This week in Nextoria’s Expert Corner, we talk to Gilad Freimann, CEO of VAA Philippines, a full-service agency that fuels sellers’ growth by connecting them with top-notch Virtual Assistants.
Please share a few words about you, what you do, how you started and why you decided to launch VAA Philippines?
My name is Gilad Freimann. I’m the owner and CEO of VAA Philippines. I started as an Amazon seller selling private label outdoor equipment on Amazon US in 2015, started hiring VAs in 2017 and later on founded VAA Philippines in 2017.
The reason I started this business is because I had a lot of difficulties finding my own VAs for my business. I had very bad experiences, and it took me quite some time to figure out how to find the right people, train them, and make them stay with me for the long run, and this is what we do now with VAA.
What trends have you observed in the e-commerce industry in the last 2 years?
VAA Philippines has continued to grow fast in the last 3 years. That basically means that more and more people are entering the ecommerce business. The more shoppers you have on Amazon, the more people are starting to sell more and more things on Amazon, and more people need teams to run their businesses.
So basically we continue to see the growth of 2021, also 2022, and 2023.
The tough current macro environment is affecting many sellers. How can one minimise the impact of these factors and improve performance?
From our point of view, the best way to minimize this impact is to have steady, streamlined work processes using VAs. For example, if you have somebody always taking care of your inventory and checking on a daily basis what is going on over there, when you need to order more shipments and so on, then you are reducing your risk of getting out of stock, for example.
And when you have somebody working on your PPC on a daily basis, then you see that you get better results.
At the brand level, what are the other things a brand owner can do to keep running a profitable business?
From the successful entrepreneurs that are working with us, the big agencies, we see that the faster they understand the importance of delegating tasks to professional VAs, the more time they have to run their business and manage it as entrepreneurs instead of just extinguishing fires, reacting to what is happening to their business. When you have somebody else doing the everyday work for you, then you can focus your energy on the things that drive the big profits.
You work with a lot of clients – how are you able to help them reach their objectives?
We have a designated Customer Experience Department. The idea behind it is that every seller will have a direct point of contact to work with. It will be a staff member or manager who will help them even before starting to work with their VAs. They will help them prepare for the arrival of the VAs, solve any problems, improve things with their VAs if needed, replace VAs, add more team members and so on.
We make sure that no matter how much we grow, we always have a dedicated person to work with each seller and help them make sure that they maximize their work with their VA.
What are the top 3 priorities you believe sellers should set in order to grow their business in 2023?
The first advice would be to map exactly the things that you are doing at the moment and identify those which are not driving profits for your business. As a business owner, you should be focusing on high-level tasks that will generate the most profit for your company. I’m talking about “thousands of dollars per hour” type of thinking: where the business should be, where it should go, which new things you want to implement in your business. The faster you realize that this is what you should be focusing on, then you can start delegating everyday tasks to VAs, and this is key to growing faster than your competitors.
Second thing is that you have to start building your SOPs, making sure that when you start to delegate – when you start to build a team – they are following specific procedures and processes, so that each person knows exactly what they are doing and what their responsibilities are.
The third thing is to set specific goals, to understand where you want to go, how high you want to reach, how you want to do it. Most business owners, especially small entrepreneurs, tend to think they are not there yet, and they just roll from one day to the other. But if you have set specific goals – and these goals should be ambitious goals that are hard to reach – then you start building your way toward these goals. Even if at the beginning you will not reach your goals because you are just starting with this, it will help you advance and grow to reach your goals eventually.
Where can people find you?
You can visit our website or email us at email@example.com