Get By In Business With
A Little Help From Your Friends

Let’s imagine for a moment that you are planning on opening your own brick and mortar store in the middle of the mall or some high-traffic part of town. You have spent time developing a wonderful space lined with products that you know the buying public will be excited to see. Your doors will be opening in a month and you need to start marketing so that people will know where to find the store. You also need to think about creating a work schedule that will ensure your location is adequately staffed so that every single customer that walks through the front doors feels as though they are being well looked after. Now imagine doing all of that on your own.

If the prospect of taking on a job of that scale did not give you a little shudder, you may want to be checked out to see if you are in fact human. There is absolutely no way that you would ever be able to pull off something of that scale on your own, yet people that start a business online seems to believe that they can. Before you all start arguing about the differences between a traditional store and an online version, take a minute to think about the likenesses:

  • You don’t need a construction team to design the interior, but you do need a website designer to create a space that is warm and inviting.
  • Is no staff required for an online store? Who is going to answer all the e-mails and questions that come in, not to mention the social media side of the business, which is an absolute must?
  • Both require a high level of marketing and brand building in order to become successful.

The list goes on and on, but you should be beginning to see that just as you would not be able to run a bricks and mortar business on your own, you also can’t so it with the online version. Even if you are the smartest person that ever walked and are able to multi-task like nobody’s business, there will still not be enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done to keep that business running like a well-oiled machine. What is takes are some “mechanics” who can make sure that your business is all systems go at all times, and who might even be able to run it all while you relax and enjoy the fruits of their hard work.

We are well aware that many of you are going the online business route because you simply don’t have the financial clout to make a traditional store happen. Yes, it’s a whole lot less expensive to get a business going online, but you still have to be prepared to have some kind of overhead, which includes hiring some people to help you achieve the success that you so desperately want. The harsh reality is that if you do try and do it all on your own, you will most likely crash and burn in a matter of weeks.

The best chance your online business has of being successful is if you can focus on the strengths that you bring to the table, and allow others to focus on working on the parts where you are weak. For example, it’s usually pretty easy to spot a website put together by an amateur, as it tends to be a template used by thousands of other sites. Do you want to look like your competition, or do you want to brand your business and set yourself apart from the rest? The same rules apply to marketing and website content. If these are weak spots, for you, it will show, and customers will simply go elsewhere.

The good news here is that you can get high-priced talent at rock bottom prices by dipping into the thriving freelance market that currently exists online. These tend to be professional types that are looking to create a second income, build a portfolio, or simply strike out on their own in the same way that you are with your online business. Whatever their reasons, they can be yours to use as part of a virtual team for a fraction of what you would have to pay a full-time team. You can have someone create content for your site when you need it, a professional SEO type who can help you get your website a much higher ranking than it currently has, and a virtual assistant who will answer emails and respond to social media stuff for you, and all while you are out doing what you do best.The most difficult part of the process is managing the virtual team, but that really is not that difficult if you are organized and know which direction you want to take your business in.

You can treat the “hiring” of these individuals much as you would a traditional job search, in that you can ask to see samples of their previous work, whilst also openly discuss their rates and turnaround times. Since freelancers rely on a steady flow of work to make what they do viable, they will generally offer great rates and deliver quality work in a faster than normal turnaround time. This is a major benefit for you and your business and is something that really has to be done if you want to push forward and succeed.

There are those that argue that having a virtual team means spending a chunk of the profits made by the business, but that’s very much a case of the glass being half empty. You need to focus on how many more sales you will get and how your bottom line will improve if you have professionals doing the work that you would struggle to do properly on your own. You are about to open your business in a virtual world, so why not have a number of great virtual assistants at your disposal?