Build a Virtual Web Design & SEO Team and Grow Your Business | Christine Maisel | Skillshare

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Build a Virtual Web Design & SEO Team and Grow Your Business

teacher avatar Christine Maisel, Designer, SEO & Founder of Portable Entrepreneur

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

22 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. What You'll Get Out of This Course

    • 2. Importance of Understanding Why You Want to Grow Your Business BEFORE You Grow

    • 3. Do You Have What It Takes to Expand Your Web Design and SEO Business?

    • 4. Your New Focus and How Your Role Will Change

    • 5. Section 2: What We're Going to Cover in Planning for Growth

    • 6. 3 Key Ingredients for a Successful Web Design and SEO Business in the Long Term

    • 7. How to Safely Scale Your Web Design & SEO Business - Set Yourself Up For Success

    • 8. Understanding Your Expenses & Adjusting Your Prices as You Grow

    • 9. What Your Profit Margins Should Be Per Worker

    • 10. Section 3: What We're Going to Cover in Growing Your Business

    • 11. Deciding What Your Role Will Be & Having Everyone Do What They Do Best

    • 12. What Type of Virtual Team Members Should You Have In Your Business?

    • 13. 7 Places to Find Good Virtual Web Design & SEO Freelancers

    • 14. How to Identify a Good Virtual Worker When You See One

    • 15. 6 Ways to Keep Good Workers Once Your Find Them

    • 16. What is a NDA and Why You Should Use One

    • 17. Section 4: What We're Going to Cover in Effectively Managing Multiple Projects

    • 18. How to Efficiently Manage Multiple Projects With a Virtual Team

    • 19. Setting the Ground Rules for Your Virtual Team

    • 20. Using Process Maps to Scale and Become More Profitable

    • 21. The Best Project Management Software to Use (Including Free Options)

    • 22. Your Next Steps in Growing Your Business

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About This Class

Using a virtual team is essential for growing your home-based web design and SEO business. On the other hand, there is a lot you need to know before you bring on your first worker to make sure you grow your business successfully so you increase your profit. 

By the end of this course you will have set-up a seamless virtual team process and you will know how to manage multiple workers and project simultaneously. Start making more money from your business today by building a successful virtual team.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Christine Maisel

Designer, SEO & Founder of Portable Entrepreneur


Christine is the founder of the Portable Entrepreneur where she directly helps web design and SEO startups through education, coaching and services. 

Christine has been a web designer for nearly 15 years - 10 of which she has been self-employed. Her work has taken her from working for some start-up dot com companies in the early 2000's to working as a contractor for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense to her own home office.

In her time, she has built 100's of websites and blogs primarily on WordPress and Joomla. Christine has also provided training to individuals and businesses to help them manage their websites on their own with no knowledge of web coding.

