Thursday, January 6th, 2011
You’ve heard us talk at length about the benefits of hiring virtual interns, freelancers and part-timers. We’re not the only ones who think this is a model that makes sense for a growing company. Check out what seriel entrepreneur and best-selling author Scott Gerber has to say.
1. You talk in your book about entrepreneurs hiring a virtual workforce. Why are you a fan of the virtual model?
Start-ups need to be lean and mean. Nowadays, with all of the ways we are able to communicate (Skype, AIM, Facebook, and mobile devices to name a few) it isn't wise for a budding company to take on the expense of unnecessary infrastructure and overhead. Virtual workforces are a great way to get a business off the ground because employees can be paid as freelancers rather than payroll employees with benefits, hired for short-term tasks versus a long-term ones and can be hired based on singular expertise.
2. We see virtual internships, part-time and freelance gigs on the rise, particularly when it comes to areas like social media and blogging since that work can be done by anyone, anywhere. What about you? Any particular areas where you see a big opportunity for businesses that want to leverage the virtual model?
I often utilize virtual assistants for lead generation campaigns. Hiring VAs to research and contact new client prospects using pre-written email scripts is a cost effective way of generating new sales.
3. For those who are new to working with a virtual team, any advice on successfully managing the relationship
Just because your team is virtual, doesn't mean they don't need to be managed. Be very specific with your tasks. Demand excellence. Spell everything out in order to minimize the room for error. Be deadline oriented. Make sure you have your team check in at regular intervals with their progress.
4. Who are the 3 people you think every entrepreneur needs in his or her rolodex?
A mentor, a lawyer and an accountant (I'd also have the Young Entrepreneur Council link bookmarked, but that's just me).
5. As someone who encourages entrepreneurship as a viable career option, what do you think it takes to ‘make it?'
Build a simple and unoriginal business that is capable of generating immediate revenue. Don't equate success with "millions of dollars" or "fame"–those are both fool's errands that will lead you no where fast except bankruptcy. If you can build a revenue-generating business that is capable of generating an income–and has organic growth potential–you're a winner in my book.
Speaking of books…don't forget to pick up your copy of Scott's book Never Get a Real Job!