5 Ways To Build A Remote Team

A remote team is a group of people that work together but are geographically dispersed. A remote team can be built from scratch, meaning you’ll have to look/hire each of the team members then introduce them to each other over the internet. A remote team can also be built by gradually transitioning a physical team that works together in an office.

Since most people are new to building remote teams, and they are more popular than ever, we’ve come up with five helpful ways on how to build a remote team below.

1. Figure Out Communication First

It’s hard for a remote team to maintain a strong relationship since there’s no physical interaction. That’s why establishing good communication within the team is crucial. Plan out mandatory, scheduled Zoom meetings in advance. Make sure everyone in the meeting participates. We recommend a “round robin” approach, so that everyone gets a chance to speak. Good communication is the first step in developing relationships and building trust in the team. If two people on your team haven’t communicated in a while, have them hop into a 1 on 1.

2. Continue To Invest In Your Team

After building a remote team, it’s especially important that you continue to invest in your team. Find out what each member is bottlenecked on and try to solve their problem specifically. You may not be as aware of the problems each team member is facing, since they are not going to be in an office with you. You’ll need to dig for problems yourself and solve them directly.

For example, if a team member is spending hours a day on a repetitive task, like entering data into a spreadsheet, can you purchase an app or hire someone (using a platform like Upwork or Magic) to take the task off their plate? Would any of your team members benefit from 1 on 1 coaching or taking a class to advance their skills? Investing more resources into a lean, effective remote team is often more effective than simply hiring more full time employees.

3. Encourage Teamwork

Encourage teamwork instead of having the members work on a task individually. This is especially important because being remote is solitary by default. You need to really push people working together and make sure it happens. Forcing people to work together also helps build good working relationships between team members. Once you’ve forced the connection, it should continue to happen organically without your pressure.

4. Pick Your Apps Carefully

There’s a lot of online tools that can be used to communicate with and manage teams. Slack, Trello, Asana, Zoom, G Suite, and many more can be helpful to your team. It’s really a matter of picking which apps your team uses and sticking with it. You don’t want to waste time shuffling between apps and you don’t want your team spread out between different apps. For example, you don’t want some of your team messaging over WhatsApp and some of your team messaging over Slack. Pick the apps your team uses, and get everyone on the same page.

5. Enforce A Work-Life Balance

It’s easy to be “always on” if you’re working remote. Try to establish boundaries. For example, if your team takes weekends off, don’t send an request Saturday evening and expect it done Sunday. If someone needs to take a break, let them if possible, and don’t shame them or ask them to keep Slack open.

How To Hire A Virtual Assistant

Ready to hire a virtual assistant? You’re going to spend some time upfront, but once it’s done, you’ll have someone who will save you or your company a significant amount of time.

By deciding to hire a virtual assistant instead of a regular employee, you’ll also save a significant amount of money. You’ll get the benefit of being able to hire from anywhere in the world, including places with a lower cost of living. What’s more, experienced virtual assistants already have a computer, a fast internet connection, phone, microphone, and everything else they’ll need so they’re ready to start working. Plus, you won’t have the overhead cost of an office.

How Much Does A Virtual Assistant Cost?

Virtual assistants are usually paid by the hour, but you may decide to pay a fixed rate per week or month, depending on what you and the assistant agree upon. The question is, how much should you pay?

There’s a lot of factors to consider in calculating the rate to offer: your budget, the market rate for the assistant in the country where he/she lives, their experience, and what type of work they’ll be doing.

If you’re unsure how much to offer, or you don’t feel like negotiating, you can use a virtual assistant service with a pre-set price, such as Zirtual or Magic.

Finding Virtual Assistants To Hire

When you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant, it’s time to start looking for options. You can start looking at candidates today by posting an ad on a job site like Indeed, using a recruiting agency, or by asking your network for a referral.

It’s easy to post an ad “Looking To Hire A Virtual Assistant” on job sites, and you’ll get a ton of responses. If you’re up for it, we also recommend trying to get a referrals from your network of friends, family, and/or coworkers. The people who know you best will already have some insight about the candidate, and you’ll feel more at ease trusting them.

Once you have your pool of candidates, narrow it down to around 5 to 10 based on their resume and experience. Host a Zoom meeting to get to know each one and ask questions relevant to the work they’ll be doing. If they are late to the meeting, consider that a sign you should not move forward with that candidate. Any “red flag” during this period should be a disqualifier.

