Often in today’s business lexicon, conversations about how to work smarter include some reference to a “hybrid model” of local workers and remote freelancers.
So what does this hybrid model look like? Instead of solely relying on your full-time staff to perform every activity for your business, companies are hiring online freelancers to take on tasks that are tedious, time-consuming, or require specialization. Some typical examples include using a remote graphic designer, or hiring outside marketing and data entry specialists to generate leads. This model is one of the most valuable and efficient tools for small businesses to compete with larger corporations.
To be clear: if you’re a business of any size, you can hire outside support. You’ll see the savings on labor and other costs such as rent, IT, insurance, Human Resources. All consideration of costs aside, a hybrid model will allow your team to delegate time-consuming tasks, so you can be left to do what you do best – grow your business.
We’ve put together some pointers on how you can strategically leverage a virtual workforce to make your business vision a reality.
1. Keep your value. Hold onto the functions that produce your business value. That’s because strategically important tasks produce your competitive advantages. For instance, if you have a small business that is distinguished by excellent customer service, don’t change that—it’s one of your core objectives. Outsource time-consuming operations such as data entry, PowerPoint presentations and online marketing instead.
2. Dream big. Think about part of your business that seems difficult to grow, either in terms of costs or logistics. Maybe you already work with a delivery company to fulfill local orders. Why not use that company to deliver nationally? Odds are that they can scale in an efficient, stable way or are already doing it. Using outside business support can help you get over growth hurdles that may have made you hesitate. Another way to think about it is that a more flexible, hybrid model of hiring truly allows you to dream big.
3. Let a specialist assist you. You are in charge of having big ideas and big dreams. Delegate the boring or specialty tasks to experts so you focus on higher priority projects. For example, if you need a website developed, find a freelance expert who knows exactly what to do. It’ll save you countless hours.
4. Take advantage of others’ talents. Whatever service you need, if you hire your remote workers through a managed platform the workers will typically be pre-vetted and trained to deliver on time, as well as supervised by a project manager. These platforms have carried the costs of developing and testing, and you stand to benefit. They’re ready to start, so you can act quickly and get growing. Plus, some providers can access talent pools that are ready to work 24/7 – you can’t get more efficient than that. And the efficiency runs both ways; you can scale down quickly if the need arises.
5. Create systems. When you implement a hybrid business model, you’re utilizing the most advanced communication technologies available to accomplish certain tasks. This model can scale more easily than a traditional workforce can; and, if your business is growing, odds are good that your workforce is already somewhat strained. Think of tapping into a remote talent pool as building a system of support for your business—one of the very best possible investments.