2017-10-26T23:36:26+00:00 October 26th, 2017/Outsourcing and Teams/By /

Outsourcing and Teams: Tools to Help You Manage a Remote Team

4.5/5 (3)

I’ve been back and forth between having an office vs running a remote team for years.

I can say that there is no best – you gotta figure out what works for you.

I moved to New York City earlier this year and running remote has saved me a ton of overhead.

You know how much an office in NYC costs? Or if every single employee I had lived in NYC?

Plus I’m not even sure how long I wanna stay in this. I like the freedom / flexibility of running a remote team.

But running a virtual team isn’t for everyone. You have to have the right people who can work remote.

And on top of that, you need to make sure you have the right infrastructure.

Fortunately, in 2017 there are so many software packages and tools out there to help you run your team remotely.

Here’s why I use these software packages:

  1. Protect my downside – if an employee leaves I can easily revoke their access to everything with the software I use. Everything is documented, signed, and there’s a paper trail on what everybody does, and I only give access to people who’ve earned my trust.
  2. Free up my time – software can allow employees to log in and work, but I can see what they do, and they can only access certain areas that I choose.
  3. Reduce manpower required – some tasks that were once repetitive can now be done by software. I like to keep my businesses extremely lean.
  4. Organize workflow and storage – I like everything to be in the proper place. Software helps me to achieve this state.

This is definitely not a sexy topic, but it’s necessary if you wanna get your time back and minimize the risks of having a team.

Note: This is mainly operational software… This is not my arsenal of affiliate marketing tools.

Want my list of other personal hacks?

These productivity hacks are what enable me to run two 7-figure companies, practice BJJ 4-5 times per week, and still take weekends off.

Read It Here

The Software I Use

This list is in alphabetical order, just because it’s kinda hard to say which ones go into which categories.

Also, you don’t NEED any of these tools to make your first hire.

The very first step is to hire a dude from Upwork for $5 /hour to take over the boring, tedious tasks.

Then after you’ve made your first hire, you will see which tools or pieces of software you will need from this list.

Some of ‘em are handy even if it’s just you by yourself.

Study up the list, test out what you think would help you right now, and let me know if you have other tools / software to recommend.

DropBox

team feature

Price: $99 per year

What does it do?

I use DropBox as a warehouse for storing big files, and things that don’t make sense to go in Google Drive. For example, when I’m working with contractors, I want to share videos, images, Word documents etc.

Protip: Dropbox is also a great backup tool. You can set Dropbox to be a folder on your computer and operate everything out of there. This means that as soon as you make a change within that folder, it’s automatically saved in the cloud.

You can also set certain folders in your Dropbox to not be on your computer, but on the cloud. This is great if you’re on a Mac that doesn’t have a lot of space. You can house day-to-day content on your local drive, and bigger files on the cloud to free up space.

Another pro-tip: Enable 2FA on Dropbox and spend some time getting to know their settings.

Fantastical

fantastical

Price: $49 per year

What does it do?

Fantastical is my go-to calendar when it comes to productivity. If you guys are looking for the next level in the productivity game, you HAVE to check this out. I can’t do it justice talking about all of the features so check out the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmiIZU2slwU

I also love how it automatically adjusts to time zones, integrates with my other software, and accepts “natural language”. This means I can type “meet with John at 6pm tonight” and it automatically schedules it.

Shout out to Than from Asian Efficiency for introducing me to Fantastical!

I still use Google Calendar for some things, but this is my main calendar.

My EA has full access to my calendar and she helps me to plan my week on Fantastical.

Note: I don’t allow my team to view my personal calendar except for my EA. I think it’s creepy that all these people could know exactly where I am and what I’m doing at any time of the day.

We run a Google Calendar for our company meetings and important events that everyone has access to.

Google Apps

Price: $5 per month, per user

What does it do?

I use Google Apps for email hosting. If you’re not a technical guy & you try to set up yourname@yourdomain.com then you know it can be a pain in the ass.

Especially when you want to set up email forwarding, or if you have new people coming and going so you need to give / revoke access on a regular basis.

If you have people on your team, give them an @yourdomain email address.

Set up a one-page website that shows you’re a performance marketing company and explains your specialities.

It looks professional and gives a better vibe than your VA sending emails from  johnisgoku@yahoo.com

Google Apps allows you to use their systems to set up personalized emails, and you can still use Gmail instead of the default email client your host gives you (which always sucks).

Google Drive

drive

Price: Free

What does it do?

Drive is the powerhouse behind my company (please never get hacked, Google). I have a system of folders set up for different departments including finance, marketing, contractors & employees, events, photos etc.

Inside each of these folders are subfolders to organize everything.

I use Google Sheets & Docs every single day, so having these well organized makes files easy to find. I also use Drive for storing some things such as photos as it’s more of a visual interface than Dropbox.

Google Drive is also great because you can allow key members of your team access to the entire folder. With contractors, you can allow them access only to relevant folders.

Guiding Metrics

Price: $399 per month

guiding metrics

What does it do?

This is a piece of software I’ve started using last year. Think of it like Voluum, but for your whole company. Guiding Metrics pulls data from a whole range of places and summarizes it into one dashboard.

How do my team use this?

My contractors have access to a Google Sheet that has all of the key metrics for my company.

They can update all of their own KPIs and data in the sheet, then I can see it all in one place.

Then when we have meetings, I open up GuidingMetrics and they can run me through the data, along with any other reports / software they want to show me.

For my company, I can see the # of email subscribers, opt-in rates, income details, # social media followers and a ton of other useful data to help make decisions.

This is a great tool, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to get it customized, but their team will help with it for a fee.