If you don’t have time to interview 5 to 10 candidates, you can use a virtual assistant service like Magic. Magic handles the recruiting and vetting of all their assistants for you, so you don’t have to worry about who you’re hiring.

Managing Your Virtual Assistant

Make sure that you’ve equipped yourself with the necessary tools to manage your virtual assistant. You’ll need to decide what apps you’ll use with your virtual assistant.

Make a decision before day 1 and stick with it. Moving around to different tools and platforms will waste time. You’ll need to make a decision on which app to use in these four areas:

After deciding which tools to use, you’ll need to set a schedule and set of responsibilities for the virtual assistant you’ve hired. Try to delegate work without micromanaging them or assuming they won’t be able to get it right.

Your assistant won’t be perfect, and you’ll often want to correct or offer feedback after seeing their work, but you’ll be surprised by how much you’re able to accomplish if you let the work be imperfect and “good enough.” This is a key part of being a successful delegator.

The Onboarding Checklist to Set Up Your New Virtual Assistants for Success

Onboarding Checklist Virtual Assistants

So you’ve found a virtual assistant that you want to work with. The next part of the process is to make sure that your VA gets onboarded quickly and effectively.

As a business owner, you want to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible. If you’re hiring a VA for the first time, we prepared a checklist that you can copy-paste to give your new team members an awesome first day!

Our new virtual assistant onboarding checklist will help you prepare in five key areas:

  1. Company Overview
  2. Tools & Software
  3. Expectation Setting
  4. Documentation
  5. Start of Work

Company Overview

You might have discussed the company in the interview, but take the moment to give your virtual assistant a formal introduction. Talk about your company’s background, its mission, values, and objectives. This is also the time to talk about company policies and SOPs. At the same time, present your organizational structure so they can start familiarizing themselves with their new colleagues.

Tools and Software Access

Virtual assistants work 100% remote, so it’s crucial to have their tools and software prepared before their first day. These items include:

  • Company email
  • Password sharing software – we don’t recommend storing passwords in a document or spreadsheet as they may easily be shared, and you have no way of knowing who has access to your files
  • Meeting and chat software
  • Project management software
  • Time tracking software (if applicable)

Take care of these before your VA’s first day. It will save you a couple of hours and your virtual assistant will thank you for it!

Expectation Setting

If you’re able to handle logistics i.e., tools and software firsthand, then the first real interaction that you’ll have with your new VA is through an expectation setting meeting. Projects become successful when there are clear cut expectations between the manager and the employee. So never skip this part of the process.

Here are the key points that you need to discuss during your expectation setting meeting:

  • What are the KPIs and how do you measure them?
  • What are the expected deliverables in the project?
  • Who should they report to?
  • Who are they collaborating with?
  • Are there required working hours?
  • Are there recurring meetings?

At the same time, take the opportunity to ask about their own expectations from the company. This will help you inform of their potential needs and growth opportunities.

Documentation

Part of the onboarding process is providing relevant documentation to your new virtual assistant. This gives them the opportunity to study independently, and it also saves you time from hand-holding the VAs as they get their bearings in your company.

Some documentations that you need to prepare are:

  • Internal processes and SOPs
  • Past recorded trainings
  • 3rd party courses
  • Old tasks being transitioned
  • New projects on the pipeline
  • List of priority projects.

If you don’t have any documentation at the moment, then make sure to let your virtual assistant know. They have strong documentation skills and they can help you out in this area. Also, make sure to provide the right point of contact for the documentation so that the VA will know who to reach out to if they need more context.

Start of Work

Now the prep work is done and it’s time to get to work! If you’ve taken the time to prepare and onboard your VA, this part would be smooth. And if they’re good, don’t require you to be over their shoulders and can work independently. But at the start of the project, it’s good to watch out for:

  • Setting and meeting deadlines (weekly or daily)
  • Quality control and assurance
  • Updates and check-ins
  • Providing consistent feedback

It’s during this time where you really get to see if your new team member is a good fit for your business. If you’re looking for tasks to give, check the High Impact Projects and Tasks You Can Outsource to Your Virtual Assistants infographic!

Successful Projects Starts With an Awesome Onboarding Experience

The onboarding process seems to be a lot of work at first, but when done right, it sets your virtual assistants for success and saves time and money for your organization. Grab the image below and use the checklist for your business!

onboarding checklist virtual assistants

If you’re looking for highly skilled virtual assistants to help you grow faster, visit getmagic.com and talk to one of our account managers today!

