply for them. If you want to make sure that your business is maximizing both profit and quality, you need to be on top of your sourcing.
Unfortunately, product sourcing can be a tedious process. To do it properly, you would have to look closely at your business operations, create strategies, and contact and maintain relationships with various suppliers. This is why getting a product sourcing specialist is a must. Whether on a physical store or on online marketplaces, a product sourcing virtual assistant can make a business run more cost-efficiently.
Why get a sourcing virtual assistant though, instead of a physical employee? One benefit to getting a virtual assistant is that you get to choose from a wider pool of candidates because you won’t get restricted to hiring within a small geographical area. If you choose to get a virtual assistant, the entire internet-connected world is your oyster. Hiring a product sourcing virtual assistant also means that you won’t need to pay for the associated costs of hiring a physical employee. You won’t need to pay for office space, office equipment, travel allowance, or insurance.
What Kinds of Tasks Can a Product Sourcing Virtual Assistant Do?
Your product sourcing virtual assistant (VA) can do a variety of tasks to help ease your operations, such as:
- Supplier research
A sourcing virtual assistant should have a good handle on the basics. They should be able to find different suppliers for the products you sell, as well as suggest items that would be a good fit for your shop.
- Maintaining relationships with suppliers
A product sourcing virtual assistant must be personable and able to maintain positive connections with different suppliers. This not only helps them keep up with product news, but it also helps them negotiate for good terms and prices.
- Regular market price checks
Part of saving costs and reaching good negotiation prices is knowing what’s out there in the market. Your product sourcing VA will be able to research market supply and gauge how much negotiating power you have compared to the supplies based on this info.
- Creation of transparent spending reports
One of the key goals of a product sourcing virtual assistant is to minimize business costs. Therefore, they should be able to create comprehensive and transparent reports on purchases. They can even include historical comparisons and market price comparisons so you can really see how much you’ve saved.
- Monitoring quality of sourced products
Sometimes, low prices are sadly indicative of low quality. Your product sourcing specialist must be able to keep track of these two sometimes opposing points and make sure to find a happy balance between price and quality.
- Inventory optimization
A product sourcing virtual assistant must monitor delivery speeds and ensure regularity of supply. They should also be able to efficiently categorize and keep track of inventory to minimize opportunity loss.
What Skills and Qualifications Should I Look for in a Product Sourcing Virtual Assistant?
Product sourcing virtual assistants hold one of the cores of your business, so looking for a VA that is well qualified is a very high priority. Here are some key skills and characteristics your product sourcing VA must have, in order to be able to maintain, and even elevate, your business operations:
- Excellent communication skills
A product sourcing specialist is in charge of maintaining relationships with your suppliers and negotiating with them. They also have to coordinate with the rest of your team effectively. Therefore, it is very important that they be able to engage well with people.
- Organized and meticulous
Product sourcing VAs have to deal with a ton of moving parts. Making sense of these parts and making sure they’re cataloged in a sensible manner is super important for efficiency. It also helps you ensure that their work connects properly with the rest of the business pipeline.
Your product sourcing VA must have a sharp eye and good memory to keep track of the many details they need to straighten out and ensure that things don’t fall through the cracks.
- Understanding of market dynamics
Understanding the market is important for anything that relates to negotiation. This is more than just keeping abreast of trends, a product sourcing virtual assistant must also have a good business sense and excellent decision-making skills to truly maximize their impact.
- Good with figures and interpreting data
In the end, a product sourcing VA’s main focus is in the numbers. It’s important that they’re comfortable with looking at and interpreting numbers, and are able to present them in an understandable manner to the rest of the team.
How Can I Hire a Product Sourcing Virtual Assistant?
Product sourcing virtual assistants can really help your business keep down costs and maximize sales potential. However, hiring one can seem daunting. The idea of wading through the vast pool of the internet, onboarding a new hire, and monitoring KPIs can be a lot sometimes. Luckily, there are VA companies that can help businesses get and monitor VAs at affordable rates.
When looking for a VA company, it’s important to look at their history — how long they’ve been around, and also their reviews. They have to be trustworthy. After all, you’ll not only be giving them information on the current state of your business, you’ll also be letting them impact its future. 20four7VA is one such reliable company.
20four7VA looks through the candidate pool and shortlists only those qualified for your company. This way, all you’ll have to do is interview already vetted applicants and pick the best fit for you. Afterward, 20four7VA will also help you onboard your new virtual assistant, and even help you set up a monitoring system for their performance, making hiring a new VA very simple. To get started, all you have to do is schedule a no-obligation pre-consultation call, and then you’re all set!