More than ever, we need to delegate. Your law firm needs to survive, yes. YOU need to survive–more-so with your sanity intact. This means lessening the mental load of your having to think of everything, and maximizing your firm’s productivity with a virtual team. 

This means everyone with a role and responsibility, everything going as smoothly as possible, and most importantly, everyone safe at home. 

Now I’ve leveled up the virtual team concept with an awesome challenge, as you’ll see below.  

Work-from-home is the new normal. For women, that usually means stacking family and work together everyday, seemingly barely getting time to breathe. It used to be that home matters remained at home when you went  into your office, but when you work from home and of course still have to tend to home, that line dissolves. 

This is true for all solopreneurs who work from home instead of having an office. It’s a challenge to juggle everything as a homemaker and as a businesswoman! 

Enlisting a virtual team could help you with so much. 

Most, if not all, of a law firm’s processes can be done virtually. Think about it: you can even have meetings with clients through video calls. 

Because of the current crisis, everyone has to adapt to a digital landscape. I want you to think about that differently and more proactively. 

Digital transformation with an international team

Here’s the next level version of going virtual: think of every single process or position you can perform virtually. Hire people from other countries to work in those positions full time. You will no longer be hampered by having to maintain your office location. Your hires don’t have to be local! 

With today’s technology, it’s so easy! I made it happen through Upwork

My current virtual staff:

  • Client interviewers
  • Mail processor/Email handler/Client communicator/Form Filler 
  • Document handler/Index of Documents Creator 
  • Declaration Writers
  • AMY – the master of all things (Declaration writer, overseer of tasks, form filler, email handler – she runs 10 email accounts, manages schedules, among so many other things.) 

The benefits of an international virtual team

You can scale your business at lower costs and with less effort. 

Needing to recruit in-office staff in person can quickly become a headache. Additionally, it’s currently impossible.

I keep saying that you should still be looking to grow your business even during quarantine. Yes, you should. And the more you grow, the more people you need to hire. 

That means you need a way to bring people in without the usual onboarding processes and the need to find space and provide supplies like desks, computers, phones, and so on. The way to do it — with a virtual international team.

It’s easier 

Hiring new staff is a part of growth, and our current technology drastically cuts the hiring time and costs. Take advantage of that technology! I talk about Upwork here because it’s what I use, but there are other freelancer platforms. 

By hiring an international virtual team, you decrease the time and costs associated with: 

  • Interviewing and onboarding – You won’t believe how fast interviews can be when you hire a virtual team. Your job posting can include pre-qualifications that filter your applicants, and specific questions that when answered appropriately will further put a spotlight on the brilliant over the mediocre. 
  • Office space, furniture, office equipment – Office space is a HUGE undertaking, and you completely remove that concern when you hire a virtual international team. 

I have personally done this and it became my office manager’s full-time focus to make it work. It really required so much time and resources to make it all happen: finding and touring spaces, coordinating vendors and movers, and so much more. It was not a small task. 

These issues are completely removed when you have a virtual team. 

You find EXCELLENT talent.

(I am talking top-notch people.)

Whenever I discuss international virtual assistants, the first thing people say is, “Why not hire Americans? We have the best talent here.” 

Americans are not the only talented workers out there. 

My husband is an immigrant from Mexico, and something he always talks about is how even highly educated people in Mexico, at the top of their fields, barely earn a livable wage. 

For example, the highest educated engineers, doctors, and lawyers often earn around $20,000 a year. These people could do so much better and earn so much more with the right opportunities. 

I want you to pause right now and be thrilled that you get to offer them those opportunities. 

You get to employ top talent for your business while your virtual, international employees gain access to the opportunities they wouldn’t have accessed locally. It’s a win-win. And let me tell you: my experience with workers from the Philippines has been so mind-blowing that it makes me worried for the future of the American workforce. WOW! 

You cut costs. 

Beyond the logistics of in-office teams, international virtual workers also have cheaper rates. 

You pay an excellent wage by their country’s standards and at the same time, you are still paying far below or right around minimum wage in your state. 

My state has one of the highest minimum wage rates, and even people with no skills or experience are demanding a $20 an hour compensation– even those without a college degree and some with only a GED! 

Other additions to in-office employees’ wage: 

  • PTO (Paid Time Off) 
  • Sick leave
  • Medical and/or dental insurance
  • 401(k) plan
  • Payroll taxes 

Additional miscellaneous fees and benefits

By contrast, you only pay the hourly rate for every member of your virtual team. You might even pay an agency instead of an individual person. There are agencies on Upwork. With them you get a guarantee that your work will be done, and they perform the quality checks. 

The agency takes care of payroll and any of the other general expenses. If you hire a freelancer directly, it’s still the same. Upwork automatically bills your payment method with your freelancers’ completed work hours. 

If you so choose t, you can also give bonuses. And that’s it. You’re done. Nothing else. 

How to Set this Up

  • Create an Upwork account 
  • Post the job
  • Invite people to interview

Create Training Material

  • Make videos showing what you want them to do. For example, we did a mock declaration interview so our international team could see how it’s done in our firm. We showed the screen of our paralegal doing the interview so that they could hear the client’s answers and then see what she was writing.
  • Have written guidelines detailing what they need to do 
  • Create step-by-step checklists of what to do 
  • Create a training manual 

What You Need to Know

  • It will take several attempts to build the right team
  • The right team will always be evolving
  • If someone isn’t right, let them go quickly
  • Don’t hire someone full-time right away. Test them with projects first. 
  • If you can build a virtual team like I have, it’s ideal to have 1 person managing the virtual workers. (For me, that’s Amy.) 
  • The rate that people post on their Upwork profile is not usually their real rate. The rates are very negotiable. I pay almost everyone between $5 and $7/hour. There is one person I pay $10/hour.

This is one of the most popular topics that we cover in my Million Dollar Mastermind program, and I have helped many women get set up with virtual assistants, who have in turn transformed their businesses. 

If you can believe it, I have even more knowledge to share on this topic! If you’d like to learn more about maximize your productivity with a virtual team, sign up for my Six Figure Solo program!  Six Figure Solo now comes in three tiers – Executive, Solopreneur, and CEO. Sign up here!