When you own an online business, you face unique challenges managing your team. You have to keep everyone on track and working together despite the fact that they’re all working from different locations. There are four things to focus on when managing your online team:
Clear channels of communication are the holy grail of any online business. For your team to work together, they must be able to talk to each other regularly. You’ll need multiple communication tools to keep everything running smoothly. Define paths to share urgent information, collaborate on projects, and even chat about non-work topics. The more your team members talk to each other, the more they’ll feel like they’re truly working together.
- Use collaborative work apps like Slack, Asana, and Dropbox
- Use separate chat boards to discuss work and non-work topics to encourage teamwork and unity
- Use group documents and project management software to keep everyone on track and project materials organized
2. Set Routines and Expectations
Every business needs regularly scheduled meetings, especially when team members aren’t in the same physical office. Holding regular video chat meetings to discuss current and upcoming projects ensures that everyone stays in the loop and on schedule. Set weekly meetings that work for everyone’s time zone.
- Allow flexible working times for team members, but set times when they can collaborate online and chat
- Have clear expectations of deadlines and final products so you don’t have to micromanage
- Regularly scheduled video meetings maximize efficiency and a sense of teamwork
3. Choose the Right People
Some people adore the flexibility that working in an online business offers. Others feel isolated and have trouble managing their time and meeting deadlines without the traditional office environment. You have to choose new hires that are a great fit for your online team.
- Test potential team members on a short-term basis by hiring them to work on a specific project
- Pay well – people are usually willing to work for less money in exchange for increased flexibility, but keeping pay competitive ensures you’ll have a dedicated team that’s in it for the long haul
- Check in frequently with team members to make sure they’re getting the support they need to get the job done
4. Promote Teamwork
You want your team working together no matter where they’re based. Since they don’t have the option of water cooler chats or after-work happy hours, you need to go the extra mile to create that unity and team spirit. Giving your team members lots of opportunities to get to know each other helps promote that feeling of teamwork.
- Meet in person if possible – industry conferences are a great opportunity to get everyone together in the real world
- Encourage conversation through video chats, collaborative apps, and screen sharing tools
- Get everyone involved in important projects and acknowledge the value and skill everyone brings to the team
Managing an online business team is a big task, but you don’t have to do it alone. Book a call with SophieZo to learn how an Online Business Manager can keep your team working together.