10 tips on assembling a virtual team

Chris Andreou

April 21, 2021

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Rather than growing your company through hiring employees, you can take advantage of a variety of virtual services designed for solo traders

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Getting started with a virtual team

As a solopreneur, you tend to be on your own.

That doesn't mean you have to do it all. Rather than growing your company through hiring employees, you can take advantage of a variety of virtual services designed for solo traders like you. You just have to know how to get started.

Solo traders continue to be in the rise in the UK. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, about 60% of all small-to-medium size businesses are sole proprietorships, which equates to a total number of 3.4 million solo traders in the UK economy.

Yet many of these solo traders face daily problems. Even when they succeed, they tend to struggle scaling up their services.

That's where virtual services come into play.

The right virtual team can help solopreneurs scale their businesses without the expense of full-time employees. If you're considering going this route, implementing the following tips can help ensure your success.

10 tips on assembling your team

1) Know Your Core Competencies

First, it pays to know exactly where your own competencies lie.

Chances are you are building your business off a specific personal skill or strength that allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition. This is the time to define exactly what that is.

The reason for this first tip is simple: what you can do well, you might not want to outsource.

If, for instance, marketing is your thing, you don't need to work with a marketing professional. Defining your core competencies first thus helps you both structure and focus your search for a virtual team.

2) Determine Your Core Needs

The second step is almost as important as the first.

Once you know your core competencies, it's time to define exactly what services you need to help your business succeed and grow. Some of these tend to be obvious:

  • bookkeeping
  • insurance
  • a lawyer to incorporate your business.

Others are more dependent on the situation.

For instance, you might need a copywriter as you're building your website or marketing plan. A virtual assistant can be invaluable for a front-facing digital business. Understanding your needs again helps you focus in on the type of team you want and need to work with.

3) Structure Your Business Goals

What do you want to achieve?

It's a seemingly simple question with a potentially complex answer. You need to set goals to strive towards. These business goals, in turn, should drive every part of your daily and long-term efforts, and that includes hiring a potential virtual team.

To get to that point, you have to structure your business goals the right way. That means making sure they are measurable, and come with a specific timeline attached.

That way, you can identify where you need the most help at a given time to move forward. Consider this to be closely related to the above tip; your business goals should directly connect to the needs you are defining.

4) Set a Budget

At this point, you should have a good idea of exactly what kind of services you need to help and grow your business.

Now, it's time to get specific. Above all, that means setting a budget that helps you find the right services for your needs.

If you are already budgeting for your business comprehensively, this might be a simple question of determining how much money you have available on a given month.

If not, it may be more complex. Crucially, this budget should not be considered an expense but an investment into the company to help you secure funding on a long-term basis.

That last part is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Be sure that the budget you set for hiring a virtual team is guaranteed to be available every month. Few things are worse than having to cancel an accountant simply because you can't pay them to keep your books in order in a given pay period.

5) Start to Shop Around

Now that you have an idea of the specific money you're looking to spend, it's time to start shopping for services.

In the areas you need, and the budget range you have available, begin to look for service providers that offer exactly what your business needs to grow.

You will likely run into a variety of services, from independent contractors to larger firms. Each come with advantages and disadvantages; contractors are sometimes less expensive, but offer less comprehensive services.

Be sure to read both the fine print and learn about the actual availability you will receive in a given week or month.

6) Consider Bundling Services

Yes, you can look for individual freelancers who can complete some of the services you're looking for.

Internet searches are full of freelance copywriters, accountants, and more looking to make a name for themselves. In some cases, this type of partnership makes perfect sense as you look to slowly grow your capabilities.

However, it might pay to consider bundling services instead.

Companies offering virtual office services can help you find and leverage a number of these services at the same time. That typically comes with easier management as you juggle fewer contracts and relationships, a more natural transition from a business in which you have to take care of everything yourself.

In most cases, you won't have to choose one over the other. You might be able to find a company that takes care of some of the services you need, allowing you to fill out your virtual team with freelancers in the missing spots.

Still, looking for companies that offer more than one of the areas of expertise you're looking for can pay off in the long run.

7) Look for Long-Term Relationships

As you expand your search for partners, it's tempting to get caught up in price wars.

