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Get Things Done: How to Hire and Manage a Virtual Team

Are you up to your eyeballs in tasks that need to be completed? If you’re not careful, a long to-do list can keep you from focusing on what’s...

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Are you up to your eyeballs in tasks that need to be completed? If you’re not careful, a long to-do list can keep you from focusing on what’s really important – growing your business.

Thankfully there’s one simple way to get more done: Hire freelancers.

An army of skilled, freelance “virtual” professionals can be found online. The Internet has become a virtual workplace, where many entrepreneurs find and employ the exact skills they need for a quick project or long-term work, with minimum commitments and no office overhead.

 

Hire Freelancers to Get Things Done

The rise of web-based technology paired with highly skilled individuals seeking nontraditional work is a windfall for entrepreneurs.  In the first quarter of 2012, 180 thousand new providers signed up, offering their expertise as virtual assistants, web and graphic designers, programmers, writers, marketers and much more, according to Elance.

As entrepreneurs, many of us are prone to the “do-everything-myself” syndrome.  “Wait!” we say to ourselves, until we have the time, funding, space or equipment so we can commit to hiring staff.  Until then, we try to do it all ourselves, at the expense of quality and time to focus on what really matters – building our business.

I own a virtual professional services company that employs a team of virtual assistants, located on four continents, so I know firsthand how useful virtual professionals can be for growing businesses. In lieu of doing everything yourself, freelance contractors come with a few distinct advantages, given they are:

  • Virtual so you incur no overhead cost for office space or equipment.
  • Worldwide, therefore your staff can be located in the same time zone, language, culture or country as the customers you are trying to reach.
  • Easy to communicate with due to the rapid expansion of technology — you can collaborate with someone half a world away as easily as you would if they had an office next door.
  • Cost-effective given you don’t have to pay payroll taxes, benefits or concern yourself with long-term commitments.

 

7 Apps to Help Manage Your New Team

Once you’ve identified freelancers from online marketplaces such as Elance, Guru, ODesk you can use free or low cost applications to easily manage communication and workflow.  Here are a few that we, find helpful:

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