We lost a client recently. For the best possible reason – they outgrew a virtual team! Their business became so successful, they needed a physical presence in the business taking over the support we had provided remotely.
While we are happy for our client’s growth, of course we were sad to end the partnership.
Why am I sharing this with you?
For some businesses, working with a virtual team is a stepping stone to the next stage of business. Growth for business happens at a variety of rates, and business support needs to evolve and adapt to meet these needs. Some businesses might continue with remote support for many years, while for others it has a very clear life span.
The transition from virtual team to IRL (in real life) team for our client was seamless. Here are the steps we followed.
Planning is either loved or hated by most business owners, but in these cases the success of the hand over is determined on the effort put into planning. Once the business owner and I had the conversation about what was needed for the business to evolve, we broke down the transition into various stages.
With any repetitive task we complete on behalf of a client, we create a procedure guide. This means others within our EVA team can maintain consistency for our clients. We reviewed the guide, making any changes needed due to out-of-date processes, new team or technology.
Like any project, managing each stage ensures success. The time allocated to this stage of the transition will ensure success.
- Regular meetings with key stakeholders to discuss the overall progress of the project. This is an opportunity to review and update any areas of action.
- Follow up was needed to ensure all parties completed their tasks within the timeframe allocated.
- Problem solving as any hurdle arose, it was managed to find the best possible alternative with the end outcome in mind.
- Celebrating the milestones as they were reached
Handover to the new ‘IRL’ business support needs to be flexible. Depending on how it takes place – virtual or in real life, it will include some follow up and open communication. Be sure to discuss how long this ‘hand-over’ period will be in place.
While our client’s business is now operating just as successfully with the in-person support, they were grateful that our virtual team could support their clients and business during the earlier growth phase.
If you’ve transitioned from a virtual team to a real-life team we’d love to hear about your experience.
By Sam Spence – Founder and Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate