Working with a team of virtual staff means more flexibility and lower overhead for your business. But while we’re all for distributed working, sometimes it’s possible to be too remote. It’s harder to build trust and rapport with someone you’ve never met and never will. As we all know, business is really about relationships. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. It’s certainly no different when you’re building your team.
And while it’s possible to leverage time-zone gaps in your favor so that your virtual staff are working while you’re enjoying some R&R, those time differences can work against you when it comes to sudden deadlines or fighting unanticipated client fires.
Not only that, but no matter how savvy and experienced a virtual worker is in their field, it’s impossible to match the knowledge of the market, business norms and regional particularities that a local has.
That’s why PrideGroupCo has made a strategic decision to focus our business primarily within a 15-mile radius of our office in Coppell, Texas. We’re a people-centric firm, and we’ve found that our most successful client relationships are those where we can really take a stake in our clients’ businesses.
Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons that working semi-virtually is great for us – and our clients.
We like to meet over coffee
Teleconferencing and virtual meeting technology has made dialing in from anywhere a breeze. We love the convenience, flexibility and time savings that teleconferencing offers, but nothing beats a face-to-face meeting.
Virtual meetings are great for getting things done, but they have their drawbacks.
First, you don’t get the same kind of relationship-building that you get from an in-person meeting. Second, people give different weight to the presence of those physically in the room with them than they do to those on the phone or dialling in via video. This has been referred to as the “presence disparity,” and can result in great ideas or feedback being overlooked.
Meeting in person with our clients makes things more “real”, and allows us to invest wholeheartedly in their business. When we sit across from each other on a regular basis we can strategize, discuss and challenge each other’s thinking. Being physically alongside our clients helps us stand behind them and support their vision for their business.
We know where you’re coming from
You can Google all you want, but no amount of research beats the on-the-ground knowledge of a local. When you’re immersed in a place, you get a feel for the local economy, as well as anything going on in local politics or the local culture that might affect business. You also know to consider local ordinances, holidays, reporting requirements and more without being asked, allowing for a level of seamlessly independent service you wouldn’t get with a more remote team.
As a local you’re also fluent in the local business and social customs, which helps build relationships and ensure positive outcomes – you just “get” it. Locals also have extensive networks clients can tap into, providing extra value by making finding an elusive supplier, expert, PR opportunity or even new business prospects easier.
We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve bonded over a shared alma mater, hometown or favorite pie spot. When you’re working with locals that experience becomes the norm.
Last but not least, by hiring locally you’re also helping support the local economy – and giving back to the community that helps sustain the market for your business.
We’re working when you are
Time zones have an impact on how we do business. The “distance” created by time zones is comparable to physical distance. In fact, the larger the gap, the greater the reduction in trade – and no doubt that applies to the services industry as well. This gap arises partly because of the difficulties in communicating, and therefore building trust, across large time discrepancies.
There’s no denying that in some instances it can be desirable to work with a team who’s on the clock when you’re off and vice-versa. But in the name of efficiency and oversight you want to be able to check in with your team when you’re working. A quick phone call, drop-in or text can solve a problem on the spot – rather than the hours or even a day or two you’d expect when working via email across hugely disparate time zones.
The more overlap between your working days, the more time you have to work together on interdependent tasks. This dials up your productivity, slashes the feedback cycle and turns your team into partners in your success. After all, you’ll get a lot more out of a team who’s right there working, celebrating and struggling alongside you.
So while you can hire a VA just about anywhere, and you can hire a VA for less than our rate, when you work with us you’re getting all the benefits of an in-house team – we just come with our own office space.
Ready to get started? Schedule a quick discovery call to find out how our virtual team can support your business.
Let our team handle all the back office details while you work on the front end of your business.
Connect With Us
Send us an email or come and visit our beautiful offices, your future office.
735 Plaza Blvd., Suite 210
Coppell, TX 75019