See full profile

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1. What You'll Get Out of This Course: as someone who has already started their own home Web design business, you may now be looking for even more more money, more time, more freedom that is, having your own home businesses great until you realize that you can't take a vacation without losing money. You can always take time off to spend with family and friends. And being bogged down with client projects can keep you from expanding like you'd want. Teoh. The good news is you can still have a home Web design and eso business that allows you to increase your income and freedom, and that is what this course will teach you to do. What we're going to walk through is how to hire and manage a virtual team, how to set up an automated service that allows you to step away without losing pay and how to make the most of your in your team's time for maximum profits. If you've taken any of my other courses, you know that I don't want you to just learn how to do this. I want you to actually start taking action and make it happen. So as you go through this course, you can start applying the action steps I'll give you. So by the end of this course, you will have started to build your own virtual team. Put unorganized process in place to successfully manage a large number projects in You'll be on your way to safely scaling your business. So if your ultimate goal is to build a virtual team so you can expand your business in your income or even just step away from the business if you need to without losing, pay your in the right place. I hope you're as excited as I am. So without wasting any more time, let's jump right into growing your business. 2. Importance of Understanding Why You Want to Grow Your Business BEFORE You Grow: it's important to take the time to think about and understand what your ultimate goals are for expanding your business before you start, so you structure your growth strategy properly. Now we're going to talk more about developing a growth strategy in a bit. But before we get to that, let's take some time to think about what is pushing you to expand your business. Do you want to take on a different role that you enjoy more, such as marketing? For example, do you want to be able to take time off without having to lose all of your income? Do you want to have others run your business while you work less hours? Or focus on your personal life or even on another business? Whatever your long term goals are, write them down as you continue in the course. These goals will help you shape your growth strategy. Starting with the end in mind will make a huge difference in your success. Whether you want to work only a few hours a day, you want to dramatically increase your profits or you want to have the business you can sell one day. This end goal will help you figure out the best way to grow your business 3. Do You Have What It Takes to Expand Your Web Design and SEO Business?: taking your Web design and s e o business to the next level can seem simple. I have clients, I have projects. So now I just need some workers and more projects. More workers, plus more work equals more profit, right? If only it was that simple. Before we jump into all the how twos, I want you to factor in all the added responsibilities and stress of building a virtual team and expanding your business. Many business owners don't realize just how much their role will change, and it will change in hiring even your first virtual worker. Your role now shifts from worker to manager, and that's a big difference. Now is a home business owner. You already know that you have tons of responsibilities, including accounting, marketing, etcetera. But now these responsibilities will get amplified and you'll be adding management, increased marketing and payroll to your list of duties. Now, I don't tell you this to scare you. I tell you this to be realistic and to make sure you are prepared going in, I want you to figure out if you have what it takes to you are successful and don't give frustrated down the road and in upcoming lecture, I'm going to give you several questions to answer. To help you determine how well prepared you are. The best thing you can do is to answer honestly so you can figure out if you want to proceed or recognize the help you need to bring on to handle your weaknesses. This is key to success. There's not a single one of us who can't use some help in one area or another, so don't try to be the best at everything. Let's take a quick minute to discuss what you now need to primarily focus on, and then we'll get into the nitty gritty of making it all happen. 4. Your New Focus and How Your Role Will Change: As you begin building your virtual team, you'll start to see your focus shifting to many different areas, completing projects, marketing, accounting and now overseeing projects and personnel management. As you grow, you'll need to pull yourself more and more out of working directly on projects and focusing more on three key areas. First, customer service, customer service, customer service. Customer service is and always will be the most important aspect of your business. Never lose sight of providing great customer service. Keep this one at the top of your focus list. Second team training. You want to train your team to complete projects using the process you've established and also to provide excellent customer service. Even if your team will not be working directly with your clients. That means you are their customer, and you need them to provide you with great customer service, so you, in turn, can provide great customer service to your customers. There's nothing worse than a team member not doing what they said they were going to do by when they said they were going to do it. And then you have the customer looking at you for answers. If your team members will be working directly with your customers. Then, of course, you want them to be able to provide excellent customer service, lastly, marketing and even more marketing as you build your team. You, of course, need more work to keep them busy and to increase profits as well. Touch on in a bid as well. You can always bring on someone to help you in this area, but whether you do it yourself or someone does it for you, it needs to be a major focus area in your business. So there you have it. Customer service, team training and marketing need to be your three major focus points. Now let's take a break and have you complete the self assessment questionnaire to see if you have what it takes to expand your business so you can find out where you'll need help and where you'll excel. 5. Section 2: What We're Going to Cover in Planning for Growth: in this section of the course, we're going to do some planning before you begin expanding your business and building your virtual team. You want to make sure you set things up right, so you scale your business safely. It's important that you take the time to plan how you'll grow, so you are successful at doing so. So let's get things off by looking at the three G ingredients required to run a successful Web design in S E o business. 