INFOGRAPHIC: High Impact Tasks and Projects to Outsource to Virtual Assistants

INFOGRAPHIC High Impact Tasks and Projects to Outsource to Virtual Assistants

Companies that have outsourced tasks and projects to virtual assistants have continuously increased in the past decade. The cost savings, diversification of talent pool, and flexibility that virtual assistants bring is a great benefit for businesses looking to get quality work without breaking the bank.

However, many businesses still hire virtual assistants for low impact tasks such as admin work. But today’s VAs have a lot of high impact skills that you need for your business. 

If you’re looking to expand your remote team, here’s an infographic on high impact tasks and projects you can outsource to virtual assistants:

Automate your lead generation funnel

Lead generation is more than just creating a list of leads and putting them into a spreadsheet. It’s constant communication, a series of follow-ups, making sure that you’re focusing on high-potential prospects. When it all adds up, lead generation is a time-consuming but necessary activity for a lot of businesses. 

Here are some specific lead generation tasks you can start with:

  • Reach out to leads on your behalf
  • Schedule calls
  • Remove unqualified leads from your CRM
  • Create pitch decks

Create a pleasant experience for your customers

If you don’t respond to your customers on time, you are losing out on a lot of revenue. Virtual assistants can help you build a fully-operational, 24/7 customer support hotline as you scale your operations up.

Some customer support-related tasks you can outsource are:

  • Answering to sales inquiries
  • Technical and after-sales support
  • Creating a knowledge base
  • Regularly engage your community with product updates

Maintain your online brand and presence

Your online brand is another time-intensive yet critical task that you can outsource to virtual assistants. There are a lot of VAs with great design skills, and with tools like Buffer and Canva making social media more accessible, you can create a continuous pipeline of content on your channels.

Here are the brand-related tasks you can outsource to virtual assistants:

  • Create social media graphics
  • Write and upload posts
  • Brainstorm for content and create a pipeline
  • Edit and produce your podcast

Build and ship products fast

Many virtual assistants are trained in agile project management and can work with constrained time and budgets. This makes them well-versed in the process of building Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). 

If you are looking to pivot or expand your product lines, you can look to VAs to hep you with the following:

  • Research for competitors
  • Create and launch paid user acquisition ads
  • Deploy user surveys
  • Demo your product
  • Onboard new users

Delegate project management

Successful virtual assistants are managing multiple clients at the same time, and so project management is one of their core skills. Whether you have a B2B business or an e-commerce website, virtual assistants can help you streamline operations and run it smoothly.

Some project management-related tasks you can outsource are:

  • Order fulfillment
  • Coordinating with suppliers and contractors
  • Workflow management
  • Making sure that projects are completed on time

Set up a reliable accounting system

A reliable accounting system is a key to making the right decisions in your business, and virtual assistants can help you in this area. Let them handle the tedious task of organizing your cash flow so you can free yourself from mental clutter and create high impact decisions in your organizations.

VAs can help your accounting department in the following ways:

  • Create and send invoices
  • Update your cash flow and expenses
  • Follow up on receivables
  • Settle accounts

Gain multiple business perspectives

Virtual assistants have come a long way from simply executing tasks given to them. Many VAs run and operate their own business, and do so successfully because of the skills they have developed. Don’t ignore the opinions of an assistant on your team. Include them in brainstorming discussions. Their experiences could be valuable insight for your business!

Minimize distractions

VAs can take on tasks that you consider as “time-suck”, so you can focus on the mission-critical items on your list. 

Here are some ways virtual assistants can help increase your personal productivity:

  • Get you to inbox zero
  • Schedule meetings on your behalf
  • Plan your travel and events
  • Some VAs can even run errands for you!

Share our infographic on High Impact Tasks and Projects You Can Outsource to Virtual Assistants!

High Impact Tasks and Projects to Outsource to Virtual Assistants

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<p><strong>Please include attribution to getmagic.com with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><a href='https://blog.getmagic.com/tasks-projects-outsource-virtual-assistants/'><img src='https://i0.wp.com/blog.getmagic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/High-Impact-Tasks-and-Projects-to-Outsource-to-Virtual-Assistants.png?w=800&ssl=1' alt='High Impact Tasks and Projects to Outsource to Virtual Assistants' width='800' border='0' /></a></p>

Looking for highly skilled virtual assistants for your business? Sign up to Magic and talk to one of our account managers today!