As a business owner, you are always looking for the most innovative, useful, and exciting ways to move your business forward. Innovations in technology and law, and even disruptions in your own industry can make it feel like you’re riding a motorcycle at twice the speed limit – and liking it. Well, Speed Racer, we’ve got another exciting innovation for you: An Expert Virtual Team.
If your eyes just started rolling at the idea that team building could be exciting – just stick with me. The ride is a lot more fun when you get to bring a party with you.
Many business owners shy away from the idea of working with virtual teams. People management can be difficult enough without being unable to see the whites of their eyes. But your opportunity here is endless. Your ideal team can be drafted from the best minds around the world. You—and your business—are not limited by geography or time zones. The best person to join your team may not live in the same city as you—and that no longer matters.
Hiring your virtual team members as contractors can also help you manage the inevitable fluctuations in any business. If your workload is minimal, you aren’t paying for people to sit around twiddling their thumbs. If you work from home and don’t have a separate office space, you don’t have to fork out additional cash for rent. Even if you do have an existing in-person team, you can grow it without increasing expenses. Virtual team members usually cover their own overhead—bringing your costs and your responsibility down, while increasing the productivity of your business.
Learning to Work Virtually
Working virtually means working differently. It requires you to use cloud-based collaboration tools—and if you’re not using them, trust me, you’re falling behind. With everything from time tracking software, to project management tools, digital file storage, and more, cloud-based tools can free you, your team, and your business to grow exponentially.
If you’ve managed teams before, you may have to make some adjustments to how you communicate. Differing time zones can add a bit more math into your meeting set ups, and the inability to hand something to a team sitting next to you means a bit more communication is needed to delegate. But you know what? It’ll also make you much more scalable.
Transitioning to and becoming expert in virtual communication means that when your business is ready to be truly national, and then international, you’ll be more than ready.
Building Your Team
How do you get started? Remember that building a virtual team doesn’t differ greatly from building an in-person team. You are still working with people, and you still need to know how to direct them.
Start by understanding the jobs that need to be completed, and the roles you need to fill. Consider more than technical ability and experience, and think about the personalities that are needed to succeed in your business.
Then start reaching out to your network. Check out LinkedIn, and don’t hesitate to tap people who already have full-time jobs. You’d be surprised just how many people would jump at the chance to stop commuting and use their expertise to build your business.