6. 3 Key Ingredients for a Successful Web Design and SEO Business in the Long Term: There are three key ingredients required for a successful Web design in S E O business. Those three are the right clients, the right team and the right manager. You can't have just two of those ingredients. You must have all three to be successful later on. This course will talk about what the right client looks like and how to fire the clients that don't meet your criteria. To sum it up, client to take up the most amount of your time while paying you the least are not going to be keepers. You can help shape your clients into the right client by showing them your process and by sticking to it confidently. But it won't work for some people, and you'll have to cut ties with those. Don't worry about this now. I'll show you how to do it without damaging your brand, and you'll end up making more money because of it. Not losing money. Remember, the right clients are one of the three keys to your success. Secondly, you have the right team with the right client knocking at your door, you're off to a good start, but without the right team to implement the work. The right client won't do you much good. Now we will be talking more about which team members your business should have and how to make sure your team operates efficiently and efficient. Team will produce quality work in the right amount of time, which will in turn make for happy customers. Ellen's face it happy customers are just a whole heck of a lot nicer to work with, so that creates a happy team. Are you seeing how these ingredients work together? Finally, we have the right manager. The manager is in charge of the workflow, the process whether you will be the manager or you'll be bringing on someone to manage for you. They are the ones who are responsible for creating a seamless process and executing it on a daily basis. The right manager will create an effective and efficient process that keeps your business running smoothly. Now that you know the three most important keys to a long term successful Web design and S e o business, pay attention throughout the course as we will be talking more about each piece that is the right client, the right team and the right manager 7. How to Safely Scale Your Web Design & SEO Business - Set Yourself Up For Success: growing A business can be dangerous if not done properly, so we want to make sure you set yourself up for success. You probably already know by now just how important it is to set up a process so that you can efficiently manage projects your time and ultimately make the most money. This process is so important when you work independently, but it becomes increasingly important when you transition into the role of manager and start building a virtual team. A well documented and tested process can make or break your success. It can be exciting to expand your business. It allows you more freedom and more sales, but it's important to take it slowly. I wouldn't suggest going from a soul worker toe hiring several team members at a time because it's hard to keep all the team members busy. When you do it that way, you can lose the good ones that you find. You probably lose some money in the process, and also it's hard to train them all well simultaneously. So here's what I want you to dio write down your gross strategy and break it down into short term and long term goals. Start with the end in mind. Where is it that you would ultimately like to be? Do you want to sell the business long term? Do you want a business that you can own for the next 10 years that will sustain your lifestyle, then work backwards from there? Start with this year. Where do you want your business to be? 12 months from now, with that goal written down, break that gold down into quarters. Ask yourself, What do I need to do in the next three months to start working towards my end year goal? What do I need to have done by month? Six and so on? You'll want to write this down so you can evaluate your progress monthly. This growth strategy will help you grow your business over a defined period of time so you don't grow too slowly or too quickly. It will also help you make sure you don't focus on short term strategies on Lee. As while they yield nice financial results, they aren't always best for long term success. And the next lecture. Take a look at the example growth strategies To get an idea of what yours may look like. You can download this, tweak it and it use it for your own business 8. Understanding Your Expenses & Adjusting Your Prices as You Grow: Let's take a minute to talk about your business expenses so you can use this information to figure out how much revenue you like your business to make. The first mistake many business owners make is thinking they have to spend money to run a business. Now there are certainly times on spending money on things that will help you be more productive. Makes good business sense, as will help you grow faster. But do what you can to keep your expenses as low as possible. Before spending money on something, ask if it will increase the productivity of your business. And is there another way to do this task for free, or at least cheaper while still being efficient with your time? If you provide s Seo services, for example, you can complete all your tasks and report manually. But will purchasing a $99 months software that will do most of the work for you be worth it ? Probably that frees up your time to market and take on more projects, which means that you'll get way more than your $99 back each month, so sometimes it's worth it. You just need to weigh the pros and the cons. One of the most important things you can do to keep your expenses down is putting a good workflow process in place. I will keep mentioning your process because it's just that important. But remember, having a good process that helps your projects run smoothly will also keep you on budget. It's easy will overlook the time we spend and the time our team spends researching, communicating programming, etcetera. But time is a very riel expense. So here's what I want you to dio create a list of your ongoing expenses that is your income payroll hosting software, credit card fees, etcetera. You'll need to factor these expenses into your revenue as well. Get to hear shortly so you can make sure you profit from each and every project. So here's where things get a little bit yucky. One of the hardest part of growing correctly is the possibility of having to take a temporary loss of some income in order to scale your business. It's really about finding the balance between bringing on your first person and giving them all, or most of the work where your income goes down as you look for additional work or, on the other hand, waiting into your absolutely overwhelmed with projects to try and find, hire and train a worker well to help you out. As you can imagine, there are pros and cons to both. Ideally, you don't want to wait until you are so overwhelmed with work because customer service starts to suffer, which, as you remember, is the backbone of your successful business. And you won't be