How to Scale a Service Business by Building a Strong Virtual Team

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Two men discussing something on a laptop screen.

If you’re wondering how to scale a service business, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’re going to talk more about remote teams and the process of finding and integrating them into your business. 

The Role of Virtual Teams in Scaling

Why Virtual Teams Are Essential for Scaling

Three of the main benefits of hiring virtual teams include scalability, flexibility, and access to a global talent pool.

Scalability

This is essentially your ability to size your operations up or down depending on the need. One instance where you see the benefits of scalability is if your products or services are subject to seasonality. 

Seasonality basically refers to spikes of interest or need for your products. An example would be holiday decor that people normally buy during the last few months of the year. 

During those times, you may see an increase of customer activity on your website. A virtual team can help you with temporary scaling during these times to help with the increased demand. 

Flexibility

Long term scaling is more flexible with virtual teams. They allow you to focus on growing the business while they help you execute. Refocus your time and effort on other core business functions and outsource other tasks to a remote team. 

You can also leverage different time zones by having them work the hours you aren’t. 

Access to a Global Talent Pool

Global talent means you have more choice. You can explore a wider range of candidates and find the hires that best suit the position, understand the vision, and can work well with the rest of your remote team. 

Types of Tasks Best Suited for Virtual Teams

A man in a video call using a laptop.

Virtual teams can do practically anything that doesn’t require a physical presence. 

These are some main service aspects that can be efficiently managed by virtual teams.  

  • Administrative duties such as organizing files, maintaining records, calendar management, and accounting and bookkeeping.
  • Managing an online store which includes inventory management, restocking, listing creation etc. 
  • Content creation like copywriting, blog posts, and video editing
  • Graphic design.
  • Social media management. 

Building Your Virtual Team

Planning and Strategy

The first step to learning how to scale a service business is planning. Some of your key considerations before hiring should include your budget, resources, objectives and timelines. 

Ask yourself how much of your monetary and human resources you can allocate towards building your virtual team. While it is more cost efficient to hire virtual assistants, that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. 

Do some research and canvas the typical rate for the positions you need filling. Consider, also, other costs related to hiring like training. 

Goals

Knowing your short and long term goals will also help you make better hiring decisions. 

Do you plan on outsourcing a process partially or completely? Are you transitioning departments to fully remote? Are you scaling temporarily or looking for a more permanent solution? 

These questions can help you develop an efficient outsourcing strategy. 

Manpower 

Next, make sure you have the manpower and infrastructure to manage your hires. You can’t hire a team if you don’t have a remote team manager and a way to manage remote teams. 

Their role is to ensure that you meet those goals on schedule. They help keep the pace and can report on successes and challenges with the project. 

Hiring and Assembling the Right Talent

People sitting around a table using laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Now that you’ve laid a bit of foundation, you can start looking for your star players. 

Here are some of the best practices for recruiting, interviewing, and selecting team members for virtual roles. 

Hiring

When it comes to searching for talent, we tend to sing the same song. You should always hire from reputable websites, business networking sites, freelance marketplaces, or via endorsement from someone you trust. 

The important thing to look for is any kind of review or rating system. Look also for ways to check work history and worker credentials. 

Interviewing 

The interview process can go a lot smoother if you prepare a few things beforehand. 

First, make sure that you create a job post that has all the necessary information hires need to know before applying. This includes the job description and a list of roles and responsibilities. 

Next, of course, is to prepare a list of virtual assistant interview questions. These should help you confirm what’s written on their resume and gauge their attitudes, expectations, interpersonal and communication skills, and more. 

Selecting

Your interview should leave you with a few candidates who match the desired qualities of a virtual assistant

Talent is only one aspect you should consider before hiring. The person should also be able to work well with others and fit into your company culture. 

Integrating Virtual Teams into Your Business Operations

A man communicating with a woman via video call on his laptop.

Tools and Technologies for Collaboration

Software, automation, and other applications are assets that will help you figure out how to scale a service business. 

