When you’re running a growing business, hiring a virtual team isn’t just an option, it is a necessity.
To stay competitive, it pays to be both efficient and cost-effective. As appealing as it is to hire more people, it’s not always the most cost-effective or efficient way to do business. And contrary to popular belief, outsourcing is an ethical business practice done by almost all industries. It’s a business practice, an investment that can benefit all parties involved when done properly.
Outsourcing has many types, whether it’s IT outsource, a manufacture outsource or a business process outsource (BPO). But for small businesses, the one of the most effective forms of outsourcing is virtual team outsourcing.
A virtual team can function like that of an ordinary office staff. But in
most cases virtual teams specialize in online business operations and marketing. This is especially helpful for small businesses who want to venture online but don’t have the manpower, skills or knowledge to expand their business.
A virtual team is cost effective because you get a skilled team at a fraction of the cost. Compared to in-house staff, you don’t have to pay for overhead expenses and you only pay when these services are needed. And compared to independent contractors, you don’t need to make an effort to hire different freelancers with different skill sets. Since a virtual team has all the skills it needs under one roof, it saves you time and money in getting your business off the ground.
What To Look For In Your Virtual Team
Not all teams are alike, but it helps to have a team that has all the skills you need when setting up or expanding an online business. The different skill sets in that team should also complement each other and work together in making different processes more efficient and effective. Here are just some of the different roles that you should look for when shopping for a virtual team.
Project Manager – A project manager of a virtual team helps ensure that there’s no communication gap, and is primarily responsible in making sure that the projects are done well and on time. The manager also makes sure that the workers involved would get the resources they need to complete the task and helps coordinate different workers together to finish projects on time and within budget.
Content Manager/Creator – A content manager is the brain behind every piece of content that comes out from the team. Whether it’s a blog post, infographic or video, content managers come up with the ideas and help turn those ideas into reality, all the while working with everybody else to make sure that content serves a purpose in the grand scheme of things.
Technical Specialist – Whether you’re having an app built or you need someone to fix your website, you’ll want a team that has a technical specialist. In most cases, technical specialists work alone but in reality, they work better within a team. Why? Because online business become successful when their technical, creative, marketing, and operations efforts work together to achieve a common goal.
Marketing and Promotion Specialist – Marketing online is a whole new ballgame. Unlike traditional marketing, online marketing isn’t about how loud you are, it’s about making it easier for people who want your products and services to find you. And for that, you need a marketing and promotions specialist.
Office Administration Specialist – Back office work can be a bother. But with an Office Administration Specialist, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Focus on your operations and leave all the tedious administrative work to an administrative specialist.
Working With Your Virtual Team
Once you have your virtual team, the real work begins. Like any relationship, it takes chemistry, communication, and time to make things work. With the right mix of all three, you can get the most out of your outsourced team.
Here are some tips that could help when working with your team and how to make outsourcing easier for everyone:
● Communicate everything. Don’t assume things are understood. Make sure everything is understood and above board. If possible, document everything to make it easier to clarify any miscommunication that occurs.
● Understand and respect cultural differences. Differences are simply differences, not deficiencies.
● Outsourcing is a business relationship. Work together and help each other to achieve project milestones.
● Problems will occur, as with any business relationship. They key to making outsourcing work is to identify problems as soon as they arise and address them as soon as possible.
● Exercise patience. It takes time to build rapport and understand each other.