Gusto

gusto

Pricing: $39 base fee, $6 per extra person

What does it do?

Everything I hate.

I really don’t like doing anything payroll or accounting related. I have dozens of contractors, and they are all paid different amounts, in different countries, for different services. This software takes care of all of this.

Gusto works in with retirement planning (401k), calculating time off & sick leave, health insurance etc.

When you’ve got a lot of employees and contractors, you can’t do all of this yourself.

I normally start contractors out with just paying ‘em through a platform like Upwork, but eventually, you wanna move off there.

When you bring someone on as a contractor and give them an allowance for paid time off, health insurance etc. they will ALWAYS prioritize your projects.

Even if you use accounts & bookkeepers, they will be using software like this anyway (my accountant actually recommended we start using Gusto, thanks bro!).

HelloSign

hello sign contracts

Price: Variable

What does it do?

This software is what I use for signing contracts & getting them signed. It formalizes the process instead of having to rely on people using Adobe Acrobat or signing in the wrong place.

I have an email address that is specifically for getting contracts signed, so I always know when someone returns a signed a contract. When you level up in the business game you will learn that contracts can be worth a lot of money. They can also cost you a lot of money if they aren’t done properly.

LastPass

lastpass

Price: $48 per year

What does it do?

If you don’t use LastPass, you should.

Whenever one of my employees wants access to an account, I can share my login with them via LastPass. This means they don’t see the password, but they can still log in.

Then as soon as someone leaves my company, I can revoke all of their access.

Another reason I use LastPass is for their password generator.

I know some of you guys have different strategies for passwords like using a throwaway one for random signups, then longer ones for the bank, email etc.

If you read up about dictionary hacking or brute force hacking, you can see how vulnerable you are when you use passwords that you make up.

Anyone wanting to get into your shit online can easily beat passwords that you make up if it’s a combo of words.

ScheduleOnce

scheduleonce

Price: Variable

What does it do?

ScheduleOnce is a great piece of software if you are scheduling a lot of meetings. I use it when I set up interviews / calls with people who are outside of my team.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You tell ScheduleOnce what times you are available for appointments
  2. You send people to your unique link that you get from ScheduleOnce
  3. People can select a time slot during the period you’ve said you are available in
  4. In the backend, you can see who you are talking to at what times

Using a piece of software like this means that you don’t double book, and you don’t confuse who you are meeting with. It also integrates with other software such as GoToMeeting so they take care of everything.

This software can be useful when you’re doing interviews or setting up calls with new contacts. Instead of emailing back and forward a bunch of random times you just give ‘em access to all of the times that you’re available.

Slack

slack

How do you communicate with your super squad? Skype? Email?

Slack is the gold standard for team communication. Why?

  • Create multiple (private) channels for different parts of your company (customer service, brainstorming, learning channel, general announcements etc.)
  • Restrict chats to just your team (Skype has all your homies sending you dumbass memes all day – distracting as hell)
  • The settings – you can disable notifications for certain time frames (turn it off during pomodoros), integrate with APIs and get alerted from other software.

Massive corporations like Oracle and Airbnb use Slack – if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you and your small crew.

Skype is terrible for communication compared to Slack.

Wrikewrike

Price: $10 per user, per month

What does it do?

I use Wrike as a project management tool for my team. I know there are a lot of options out there like Asana, but I like Wrike better.

Wrike can get super granular and we’ve customized our version a ton.

There are dozens of upgrades you can get for it, and it’s designed with massive scale in mind.

You can assign people tasks, discuss updates, categorize work, see timelines of projects and more.

My team are located all over the world, but Wrike acts as a central hub where everything gets communicated, recorded, and tracked no matter what time zone people are in.

If you’ve never done Project Management before then I suggest you start with Trello.

Keep it simple!

Xeroxero

Price: Starts at $9 per month

What does it do?

This is the software I use for accounting. I can see cash flows in real time, invoice people right from the software, and do reconciliations easily. (Not that I ever touch it – my bookkeeper does all of this stuff)

Using this software means I can get a clear overview of the accounts, even if it’s just the bookkeeper giving me a run down on it. It also means my accountant doesn’t hate me when it comes to tax time because everything is well organized.

After you get profitable campaigns and start to transition into affiliate marketing full time, I recommend using a software package like this for controlling your accounts.

Excel is the caveman’s version of accounting when you see what you can do with Xero.

Zoom

Price: $14.99 per month

What does it do?

Zoom is how I communicate with my team over video instead of Skype. It’s similar to Skype, but it has one feature I love. You get assigned a meeting ID that people can join, so people can jump on the call whenever. It’s not like Skype where you have to answer a call.

I also find it better than Google Hangouts for having meetings with my team because it’s the same link every time.

Plus Google Hangouts and Skype seem to have issues all the time with links not working, no audio, whatever.

I haven’t had any problems with Zoom and the ability for people to come and go from meetings seamlessly means all meetings start on time, even if people aren’t there.

Zapier

sample zap

Zapier integrates different software packages. How does this help?

This post explains some of the most common “zaps” used by marketers, but here are a couple of examples.

  • Every time you get a sale in Shopify, you get a text message
  • Get Slack notifications every time you’re mentioned somewhere on the web
  • As soon as you “star” a message in Slack, it gets turned into a kanban task in Trello

The potential for Zapier to make your life better is huge – they have 750+ apps that you can integrate with each other.

Let Software Manage Remote Team for You

When I first started in affiliate marketing I didn’t want to blow my money.

I didn’t want to spend $30 per month on a piece of software because I tried to do it myself.

Excel accounting, project management via email.

Damn, that’s some slow hustle…

When you start making money online, invest back into your business.

Do you have any other tools/software I should add to my arsenal?

 

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