available to train your new team, which will hurt your process. The best long term success plan is to start growing while you can still bring in some income for yourself and still can truly dedicate time to train your team properly. To sum it up, it's better to start growing before you're in a position of absolutely having to grow. As you start to bring on new workers. It's important to make sure you're going to make enough money for the growth to be worth it . That means you have to charge the right prices and hire workers at the right prices to succeed. Let's take a look at that in more detail now 9. What Your Profit Margins Should Be Per Worker: in determining what your customer prices will be and how much you can afford to pay. Workers will need to discuss some numbers with each team member you have working for you. You'll want to aim to have at least a 25 to 50% profit margin to be successful. That doesn't mean it has to fall within that range. It just means you have to have at least that you can certainly do more. If you can get away with even more. That's all the better. So this means if you have one person completing an entire project, you want to add a minimum of 25 to 50% on top of what it will cost you to have them do the work. The 25 to 50% profit margin will be the money for your personal income as well as the business expenses you previously wrote down. So let's keep these numbers really simple toe. Look at let's say it's going to cost you $500 to have someone do the project you add on top of that of 50% markup. That brings your price for the customer to $750. That means you have $250 from that project that will go to your income and any expenses that will be associated with that project outside of hiring the person to do the work. An easy way to look at this is if you take the cost of the project from your worker that you need to multiply that cost by at least 1.5. In order to get the price that you should give to the customer again, you could times it by 22.5. You can do it higher if you think that it's going to be reasonable. It's really just depends on the cost of the workers that you have. So now you can times that number by the total number of projects that that one person can complete per month. And then you can multiply that number by how many workers you have working throughout the month. So imagine you have three workers and this is just one project per month, and that doesn't count for any work you're doing, so you can take that number, multiply it by, let's say, four projects per month and then multiply that by three. Since you have three workers, and if you're doing any work yourself any projects yourself, you can add that on top of it, so you can see where the prophet can add up again. These are just very simple numbers just to keep the math easy. This doesn't mean this is what you should charge, or exactly what your expenses will be, or the market that you'll use so calculating. This could be a little hard, but it could be a lot of fun, too, as you can see the potential for what you can make. So don't make this process harder than it needs to be, though. Now that you know your expenses, look at your current prices. Now see how much you can afford to hire designer or seo specialists based on the 25 to 50% profit margin. From there, you can determine if you'll need to raise your prices to make this work or if you'll have to find cheaper labor 10. Section 3: What We're Going to Cover in Growing Your Business: in this section, we're going to talk about how to safely scale your business so that you are successful as you continue to grow. We'll also be talking all about how to build your virtual team, including which team members you'll need, where to find them in how to keep them. So after this section, you'll feel better prepared to start hiring your team. 11. Deciding What Your Role Will Be & Having Everyone Do What They Do Best: Before you start building a virtual team around your business, you'll need to determine what your role will be. There is no right or wrong answer here. Your role has to fit you, your business and your business goals. If you plan on having a very small team, one or two workers, let's say you may keep the role of designer, but bring on a programmer to free up your time there, since it's not your best skill and they'll get it done quicker anyways, you may want to have a medium to larger size team and strictly be the manager, and that's okay, too. Depending on the role you select, you may have to build up to it as your business scales, so don't feel that you need to start in your ultimate role immediately. Ultimately, it is best to have everyone stay in their comfort zone. And what do I mean by that? I mean, have everybody work on what it is that they do best? They'll enjoy their work more. They'll produce it faster, which means that you will have a more profitable business. You can certainly work with all in one type of guy, but you have to understand that the process may get slowed down if you choose to go that way. When I first started my own Web design business and I started expanding my team, that is exactly what I did. I hired someone knowing that his strength was a programmer and I did that because my strength was a designer. But what happened is as the business grew rather than bringing in another designer, I asked him to also add in the design work. Did he do it? Yes. Did he do a good job? Yes. Was it efficient? Absolutely not. It dramatically slowed down the process. If I had a designer completing the design and could hand that design off to him as he programmed it, I could have another project coming through the door and being worked on at the same time. So rather than being able to produce two projects or even three, if I was jumping in, I was only able to produce one at a time That was not efficient and it was definitely not the most profitable. From that experience, I decided to hire someone to handle website maintenance, a separate person to hire website design and a separate person to handle website programming. And what happened I was much more profitable. I had a lot more clients, a lot more work, and we had a much more seamless process. Now not all teams need to operate exactly like I just mentioned. That is what worked for me. But it's important that you understand the differences between hiring one person to do everything and hiring people to handle one specific role. So let's now look at the different team rolls you can have on your team, and this will give you an idea of some roles you may not be thinking about already. 