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The Steps to building a Remote Team for Online Business

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select remote team members techniquesPeople wear multiple hats when they started their online business — administer, web developer, customer carer, social media marketer, etc. They will sooner or later come to a point that it’s no longer possible to achieve a higher goal by themselves, either because they have no more free time to take on extra workloads, or not be able to solve a new problem.

When you need to be more productive, and less stressed, it’s the right time to think of building a remote team to propel your online business.

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Before you start looking for your remote team members

Remote team members are also called virtual assistants. Before you start to hire any, you have some homework to do.

Fristly, write down a list of tasks that you don’t like to do. If answering customer phone calls is not an enjoyable work for you, write it down.

Write down also the tasks that are necessary but you are not good at. For example, if frequent updates on website is a must but painful experience, put it down on the list.

Also write down those tasks that really time-consuming to accomplish, you can later find helpers who have more free time to tackle these tasks.

Next, group all the tasks you listed down into different categories, such as administration, marketing, web development, etc. Now you know what types of jobs you need to seek help from remote team members.

Give out each job category a thorough detailed job description in writing.

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Now an important thing to think of is the remote team culture. This part should cover many aspects such as:

  • how you want your remote team to work
  • when you need them to work
  • how do the remote team members communicate with each other and report to you
  • how do you assign tasks to each member
  • when and how you pay them, etc.

Plan these culture in details in advance. This is a very crucial foundation for building a successful remote team.

The last is to choose the tools you need for running your remote team. There are many tools and APPs out there for productive team works. You can use Google handouts as your virtual office, manage projects with basecamp, and share files using dropbox.

Learn Project Management with Basecamp

Determine the remote team employment types

You can hire remote team members as freelancers. Freelancers have the skills and experience you need for your business, they can be reached and assigned a task whenever you need them. However, since they probably are also working for other business owners, their immediate availability could be a problem sometime. It is painful when you have a deadline but freelancers are tight on their own schedule.

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You can also sign contracts with contractors. This means you employ them with a fixed rate for a particular period. This could be a great way when you know you have a project in progress that needs some of their expertise. It may face the same dilemma that when you need them right away, they are not available with other projects underway.

People are afraid of hiring full-time employees, because the recruiting and hiring process could be complicated. But there are very good reasons of adding full-time employees into your remote team. Unlike freelancers and contractors, your employees are always there available for you to assign any immediate jobs, 40 hours a week.

Advertise your jobs

If you decide to use freelancers and contractors, there are two good websites you can use to advertise your jobs: elance and upwork (used to be called oDesk). On these websites, you can filter through different countries, different qualifications and skills, set up your own budgets. The applicants will then go through your job descriptions and other conditions, submit their proposals including time frame and costing. Both parties are fairly protected on these websites to prevent misconducts.

How to Recruit & Hire oDesk Freelancers

If you choose to find full-time employees, you should use job sites such as
Full-time Filipino Virtual Assistants from $1.58/hour
Amazing Webmasters, Programmers, and Content writers…In the Philippines
Over 80,000 Filipino Virtual Assistant Database

and OnlineJobs:
OnlineJobsFind Full-time and Part-time Filipino Virtual Assistants
in Over 90,000 Filipino Virtual Assistant Candidates Database

for Filipino team members.
For hiring Indian remote team workers, go to BrickworkIndia for help.
Being a good employer and offering employees good benefits and working arrangement, You will find your remote team members stick with you and your business for years to come.

Interview applicants

When you choose some candidates to interview, how to conduct remote job interview effectively? Do you use phone, skype or Google Hangouts to do your interviews?

Of course, video call interviews are much preferred than phone alone. One thing to remember is to record your interviews or take detailed notes. This could be very helpful in the later task assignment.

How To Ace The Virtual Job Interview

Don’t rush the interviews, take your time to get to know more about your candidates.

After someone emerged as a strong applicant, you should put him/her to a test using a trail task. The task should be moderately difficult that takes one or two days to finish at most, it should be similar to the tasks he/she is applying. Usually the trail project requires interaction with other team members, this way you’ll get a sense of how they communicate and collaborate with each other. Of course, always pay for the trail project even if it may turn out to be a waste of your money.

Hire a remote team member

When you’ve made final decision to hire a qualified remote team member, send out your welcome email.
This welcome email should outline all the conditions of employment — pay rates, method of payment, frequency of payment, working hours required, job details…
Also you should require the applicant to react to your email by providing all the necessary information such as paypal account, personal information including birth date, contact info and so on.

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Train remote team members

It is often necessary to train your remote team members before they can be competent for the job you required.
Make each of the job training process into a small video so that you can use them over and over again to train new employees. Use videos to show them how they should communicate in your company, what system they need to use for collaborate, and what behaviors you expect them to have in your culture. Encourage them to be responsive and innovative, make them feel the ownership of being in a productive team and benefit from their own jobs.

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