Collaboration is a growing trend in the future of work as freelancers embrace the power of teamwork over working independently. Building a freelance team can yield big results and help freelancers stay competitive, but managing virtual teams means that freelancers may have to take on the role of an employer or client to find the right talent fit.
This requires an alliance of independent contractors working together towards a shared objective. With proper structures in place to manage virtual teams, freelancers can scale quickly.
Why Should You Build a Freelance Team?
Tapping into a bench of skilled talent lets you produce more income by increasing bandwidth and potentially serving more clients. This increased capacity enables you to take on multiple projects simultaneously and even increase the chances of retaining more clients.
In fact, one freelance study found that “building a tribe” of freelancers led to more repeat clients in 65% of respondents. Out of the 20 top earners in the study, 17 individuals took advantage of freelance teams.
Additionally, building a network that augments your abilities and niche expertise lets you offer a wider range of services to your clients. This can include everything from specialized technical skills to specific industry knowledge. As a result, you can take on larger and more complex projects.
Things to Consider When Assembling Your Freelance Team
When assembling and managing virtual teams, you should be mentally and operationally prepared to lead projects, hire contractors and take on the role of an employer or client. This is especially true if you are delegating your work or offering an existing client additional services.
It’s crucial to consider several factors when building the right team:
- Core competencies and skills
- Communication expectations across the team
- Payment schedules
- Personal compatibility
Adhering to best practices for building and managing virtual teams will ultimately result in a positive experience for all independent collaborators.
5 Tips to Successfully Build & Manage Virtual Teams
1. Build capacity around specific niche expertise or skills.
To form a well-rounded team, successful freelancers often seek out team members with specific industry expertise or skills that complement their own. This allows for a wider range of projects to be tackled and for team members to learn from one another.
Personally, however, it’s important for freelancers to also focus on professional growth and high-level skills, such as project management. This will make you a better team player and leader.
2. Create expectations around communication and process.
Clear communication and a defined process are key for managing virtual teams as a freelancer. This includes regular team meetings, a shared project management system and established expectations for communication.
Additionally, standardizing documents like client onboarding checklists can help to streamline processes for your team and your clients.
3. Align your schedules & payment.
Work to align the schedules and payment structures of team members, ensuring everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal. Have conversations around rates and how that can affect client or project needs.
4. Ensure a good personality fit.
It’s crucial to consider the personalities and working styles of potential team members. Look for individuals who share a similar work ethic and have similar goals, whether they want to take on the same amount of work or they have similar definitions of work-life balance.
5. Prepare for conflict resolution.
Have effective strategies in place for resolving conflicts that may arise between team members during the course of a project. Have written agreements or protocol on what to do in the event of certain conflicts. This helps to smooth working relationships and a successful project completion.
Is Building a Freelance Team Right for You?
Choosing the right team members, business structures and systems are critical to achieving success. If you’re an independent finance professional who would like to grow your freelance business, you can build your team with a like-minded, elite community of experts. Apply to join Paro and expand your freelance finance or accounting business with full support.