12. What Type of Virtual Team Members Should You Have In Your Business?: I'm sure when you first started thinking about growing your business and you thought about building a virtual team, the first person you thought to bring on was a Web designer or programmer. That's rather obvious, but there are some other team members you may want to consider adding to your team. You don't necessarily need them all in the beginning, or even all of the ones I'll mention. So pick the ones that you feel you need based on your strategy. Remember when we talked earlier on about recognizing your weaknesses? Certain virtual team members can help you fill the gaps so you can focus on what your best at while allowing them to focus on what they're best at. That's a huge time saver, and since time is money, you guessed it. There's more money three made with that time. Before we look at the different team members, let's quickly review which roles you'll need to have filled. Of course, one person can take on more than one role, and in this case it will probably be you. First you have strategy and planning who is going to be the person in charge of creating your team's process your workflow process, your communication process. Who will be responsible for evaluating what's working and once not this could be you. Or this could be a project manager if you hire someone to help you. Which brings me into project management. This is the person who will be overseeing projects being available for questions and from feedback from the different team members. Again, this could be you or the project manager you bring on. Of course, you'll need the designer. You'll need the programmer, and if you expand your services, you'll need more roles, like an S e O Specialist Ah, content producer, etcetera. You may also want to consider bringing on a marketing expert if that's not something you feel is your strength or it's not something that you like to dio. Of course, marketing is going to be essential in a successful Web design business. So if this is not your strength, you can choose to bring somebody on. You'll also need somebody such as an accountant who can handle your books, handle invoicing, taxes, etcetera. Now, if you assigned yourself the role of project manager and the accountant and the marketer and the designer, you have to understand that you're going to get spread thin across all of those roles. Now, business owners have to take on multiple roles, and that's okay. But do what is easy for you. Do follow your strengths, and if you're not very good at something, it's okay. We're not all good at everything. So hire somebody. Free up your time, the more people you can bring in, this is where your time is going to get freed up or it's gonna get bogged down. So really think about your time commitment when you pick who's going to handle which role, So identify what you need done. Identify what you're good at and what you can or you want to allocate toe others and then begin hiring those particular workers. 13. 7 Places to Find Good Virtual Web Design & SEO Freelancers: we've talked about the importance of determining what your role will be before you start to expand. One reason this is important is as you begin to hire your team. You will need to decide if you want to work directly with the customers, even if you won't be doing the actual work itself. Or if ultimately, you'd like some of your team to work directly with customers so you can concentrate on other aspects of the business. I'll tell you, why bring this up in a minute. But first, there are several places to find virtual workers to add to your Web design team. So let's take a look at some of those places one of the best places conveyed just by attending meet ups or conferences, events, getting out there and networking with people. So going to websites like meet up dot com, you can search in your area for groups that discuss Web design or Web development, and those air gonna all be potential people that you could bring on to your team. The next Becks place is simply word of mouth talking with other business owners. Who do they use? Who do they recommend reaching out to your contacts, letting them know that you're looking toe higher. Did they know of anybody who might be looking? You'd be surprised how many referrals you can get just by asking those within your circle. There's also a lot of job boards online. You can go to sites a simple as Craigslist, and you can look for jobs. There. You compose a job ad, or you can even look in the services section to see if anybody's posting looking for work as well. There's other job boards, though, like virtual assistant jobs dot com, where you couldn't go on and you can look for a virtual assistant who is specifically qualified to handle Web design or Web development projects. Social media is another huge one, like using Lincoln. There you concert for designers, programmers, assistance, whoever it is that you're looking for, and you can see what connections they have. You concede what experience they have, and you can make those connections directly on Lincoln. You can also follow designers or creators directly on websites like Dribble, where they have posted love their work, and you can search and find somebody who's work resembles the type of work you'd like to see in your business. You can start connecting directly with designers here and seeing if they might be interested in working for you. There's other similar sites, like the hands dot net. You can even go on the site and post a job if you'd like to to have people directly apply to you. But this is a great place to see people's work right up front. There's also websites like programmer meet designer dot com that is specifically for programmers, Web developers, designers etcetera to meet each other, post what they're looking for and have others apply if they are able to help. In addition to the websites that are out there that are specifically targeted to designers and developers, there's also more general websites like odessa dot com that you can use if you want to connect with freelancers. And this is one of the reasons why I brought up that you need to decide whether you want to be the person to directly work with customers or if you would eventually like some of your workers, to work directly with your customers because if you use certain websites, they may have restrictions about how you can contact your workers. And if you're able to give out your email, address and phone number and all of your contact information, so depending on what you want to do, you need to look at the websites that you're potentially looking for workers on and see if there's any of those type of restrictions. But as you can see, there are a number of places that you can find team members, whether it's a designer or an accountant or anything in between. 