Some essential tools and features for supporting remote work and team collaboration help with:

  • Communication 
  • Task management 
  • Time tracking
  • Payroll management 

Creating Effective Workflows

Next is figuring out how to establish processes that ensure smooth operations between in-house and virtual team members.

We believe in the importance of a comprehensive remote onboarding process. This helps transition new hires into the workforce and familiarize them with both their duties and “dutymates”. This not only helps with familiarization but also rapport-building, which is needed for healthy work relationships.

We find that it’s essential to have standard operating procedures that work for both teams. This is true whether it’s about how to pass work between teams or how to communicate and provide feedback. Creating a structured guide that teams can reference will often subvert conflicts and misunderstanding. 

Make sure that you have elected point persons that help streamline communications between teams. 

Managing and Leading Virtual Teams

Effective Communication Practices

Here are some techniques to ensure clear and consistent communication across different time zones and cultures.

  1. Find a middle ground when scheduling meetings with members of more than one time zone. 
  2. Create opportunities for team members to get to know each other outside of work contexts. 
  3. Create a culture of “recall and respond” or reflective listening. This is where they repeat instructions back and the other person confirms if they understood the message correctly. 
  4. Consider language barriers while hiring. 

Building a Strong Team Culture Remotely

Here are some strategies to foster a cohesive team culture that aligns with your business values.

  • Don’t fail to meet with teams and individuals. Conduct temperature checks and have SOPs in place for when conflicts arise.
  • Invest in team nights for rapport-building.
  • It starts from the top. The leaders and managers must set the example that their teams can mirror and replicate. 

Leveraging Virtual Teams for Business Growth

A man using the phone behind two computer monitors.

Scaling Customer Service and Support

When thinking how to scale a service business, one of the most important things to consider is customer satisfaction. 

Virtual teams can not only help you accommodate more customers but even enhance and expand the services you already offer. 

Some of the improved services you can offer via a virtual team can include:

  • Answering more customer inquiries with quicker response times 
  • Incorporating live chat functionality so you can assist potential consumers in real time 
  • Investing in more proactive support like creating FAQ sections that customers can easily access
  • Generally offering more personalized support
  • Certain sales duties such as upselling and informing returning customers on sales and discounts 
  • Engaging with social media pages, posts, and forums and boards (if any) 
  • Offering 24/7 support with hires from different countries 

Expanding Into New Markets

Speaking of different countries, another benefit of a virtual team is international growth opportunities. Through your remote team, you can test and establish a presence in new geographical markets.

You can assign remote managers to head controlled overseas product/service launch operations. This helps you gauge interest and see if these markets are profitable and worth investing in. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A man in a suit sitting at a table thinking.

How do you handle security and confidentiality concerns with virtual teams?

  • Hire from reputable marketplaces
  • Have hires sign contracts to protect business and client data 
  • Keep sensitive information on a need to know basis.

What are the initial steps to transition from an in-house to a virtual team model?

We recommend outsourcing tasks gradually to see what works for you. Maybe try a hybrid method for a while before fully transitioning to remote. 

How can small businesses afford to build virtual teams?

  • Hire internationally from places with lower costs of living but good educational systems.
  • Leverage the time flexibility by focusing your efforts on growing the business and looking for profit opportunities.
  • Scale with your budget in mind.

What are common management challenges with virtual teams and how to overcome them?

Managing a remote team comes with certain time and communication challenges. First, you want a manager who understands these challenges. Next, you want to set up guidelines, processes and tools that make the process easier. 

How to maintain service quality when scaling up with virtual teams?

First of all, don’t scale if you don’t believe you can maintain quality. Second, create and enforce a proper onboarding and training process.

 

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 

Conclusion

When asked how to scale a service business, to us, the answer is clear. Remote workers and freelancers are a flexible and affordable track to business growth. If you do the work to reduce the risks and face the challenges, you’ll find it’s well worth the effort.

Want help outsourcing & hiring virtual assistants? We make it easy! Learn More, Speak w/ an Expert, or Request a Callback

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