Startups often find themselves constrained by tight capital or limited access to funding. Thus, many startups operate lean and work to maximize their available resources until such time the business becomes self-sustaining. But business needs to remain dynamic; it should have the capacity to accommodate changes in demand without compromising costs and quality of service. One of the most effective business development strategies is to assemble a remote team. There are many ways a remote team can help your startup.
A remote team is composed of people who work online from a remote location. They have been selected based on the skill sets and competencies they can contribute for the successful completion of a project or management of a department. Many of those who are selected to be part of a remote team work from home. They are often referred to as virtual assistants, freelancers, telecommuters or home- based workers.
An example of a remote team would be one that is organized to manage a digital marketing campaign. The remote team would be comprised of virtual assistants with the following skill sets and competencies:
- Digital Marketer – The Project Manager of the team; should have understanding of web design and programming, SEO, content marketing and social media marketing.
- Web Developer – The web developer is a web designer who can do programming. He or she shall be in charge of designing the website and making it functional for business.
- SEO Professional – Search Engine Optimization or SEO works to have the web pages found. He or she will be tasked to do keyword research and should frequently work with the web designer and content writer.
- Content Writer – Responsible for all printed content on the website, social media accounts and blog pages. He or she must be able to write unique, relevant and engaging content with a great understanding of keywords.
- Social Media Marketer – The ideal virtual assistant would be one with vast experience managing marketing campaigns using various social media networks. He or she will be responsible for carrying out the social media posting schedule.
There are several advantages to hiring a remote team. And these advantages are the reasons why a remote team can help your startup succeed:
1. Streamline Costs of Business
Contracting virtual assistants with various skills for a remote team is more cost efficient than hiring full-time employees. Virtual assistants are self-employed and are responsible for their own costs of business including benefits.
Thus, when assembling a remote team you are not accountable for their Internet, power, utilities and government mandated benefits. Their rates are also comparatively lower compared to full-time employees.
You can hire virtual assistants from remote locations such as India and the Philippines for $7 per hour. The average wage rate of a full-time employee in the United States, Canada and Australia are $20, $20 and $18 per hour respectively.
2. Improve Productivity
Virtual assistants are primarily hired to assume responsibility of non- essential tasks. These include customer support, back office work and administrative responsibilities.
By designating these tasks to a Virtual Assistant in your remote team, you can free up more time for yourself to attend to your business’ core activities.
Virtual assistants are also paid based on productive hour. The usual payment arrangement would be to determine the number of works hours it would take to complete a task.
The client then establishes milestones that act as references for the Virtual Assistant. He or she needs to accomplish these milestones before receiving payment. Thus, the remote team will stay more focused to make sure the milestones are attained regularly.
3. Increase Work Flexibility
When you have a remote team, you have more options at your disposal. This is because of the nature of your arrangement with its members.
- They are not employed full-time; you can set their work hours to meet your operating budget.
- Existence of time zone differentials; you can schedule their shifts so your business can be covered even after regular work hours.
- They are only contracted for a specific project; if you do not like the performance of a current team member, you can have him or her replaced. Likewise, once the project has been completed, you can extend their contract or dissolve the team altogether.
In our previous example, you could make the following changes in the work schedule of the remote team:
- Digital Marketer and Web Developer can work with you during office hours.
SEO, Content Writer and Social Media Marketer can work together after office hours.
- Digital Marketer will manage all social media marketing postings during regular office hours.
- Social Media Marketer will also act as customer support after office hours. He or she will respond to e-mails, chat messages and inquiries on the posts.
You can work out a schedule that will fit your budget. A payment arrangement may also be acceptable for the virtual assistants. For example, content writers can be paid per published word.
4. Improve Quality of Work
These virtual assistants are not fresh graduates. Many of them have years of experience under their belt working in a traditional bricks- and- mortar office as regular 9-to-5 employees.
Not only are they experienced working in a corporate environment but many have also taken additional training, seminars and further steps to become better at what they do.
You do not to spend much time training or orienting the remote team. They should be ready to go live after one week of training and testing.
5. Reduce Risks of Expansion
With a remote team, you have the necessary skills in place to help you gauge the performance of your business. There are metrics and benchmarks which can be analyzed and discussed with you by the Project Manager.
Then with a remote team in place, you can have any process improvement protocol become more effective by having its different areas analyzed by the designated virtual assistant.
Business analysis will be undertaken in greater detail and you will be able to pinpoint potential flaws or weak links. Once you are able to fine tune the system you would be able to determine if you need to improve infrastructure or expand the team itself to accommodate greater volume of business.
These are just 5 ways a remote team can help your startup. As your business gains traction and expands according to scale, you will realize more advantages in working with a remote team. If you are ready to hire a virtual assistant, contact us and we’ll find the best solution for you.