In my last post, I talked about why your small business should move online, and the first reason I listed was that it gives you the opportunity to find the best, whether it’s staff or technology.
I want to expand on the staffing aspect of this topic. Moving your business online and foregoing a typical brick and mortar office opens up the range in which you’re able to search for members of a great team.
It’s not just about finding the perfect person for the position, even though, yeah, that rocks. I think there are many advantages to having a distributed, or remote team.
Culture. You’re able to hire the people that best fit into your company, instead of just filling a position. These are people that will take the company’s core values to heart and work hard to maintain the company reputation. Having a distributed team makes it easier to find a team that will help maintain a healthy company culture.
Productivity. I’ve found that I work better if someone gives me a task or assignment and doesn’t hover over me while I do it. As a business owner, this tends to be my management style, and with a remote team, I’m able to say: “This is what I need you to do, this is the deadline. I’m here if you need help, guidance or further clarification.” I don’t care when it gets done, and my team knows I’m ALWAYS available to answer questions if they need it. Remote teams can be more productive because they’re able to work when & where it’s more convenient for them, and at times when they can best focus on their work.
Communication. I’ve found that there are almost no issues with miscommunication within our remote team. Because we leverage technology – online chat, text, email and Google docs – our internal conversations are very well documented. This means that if there is a question, or someone forgets something, we’re able to go back and find it easily.
Happiness. Trusting your co-workers. Pride of accomplishment. Having the flexibility to stop working to take a bike ride, or pick kids up from school, or just to take a break to watch another rerun of Law & Order (guilty). Combine all of this with all of the above and you have a really happy team.
Not every business is a great candidate for a 100% remote team, but even some that you wouldn’t expect could benefit from some of their team working off site. The retail store on the corner probably needs a bookkeeper – with products like QuickBooks Online and the many software hosting companies like UniDataIt.com – this makes it easy for them to find one that understands their industry. Or doctor’s office that needs an awesome website, they can find a web designer like Jen Puckett that will build something that suits their practice. I think a great opportunity to find out what options are out there is to attend an event that I am VERY excited about going to: QuickBooks Connect. You’ll have the opportunity to meet and learn from other business owners, software developers and accounting professionals, all under one roof.
However it works for your business, don’t count it out without really taking a look at all of the possibilities!