Before I begin let me ask you some questions:
Have there been instances where you felt you were again sharing the same instructions with your people?
The same standard operating procedures (SOPs) and other stuff again and again.
If the answer is yes, you need to continue reading.
I am going to talk about why you need your own Company Wiki and how it can really help you utilize your Virtual Assistant (VA) more efficiently!
The best part about what I do is meeting so many budding online sellers while also coming in contact with experienced ones. This also gives me an insight into what is working for them and what’s causing them a lot of headaches.
One of the biggest mistakes that many online sellers make is not having a company wiki. See when I started, I realized after few mistakes that I need to have one centralized location for all my company data and SOPs so that anyone working with me can easily access them whenever they want.
This led me to work on creating my own Company Wiki.
Here’s how it looks like:
My company’s wiki is literally the backbone of my company operations.
By incorporating it with Asana, my virtual assistant and I have together minimized useless chit chat, systemized my online Amazon business while also reduced any chance of repetition in communication and instructions.Want to see WIKI in action? Download my free example Reordering Process. CLICK TO SEE WIKI IN ACTION
How Can You Structure Your Wiki?
In a nutshell, my company wiki is the information headquarters where anyone can find anything about my company, the various day to day processes, necessary data like emails and addresses in a carefully arranged and systematic structure.
Let me show you how it is. This is the menu of my wiki.
As you can see, it’s clearly divided into various departments that exist in my company.
Apart from the “Strategy” which I will cover later,
notice how each and every category has two parts,
one is Data and other is SOPs.
For instance finance data and then finance SOPs and so on and so forth.
The data section of each department contains information
relevant to tasks that come under them.
For instance, in the finance data section, you will find four things:
- Company Information which include our addresses, email addresses etc. for financial matters.
- Finance contacts of all the people that deal with the finances of my company.
- Finance websites that we use to maintain our all financial matters like quickbooks.com.
- Product cost calculations that includes how at my company we calculate the cost of each product we are selling.
Now in the SOPs as the name suggests includes the standard operating procedures of the various tasks being done within that department.
To make my life easy and those working for me especially my virtual assistant, these SOPs are available on the wiki. The SOPs comprise of mostly three things, templates, video tutorials or sometimes just instructional texts.
Here’s one of the SOPs from the Finance department. This one has a video tutorial to help my employees to add a new supplier to quickbooks.
If you notice on the menu, we have the section, “Strategy”. This is where I share where I see myself and my company in the future along with the steps that we all need to take to accomplish that vision.
This is for those that join my company and helps them in becoming active members of my team. They can learn about me, our company’s core values and what are the principles of the company.
Maintaining the health of your wiki
It’s really important that you take care of your wiki.
Once you populate it, it is absolutely necessary that you make sure that it stays organized and systematic as you want it.
That is why I do two things to ensure it stays the way it is.
1.) I Check Comments On Every Page.
Under every page of my wiki, there is a comment section for users. This is where my team or VA leaves a comment if they think something is missing, something is wrong or they want to me to add something new.
2) I Regularly Check “Recent Site Activity”.
This is where I can find out what has happened on the wiki, who has changed what etc. I check it out to see if everything is alright and good and move on.
This is important as I work with remote employees and they can mistakenly change something that shouldn’t be. Using “recent site activity” I can ensure that my wiki is in good shape.
So How Does It Help Me Utilize My VA Better?
Those of you that know will know that I recommend highly that you should have a VA if you are in the business of online selling.
And bear in mind, they are not just to brag to your friends or peers that you have VA. A virtual assistant is much more than just something to show off.
Whether you are working on Amazon or have your own ecommerce business, a virtual assistant is very important as you cannot do everything by yourself. In fact as I always say:
“You Should Hire Your Virtual Assistant Way Earlier Than You Think You Should”.
But here is the thing, your virtual assistant should be an extension of yourself, someone who can do the tasks themselves without you micromanaging each and everything thing.
Obviously you will explain to them the task they are going to do the first time but doing it every time is simply a waste of time.
But we are all humans and since there is so much to do, your VA can forget some part of the tasks. This is where my company wiki comes in but not alone, it works with the task management solution, Asana that I use to give and manage tasks to my VA.
Here’s how the magic happens.
The above diagram is an oversimplification but it tells you how things work.
First, I assign tasks to my virtual assistant on Asana. These tasks when assigned prompt her to start working on them.
As she starts, she would need information relevant to the task.
For instance if she is looking into restocking items for my Amazon seller account, she will need the information for the manufacturer. So she will refer to the “operations” department and its SOPs section.
As you can see, she doesn’t has to come to me for anything, everything is readily available on Asana for her to use. All she has to do is go there, find what she is looking for and complete her task.
Here’s Another Fun Fact For You: Every time I assign a new task to my VA, I simply paste the link of the relevant SOP in the task. This allows her to easily finish the task and even if I don’t she knows that she will find the answer in the wiki.
Basically what I want to say is that without have a company wiki or even a task management system in place like Asana, you are going to be bombarded with 1000s of questions everyday. How do this, what is the registration number etc.
This shouldn’t happen. You cannot have your employees asking the same question twice. That is why a company wiki is important. It’s time that you stop repeating yourself and truly become a systemized business. Here’s a youtube video about this for those Selling On Amazon
Want to see WIKI in action? Download my free example Reordering Process.