For instance, 'content mills' are now popular among freelancers and businesses alike, matching copywriters to jobs without consideration of the larger context. It's spec work, designed to be done fast and price-efficiently.

That's not necessarily your best option.

In fact, in many cases, it pays to go beyond this opportunity. The best virtual teams are those with whom you can build a long-term business relationship. Over time, they will begin to better understand your business, enabling them to improve their work and maximise the opportunities you have to grow with them.

8) Set Up Key Performance Indicators

Based on the above factors, you can find members of your virtual team who are ready to help your business grow.

Now, it's time to begin considering the factors that ensure the success of this endeavour. Among other things, that means setting up key performance indicators that allow you and the contractors with whom you work to ensure they are working in the right direction.

These goals are not necessarily made to share with your virtual team, although sharing a general version of them may be beneficial to set expectations and get on the same page.

The most important goal, though, is to make sure that your virtual team performs to expectations. These goals may be connected to number of contact, number of errors, or any other metric relevant to the performance necessary for success.

9) Keep Your Virtual Team in the Loop

When hiring virtual help for your growing business, communication is absolutely vital.

You don't have the benefit of simply stopping by their office or picking up the phone on a moment's notice, as you would with full-time employees. The better you communicate, the better your team will be able to accomplish the tasks you set before them.

That might be as simple as keeping them in the loop on current things ongoing within the business. Don't share company secrets; remember, they don't work for you full-time.

It is safe, however, to share new initiatives as they happen, with larger context that goes beyond the initial work of the contractor. That way, you can make sure that their work is as closely related to your specific business and situation as possible.

10) Regularly Perform Quality Checks

Finally, don't be afraid to perform quality checks to make sure that the team you work with actually helps your business.

Crucially, this does not mean going over every bit of work with a fine-tooth comb; if you hire the right professionals, they are experts in their field and typically can be trusted. Still, it doesn't hurt to perform a few perfunctory checks on the work occasionally.

The nature of these checks may differ based on the type of work your virtual team is performing for you.

For a freelance writer, this might include the occasional proofing of content. An accountant may benefit from a few calculations of financial statements. Expect that the work is done right—but check just in case, so you know where you stand and you can make sure that quality doesn't drop.

Virtual Office Guide

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Are you ready to hire your virtual team?

Working with a virtual team comes with countless benefits—if you get the process right.

You need to make sure that you hire quality professionals and give them the resources and oversight they need to succeed. That way, you can continue thriving in your own business, maximising your opportunities as a solopreneur and making an impact in your industry.

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  • What is a Virtual Office
  • Benefits of a VIrtual Office
  • How to choose the right virtual office
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Why you need a Virtual Office
Featured Article

11 reasons why your online company needs a (Virtual) Office

A virtual office can help your online business manage mail, take phone calls, provides you with space to hold meetings, and so much more

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10 tips on assembling a virtual team

As a solopreneur, you tend to be on your own.

That doesn't mean you have to do it all. Rather than growing your company through hiring employees, you can take advantage of a variety of virtual services designed for solo traders like you. You just have to know how to get started.

Solo traders continue to be in the rise in the UK. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, about 60% of all small-to-medium size businesses are sole proprietorships, which equates to a total number of 3.4 million solo traders in the UK economy.

Yet many of these solo traders face daily problems. Even when they succeed, they tend to struggle scaling up their services.

That's where virtual services come into play.

-The right virtual team can help solopreneurs scale their businesses without the expense of full-time employees. If you're considering going this route, implementing the following tips can help ensure your success.

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What is a Virtual Office: 7 Things to Know Before Buying

Let's start with one of the most important elements of a Virtual Office: location.

For a low cost, you can use a professional address for your companies house registration, website, business cards and Google My Business location.

A good, central address in a professional office can really provide an edge and make it look like you have a real office but in reality you'll be working from home (or the beach).

Google My Business is a great way to boost your website SEO and get your business found in search results so you'll want to factor this into what people see when they search for your business.

Today, the Google My Business "card" features in search results in 93% of searches today.

When you Google a business name, you've probably become accustomed to seeing the company card on the right of the search result which provides an accessible way to find a phone number, website and address for the business (as well as products/ services and offers).

One critical thing users can see with your business address is the exterior of your "office".

Here's an example of how Mail Boxes Etc. looks at it's Covent Garden location:

If anyone searches for you on and you've set up a Google My Business profile then they'll see your Mail Boxes Etc Professional Office.