14. How to Identify a Good Virtual Worker When You See One: hiring a good virtual worker can be difficult to say the least. You'll have to weed through a lot of unqualified and unresponsive applicants. Then you have those who seem too good to be true, and then it turns out they actually are. And then you'll come across the few who seem great and actually turn out to be. And before all this stresses you out, we're going to talk about how to keep a good worker. Once you find one in just a bit while you sift through all the applicants, remember, don't hire a team who is just like you. Don't get me wrong, you're great. But hiring a variety of people with a variety of skills will better the business and help you to see things you wouldn't have otherwise remember. Your team should complement your weaknesses. Another thing you may want to consider is I have always hired potential over experience. Now, of course, the person needs to know what they're doing. They need to have some experience. But sometimes people with a decade of experience, let's say, tend to be more set in their ways, where someone who is great at what they do but has much less experience are easier to train , and it's easier to get them to adapt to your process. Often times it will work harder and show more initiative as well. Now, this isn't a blanket statement. It's not true for every single person you come across. But if you're staring at your final two applicants and one has loads of experience and the other has really impressed you with their potential, don't always feel like you have to select a person solely based on their years of experience. Now go ahead and download the list of questions to ask a potential freelancer to get an idea of how to screen potential applicants before you hire them and make your final decision. 15. 6 Ways to Keep Good Workers Once Your Find Them: remember when I mentioned the right team as one of the keys to a successful business? Well, once you find the right team members, you want to make sure they stick around. It takes a lot of time to find a team member, let alone a good one. So when you find the right one, you want to hold on tight. That certainly could be easier said than done. So let's talk about some ways you can keep good workers. Once you find them. There are two main ways to keep a good worker around. First, you can show them you care about them and second show them that you value their input. Thes two things can make them feel valued as a person and a worker. That creates loyalty. So now we'll That sounds great. Let's talk about how you could actually demonstrate this to your team. First, let's start off small. Just talk to them, ask them how they're doing. Build a relationship with them now. You don't have to be best friends or anything, but it's okay to talk to people and get to know them a little bit. That can really go a long way. You can also ask them what you could do to make their job easier. This can also help you further develop your process. When you get input from your team directly, they often will be able to see things from the front line that you may not otherwise be able to see, in addition to reaching out to them and talking to them. Whether it's personally or professionally, you want to be there for them. You want to give them the impression that they can reach out to you if they have questioned and and they need you that you'll be there for them now. This doesn't mean that every time they need to reach out to you that you're constantly available, you're constantly put things down. You, of course, want to empower your team to make decisions and to get work done without you having to be there as well. Talk about more, but you do need to be available to support them as I touched on, also asked them to contribute or provide feedback on policies and procedures. That way they feel more invested in your business because they have a say. This will also help them comply with your policies in your procedures for getting things done as part of getting feedback from them. When you re evaluating your procedures and your process for how things get done, ask them what is working? What's not working again. As everyone has different roles, it will be hard for you to see what's working and what's not for the different team members . So ask them directly. Establishing an online community for your team is a great way to develop a community and to get them to connect socially as well. So you can use social collaboration, software, chat software, even a private Facebook group. Anything that you think will help pull your team together and again. You can reach out to them if you're just getting this started and asked them what they would like to see going in another direction. You can also do things like creating goals, competitions, challenges thes aren't meant to pin team members against one another. But it's something that you can do to show that you're watching that you want to reward them and you can follow up with ease by awarding virtual badges or other types of rewards for specific achievements, because you want to demonstrate to your team that you do recognize their efforts. Team members who are cared for and valued are most likely to be the most productive team members you'll have. Your team is going to be a huge part of your success, so make sure to include how you will keep good workers in your business plan. 16. What is a NDA and Why You Should Use One: when you bring on team members, though naturally, be given information about your clients in your business. This could even include some of your financial information, your client list and even marketing campaign efforts. I don't have to tell you how valuable this is to your business, and you certainly wouldn't want this information to get into the wrong hands. This is where a non disclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement come into play. A non disclosure agreement is basically a contract that you can use with your team that binds them to not release this information outside of your business. This agreement can also include that they are not to contact your clients directly and disclose their role in this relationship. This is pretty standard practice nowadays, so don't be afraid to use one to protect your valuable information. As part of this course, you can download a sample nondisclosure agreement that you can tweak and use to meet your needs. 17. Section 4: What We're Going to Cover in Effectively Managing Multiple Projects: you've hired your virtual team, so now you can get to work right well before you do. Let's talk about creating an effective and efficient process for managing all of your teams work. This process is the difference between a business that barely gets by and one that successful. So make sure to take lots of notes in this section and think about how you can use this information in your business. 18. How to Efficiently Manage Multiple Projects With a Virtual Team: having to manage a virtual team and manage multiple projects certainly has its challenges. But if you are prepared, you can certainly make things a lot easier on yourself in your team. I'm about to give you some tips for managing multiple projects with your virtual team, but some of these tips warned their own section, so I'll cover those and even further detail in an upcoming section from the get go. Setting ground rules with your team gives everyone a starting point and requires everyone to follow basic ground rules for operating on the highly efficient team. These ground rules can include work arrangements, communication and reporting policies and plenty more. This is one of those topics that warrants its own section, so I'll talk more about this in a bit. The second and perhaps most important part of running an efficient virtual team will be how well documented your process is as this keeps everyone on the same page and will help every single one of your projects get completed faster. We'll talk about this in depth, and I'll be