When you started your business you had a plan, a business plan. It no doubt mentioned something about future expansion. Now is the time to put those plans in place.
The best time to think about expanding your business is before it actually happens. Then, you can put your plan into action much more quickly and seamlessly. Part of expanding is outsourcing.
Now you are ready for a VA team. It was a team of one, but now you are happily getting too big for a one-man or one-woman show. To keep moving upward, you’ll need others to make it happen.
Choosing your Team
The team will be comprised mostly of other virtual assistants. These aren’t just any virtual assistants – they think like you do and have a similar work ethic. Just like your clients did with you, you’ll want to do some research and interviewing to find just the right people.
You may have already thought about what jobs you will outsource. Keeping it simple is a good way to start until you get a feel for how the team will work together. Interviewing is only the first step. Keep in mind that you may want to outsource more delicate matters later. Look for a variety of skills in the people that you choose for your team. The more skills that they have, the more useful they will turn out to be to you.
Starting off on the Right Foot
Get all of your ducks in a row from the beginning. This includes contracts, agreements and instructions. Each virtual assistant will need a contract that spells out, but is not limited to: pay per hour, pay schedule, job description. Agreements between you and your subcontracting VAs stipulating confidentiality and non-compete clauses are essential. You don’t want to be fleeced for your client list right under your nose.
Written instructions about how to do what you ask avoids as many mistakes as possible later. Even though your subcontractors know how to say, write a report, they don’t know how you write reports for your clients. Pleasing your clients is the important part here.
Crossing all the Ts
One “T” in particular is taxes. You are not just responsible for yourself but others who work for you. Hiring subcontractors is considered freelancing. This is another area that needs to be specified in any contracts with your team. As a subcontractor, they will be responsible for their own taxes and insurance. What you will provide (for US workers) is a 1099-MISC form for them that specify what you pay them so that they can use it to file their taxes.
The cost of subcontracting will figure into your hourly or per project rate for your clients. The last thing you want to do is undercut yourself because you are paying your contractors more than you are getting paid yourself.
Planning ahead for business growth will make you healthy, wealthy and wise.