Other providers offer "Premium" central London business addresses but in reality the exterior is... awful.

Here's the exterior of one particularly popular cheap London address.

That literally pops up for anyone searching for businesses registered at that location.

It's important to find a good price point for a professional address that represents your business but doesn't break the bank.

Here's how our address looks for only £25 a month:

At the end of the day, we're proud of our location, and we want you to be proud of yours too.

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Mail Forwarding Service UK

Mail forwarding is a convenient way to use a registered business address to receive all your business mail, and to ensure you receive your mail on time.

The benefits of using a professional address are that it allows you to keep your home address off of public records (like Companies House) and you can put it on your website, business cards and use online directories, like Google My Business to get found in local search results.

When you essentially use the office of someone else without being a tenant then issues can arise with getting your mail promptly.

Some locations will only let you collect your mail, while others will charge a variety of additional charges for either sending on your mail, notifying you or for even checking to see if you've received mail when you ask.

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What are trading and registered office addresses?

As its name suggests, a registered office address is the address which your company is registered at Companies House. It is shown on the public record, and official mail is sent to this address. When you purchase Forma's virtual office package, you can use our Central London business address as your registered company address.

A trading address is where your customers, banks or suppliers send you correspondence. It can differ from the company's registered address, and doesn't have to be public information.

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Business Mail Redirection UK

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Virtual Office Guide

  • What is a Virtual Office
  • Benefits of a VIrtual Office
  • How to choose the right virtual office
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How do I transfer/ change a registered address?

If you change your company's registered office address, you must inform Companies House. You can do so online, or by sending form AD01 to Companies House by post. Once the change is approved, Companies House will then notify HMRC.

Do note that the change will only be official once Companies House has registered it. Additionally, your new registered office address must be in the same part of the UK that the company was incorporated.

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8 benefits of a Virtual Office over permanent office space

Renting permanent physical office space is an expense many self-employed entrepreneurs simply cannot justify.

In fact, as Forbes recently observed, some of the biggest challenges of being a solopreneur are a direct result of this lack of personal space. And yet, overcoming these challenges is more straightforward than you might think.

In nearly every case, a virtual office will meet all of your needs at a fraction of the expense.

Let's look at those needs in detail so we can tick them off the list.

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How to stop holding meetings in cafes without renting an office

If you're just starting a business, meeting with clients can be tough. Chances are you don't have the luxury of a company-owned conference room that offers a natural spot to engage and be productive.

As a result, many freelancers and entrepreneurs branch out to coffee shops.

But is that really a better choice? Places like Starbucks and Costa tend to be crowded, causing you to fight for a spot-and even when you find one, the lack of privacy can make it difficult to hold a substantial conversation.

That matters, whether you're trying to meet with clients, interview potential new employees, or engage in any other formal business meeting. You might even get a coffee for free but everything else, though, tends to be difficult to manage.

Fortunately, that's not your only option. With the right planning process in place, you can find more professional and productive places to hold business meetings that don't require you to rent office space long-term.

Consider these six alternatives for your plans instead.

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Business Address Service London

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What is a Service Address?

A service address is an address which can be used as an alternative to a residential address for the purpose of receiving post.

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11 reasons why your online company needs a (Virtual) Office

Modern businesses can run almost entirely online, and thrive through the internet business culture.

From e-commerce to freelance programming, it's amazing how many small businesses can thrive without booking a commercial location as a headquarters. It's even possible to have a completely remote team, none of whom have ever seen each other in person.

However, there are some things that you can't do with online platforms and email alone.

Here at Forma, we know know that some aspects of business require a physical location, and many of them are not well-suited to using a home for that purpose. Even if your home is your official HQ, you'd likely rather not share that information with customers or business partners.

The simple addition of a virtual office to your business resources can provide everything you might need from a commercial office-without the hassle or expense of actually relocating your business or renting commercial real estate.

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Change of company address ‚- who to inform and how

If you change your company's registered office address, you must inform Companies House. You can do so online, or by sending form AD01 to Companies House by post. Once the change is approved, Companies House will then notify HMRC.

Do note that the change will only be official once Companies House has registered it. Additionally, your new registered office address must be in the same part of the UK that the company was incorporated.

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