giving you some examples you can use in your business as this is so important to your success documentation. Consent sounds scary and boring, but remember, this doesn't have to be a college term paper you present to each team member. You can even document your process visually, which is easier to do anyway and is easier to consume. This is also gonna help remove you as a bottleneck so your team doesn't have to go to you. For every single thing of all, this sounds a little overwhelming right now. Don't worry. We'll dig deeper into this shortly, and I'll break it down for you. So it's really easy. Another aspect that is so easy to forget as you grow is your business culture. That's right culture. Whether you purposely create your business culture or you let it create itself, you'll still have one, so you might as well shape it into what you want it to be. Your culture will be your businesses, beliefs, values, attitudes, all of which can impact interaction and communication relationships with team members and customers. Your systems and processes accountability and I could just keep going on and on. It's important to think about the type of culture you'd like to portray and how you can set the standards for that culture in your business, because this culture ultimately can also help attract certain types of workers and customers to manage an efficient team. I also highly recommend using project management software that allows everyone to collaborate on the same platform to get things done. I'll be giving you some suggestions on different software you can use here shortly, and lastly, just be a good party host. As a new manager, your role is going to be like a party host. You're responsible for checking in with all of your guests, making sure they're all having a good time. See if there's anything they need. You also be setting up all the activities for the party and making sure everything runs on time. It's going to be the same in your business. You'll be responsible for checking in with all your workers, making sure they're enjoying their work, seeing if there's anything they need from you. You'll be responsible for setting up the work tasks and ensuring the tasks are completed and on time. So has the party host you set the mood or, in this case, the business culture, so don't forget to lighten up. Sometimes. Have fun with your team and remember their people to not just workers. This will have a huge impact on how they treat you, your other team members and ultimately, your customers and their work. Who? OK, so as you can see, there's so much to think about. But don't get overwhelmed. I'm about to break a lot of this down into further detail and give you some examples you can walk away with an easily integrate into your business, so let's start breaking that down right now. 19. Setting the Ground Rules for Your Virtual Team: as we briefly touched on setting ground rules for your virtual team is essential for setting equal expectations across the board. These roles include what is expected from you and your team alike. Dedicated working hours, for example, is very important. Personally, I don't care when my team members work as they are all in different time zones and even different countries. So it is going to be different for everyone. I do care, however, that I know what they're dedicated work hours are, so I know when to expect a response when work is being performed, etcetera. I also want them to be reachable during that time by phone and email, so I know when I can get a hold of them. If I do shoot them an email. We also have rules about a maximum time limit for a reply. I do this because I need to know how quickly somebody's going to get back to me by phone, how quickly somebody will get back to me by email so I can choose the appropriate method of communication dependent how urgent my request is. But I don't feel that constantly interrupting people is going to be the most productive. I also require that my virtual team be available by Skype. Now I set this requirement, even though, for the most part I never planned to use it. I like email. I think it's the most efficient, the most effective. That's what I like to use. However, I want to be able to reach everyone if we need to, or if we need to have a meeting now, you don't have to include all of these rules, and you can certainly add to this. These are just some examples for you, but let's look at a few more that might just apply to your business. Setting up a reporting system or a place to track work progress, such as base camp and places where you can store documents for easy access across the board , like Google Docks or Dropbox, is very important. It keeps everyone on the same page. It keeps everything very organized, and there's no e mailing of different versions of documents back and forth and things getting lost, or people using the wrong ones that gets confusing and waste time. It's also important to require workers to provide daily, weekly and or monthly reporting. This helps keep people on task and keep you up to date on how well each person is doing these ground rules. Keep your team efficient, which means less time is wasted. More time is spent on actual work, which means more projects are getting completed and your business is more profitable. 20. Using Process Maps to Scale and Become More Profitable: a process map can make working with the team so much easier. But what exactly is it? A process? Map is an outline of your work flow from the time a potential customer comes to you to actually launching their website and beyond. The process tells your team exactly what they should do in a step by step format. This is also a great tool for laying out your process visually so you can see how things work and what could use some improvement. Now you've probably seen some very basic process maps that are shown to clients that outline the four or five mean steps to building their website. This could look like concept, design and development test launch manage, for example. But a more complex process map you can use in house is what I'm referring to here. I like to make my process maps a bit more complex since I use them for my team. This removes me as the bottleneck, which means things get done faster and everyone knows what to expect and who should be doing what when a complex one includes everything from getting a lead to following up with a client after site launch and everything in between and can even include who is responsible for each particular task. If you really want to get detailed and remove yourself as a bottleneck in the process, it should include things like how to work together daily, such as software to use if they're certain tasks, lists that should be completed, etcetera. How issues Should be resolved. A report Status. How work It's assigned etcetera Now. Eventually, you'll want to draw this up nicely on the computer. But in the beginning, it could be easiest to just write down all of the task on note cards and lay them out on table or tape them up on the wall. Then you can easily add a new steps and move them around. Once you have it the way you like it, then you can