Let’s say, you’ve already found a few team members to help you build your small business. If you’re running an online business, chances are that your team are based all over the globe working virtually. Managing a virtual team, no matter how skilled, requires good communication to perform effectively. Achieving effective communication requires trust and understanding, which can only be built naturally, through calmly nurturing your relationships. Let’s take a look at how to calmly manage a virtual team…
Why Manage A Virtual Team?
As a small business owner, you’ll no doubt be handling many different roles, from marketing to accounting. Building a virtual team to help to grow your business is a great option and will result in you being able to dedicate your time to the areas of the business that you love the most. There are many advantages to managing a virtual team, here are just a few:
- You can connect, dream and plan as a team.
- A great team will offer you honest feedback and invaluable knowledge.
- Overheads are reduced as you are not providing a traditional office space.
- You’re not bound by location, so can employ specialists all over the world.
- You can allow your team flexible working hours and autonomy.
- The workload is divided and conquered by several people.
- Having a virtual team will allow you time to focus on the parts of the business you excel at.
- If your sick, work doesn’t just stop.
Set Clear Goals
When you are managing a virtual team, one of the most important things to do is to allow each team member ownership of their part of the business. Perhaps you have outsourced advertising to a specialist, then allow them to run with it and show you the results. Micro-managing will leave you burnt out and hinder you from building a reliable team. That said, you will need to keep connected each day to make sure each member of the team is working on their specific aims. You can check in each morning, asking “what are your top goals for the day?” to help keep momentum going.
Connect with Tech
Despite your team being virtual, you can still connect effectively using the right tech. Project management platforms such as Slack are great. Slack is an easy to use platform, ideal to unite your team, imagine it as a kind of AOL messenger but modern day and for your business. You can create one-to-one chats and separate topic-specific threads allowing you to keep focus and converse freely. You can easily upload files and even start group chats to make sure everyone is in the loop. You could also try Trello, Asana and Zoom. Zoom is excellent for when you don’t work together in an office, often meeting virtually can prove to be more focused and effective than in real life. You can all connect for a video conference call and unite your ideas.
Create A Team Culture
Designate some time each week for your team to talk openly, engage in virtual team activities, chat through thoughts and ideas via Zoom or a virtual hangout. Half an hour or an hour a week is plenty of time to talk to one another freely and engage. This might sound completely counterproductive, but if you see it as a team building opportunity then you will quickly notice the value. These sessions work because they are completely unstructured, yet allow individuals to engage and generate fresh ideas.
Team Meet Ups
So you normally work virtually, but once in a while it’s good to meet up in person. Perhaps you take your team on a trip? or maybe a working retreat, a break away from the screen and to allow time for creative ideas. Maybe you hire a meeting room or space for a fun meeting. The design of the room should promote interaction and conversation. Select booth seating like this as opposed to standard benches. It’s these little details that will naturally guide your team towards becoming a tight-knit unit.
Managing a virtual team sounds a lot more difficult than it actually is and if you’re ready to outsource some of your workload, just go for it. Take these tips and try applying them into your own business and you’ll be on your way to more freedom and productivity!
The Fabulous Times