It's been over 4 years since I sold most of the equity I owned in my first real estate company and launched Handshaking. I knew I wanted to have an online company, and it took the first 2 years to actually get profitable, and now for the last 2 years I've been going to the 'school of hard knocks' learning how to manage a remote team and grow the profit of a now proven business model.
Today, there are six team members that work for Handshaking (Check out our team page that we just launched). I'm one of those six, and when I paid over $100,000 (and am still paying) to receive my MBA, I'm not even sure if the word 'remote company' was mentioned throughout my studies.
Thankfully, I met a few other entrepreneurs in the MBA program, and met many entrepreneurs back in 2014 when I graduated from Founder Institute.
Anyway, this is about lessons I've learned as a solo founder launching a bootstrapped startup that I hope will save you time and money as you grow your remote team with your online business.
Here's the main takeaways:
1. If you hire abroad, which you should, make sure to visit their country sooner rather than later.
2. When you hire new team members, consider hiring more than one at a time, and make an effort to meet them in person within their first 1-3 months.
Make sure to use a tool to track their hours, like Timeproof with OnlineJobs. This also helps them separate the hours they are 'on the clock' and 'not on the clock'
3. Pick one country to hire in, and learn about what employees expect in that country. Then hire primarily in that country.
For example, in the Philippines the employees expect something called a '13th month' which is an additional month of pay, paid at the beginning of December. I never learned about this until I visited in person and of course had full-time staff instead of just part-time.
Complying and surpassing their expectations is the difference between your staff referring their smartest friends to work for your company versus your staff being embarrassed to mention their employer is ignorant of the way things work in their country. Take the time to learn about your outsourced team's culture as soon as possible!
I'm trying to write shorter posts so this is all for now! Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any questions in the comments below. Or subscribe to get my next blog in your email here.
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