type it up in a visual list. So let's look at this example. Here we have five different stages, starting from analysis and going on to design development, deployment follow up. We start with what happens when a particular client comes in. The first step is that we have a an initial client consultation and part of that client consultation. We complete a client questionnaire that helps us to identify what exactly the client is looking for from that step. We then give a project proposal to the client to see if they're interested. If they agree, then we continue on and give them a final project contract. If they don't agree to the proposal, then we go back and we see what we can tweet to get them to agree. Once they've agreed and assigned the client contract, then that's when we start getting the clients set up. We can put them into our project management system. We can get them set up in our financial database, and then we can move on to the design face. So as you can see, this is going to walk a step by step through the entire process from setting up the site. When we set up the hosting, we set up a demo. You're always start building the content management system. We move on to launching the site and providing ongoing support and even shows how we're gonna up sell clients. If there gets to be a lot of words and it starts getting really confusing, you can also color code. The task to show who is the responsible party. Instead of actually typing in who is responsible. You can also use shapes to represent different types of tasks as well. Just include a legend at the bottom of the document, so the colors and shapes make sense to everyone who's looking at it. Once you have your process map complete, ask yourself. Could someone who knows nothing about your business pick up this process map and know exactly what to do to keep things running? If so, you've got a great process. And if not, you may need to add in some more details. I strongly recommend you review your process map at least once 1/4 to see what's working and what's not working. If something's not working, change it. Don't have your team continue working in a way that's not efficient. You can even get your team's feedback when you review your process so they can help identify areas that may need improvement. Remember, this will help keep them engaged and loyal to your business. They will appreciate having their input valued as well. In the end, there was really no right or wrong way to do this so long as you do it, just do it in a way that works best for you, your team and your business. 21. The Best Project Management Software to Use (Including Free Options): using the right project management software is really going to help your team. Bia's efficient as it possibly can, and there are so many options out there for you to choose from. And there's both free and paid options as well. I want to take a look at some of the best project management software that is available to you now. You don't need all of these, but I want to give you a variety of options to choose from so you can see what jumps out at you and what you think is gonna work best for you in your business. The 1st 1 is called Red Booth, and this is a paid project management software. It's a really good place where your team Congar Oh, to complete everything that they need to dio they can share their work together in real time. Here's where they could manage projects. You can assigned task to particular people, you can share files and all of your team can communicate in this one central location. So it is really good. If you don't want to have a multitude of tools to be able to tackle everything you need to do right here, another. One of my favorite tools is called Process Street, and it's partly one of my favorite because I'm a checklist type of person. So if you like checklists or you think this is going to be helpful for your team, this is a free tool. That's really great to check out. What you can use process Street for is if you have any recurring procedures that happen and you can lay them out step by step. This isn't a nice, organized way that you can present to your workers, and they can just go through the checklist and check it off. So as you can see here, you can create a training as part of a checklist if you want to. And as they click on each particular line item, it can present them with text that can present them with a video or any of the documents that you have. So you can turn your documents into these checklists, and you can have your team go through them, whether it's for training or it if it's to complete a particular task. There are also tools out there like Dropbox that are a great place for you to store all of your files and an easy place for all of your team to be able to go in and access those same files. That way you can avoid email and you're not getting mixed up between all the different versions that are going back and forth. Base camp is also a very popular option out there. It is another paid option, but this is where your team can discuss projects they can share, files they can share to do list and really manage a project together a saint As another free task manager for teams using this free tool you can create to do lists, you can create schedules, and you can assign different tasks to different team members. So if you're looking for a free tool, this is one that I recommend that you look at. If you also have a team that is growing and you need to know which people are working at particular times, you can also use Google calendar, and this can help you coordinate meetings with your clients and different workers. The last place that I want to look at is jump chart, and this is specifically good for Web design companies because it helps you plan your website. And if you have different people working on different tasks, if you have the designer work on the design, you have a programmer who's working on building a content management system. You have a writer who's working on the content. This is where you can pull all of that together easily, and you can even bring in the client so they can see what's going on and how the project is turning out and help give feedback. So like I mentioned, there's no right or wrong software for you to use. But you want to pick what you feel is going to be best for your team and what is going to make your team the most efficient. So pick what you feel work best for your team and make sure to include this in your process map as well. 22. Your Next Steps in Growing Your Business: Congratulations on completing this course by now. I'm sure you can see just how much work is involved in growing your virtual team. But you know what they say. If it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be worth it. And that couldn't be more true here. Expanding your business is really exciting and it can really pay off when it's done correctly. I truly hope you found this course to be a great resource for you. If you haven't already, please don't forget to download all of the resource Is that accompany this course to use it as a guide in your own business. I wish you all the success.