Leveraging Virtual Teams for Business Growth with Alex Miranda from Virtrify

by | May 17, 2024


n the Digital Remodeler Podcast, host Carl interviews Alex Miranda from Verfy to discuss using virtual teams to scale home remodeling businesses. Alex defines virtual teams as remote employees, often from other countries like Venezuela, who perform administrative tasks at a lower cost compared to in-office staff. This approach can reduce overhead costs, stabilize pricing, and free up entrepreneurs to focus on high-level tasks and personal time.

Alex emphasizes the importance of having standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure quality work from virtual teams. SOPs provide a clear, step-by-step guide for tasks, which helps in managing both virtual and in-office employees. He highlights that without these procedures, even local employees can fail to perform efficiently.

Verfy assists clients by creating job descriptions, training programs, and managing payroll for virtual team members. This support includes handling payments and ensuring compliance with tax regulations, simplifying the process for business owners. Verfy also provides customer success managers who act as HR intermediaries to resolve any issues.

Alex suggests starting with an executive assistant to manage daily tasks, freeing entrepreneurs to grow their business. As businesses expand, hiring specialized roles like client experience coordinators can enhance customer service and efficiency. This strategy enables businesses to provide high-level service without increasing costs significantly.


(00:01) welcome to the digital remodeler podcast we’re so glad that you’ve joined us today joining me today is Alex Miranda from verfy and we’re going to be discussing how you can use Virtual teams to scale up your home remodeling business so Alex welcome thank you so much for having me Carl awesome well let’s jump right into it we’re going to be talking about virtual teams uh you’re the master in this so let’s talk about some of those problems that you commonly find with business owners that uh challenges that virtual
(00:36) teams can be a real solution for yeah I think it’s let’s start by defining virtual teams uh because you’ve got uh I like to call it a hybrid model in business where you’ve got your physical employees right that work in the home office and um and then you have a you can build a virtual team to support that those growth initiatives to support those people so that the people in your office are really doing highlevel tasks um really doing a lot more of the uh the high level thinking of the business and that the admin work
(01:14) is actually being done by um a virtual team virtual in my sense is not someone in another in the in the same state but just sort of in another city uh in my terminology of it um they’re in another country and and and in my case they’re in um Venezuela uh so they’re in our side of the hemisphere they are on our time zone they’re culturally aligned with us and uh they’re able to be nine to five employees like any other employee in the office except they’re at their house and they only cost 11 bucks
(01:56) an hour whereas an employee in the office cost cost 20 30 bucks an hour and well that leads to the kind of the the big reason why we build virtual teams right Carl is they cost half as much as employees in the US and yet still put out the same output if not more um and what that does for an entrepreneur well it means more profit and we we get to take home more of that uh for some businesses it means you can lower your cost or you don’t have to keep raising your prices because as employees ask for more money you’re going like you have to
(02:38) charge more just what it is right so we could start to stabilize price increases possibly even you know bid on projects or bid on Services uh at at a lower price because your admin costs are much less um and then I think the one of the biggest benefits for entrepreneurs building uh virtual teams is that the entrepreneur himself or herself is is freed up from admin work this is the this is the work that it it stays in our head as we’re going home it it we bring it home with us some of us stay up till 9 10 o’clock at night
(03:17) because we got to do the admin work right we were physic we were doing the physical work at at work 9 to5 and we’re punting the admin work for the nighttime just robbing our time with our families robbing our personal lives our lives from the gym and so really this is uh one client put it very well this is a buyback time initiative when we’re building virtual teams where because they’re 11 bucks an hour right you start to think oh my gosh they can do this thing for me they can do that and now you’re freed up um so that you can think
(03:55) on a more high level basis for your for your company you can go to networking events finally right A lot of times we don’t go to networking events we don’t get involved in the Chamber of Commerce why because we don’t got the time because we got to do our business and then we have to administrate our businesses uh so I think those are the the the main Keys here Carl the the Strategic the personal and the financial benefits um are really leave us with one question is when do we start doing this yeah absolutely so you know a couple
(04:27) things that that come to mind you know first and foremost most I think one of the hesitations a lot of entrepreneurs have is how can I ensure quality of the work this this person’s you know different country uh how am I going to make sure that the deliverables that they give me are are what I need yeah and look that’s a great way uh place to start because if you don’t have standard operating procedures set up in the business um some the ver we’re not ready for the virtual team what do I mean by
(05:03) standard operating procedures I mean this that you’ve structured your business where when let’s just say um a client inquiry comes into our inbox let’s just use the most common thing that’s happening right boom someone wants to buy one of our services okay if you don’t have a step by step here’s one two three it goes to this person four you get them this five it goes this six this if you don’t have it laid out step by step on a Google doc then what happens is you can’t ensure the quality
(05:43) of any employee H even if they’re in the office Carl let’s say we hire someone in the office to come in physically if you don’t have the step by steps what happens is that even that person physically sitting at the desk could mess up could be on social media could be doing other things because we haven’t created um the standard operating procedures for when this particular situation happens you do these 20 things when businesses start to build their businesses around these standard operating procedures what happens is
(06:19) that we don’t need to be there micromanaging and overseeing them 247 we actually don’t have to be uh babysitting them to make sure they’re doing their work why because the process the steps in the process will tell us whether they did their work or not it’s like you did not complete this particular kpi therefore it must be that you weren’t actually doing the work and so it’s it stops becoming about uh overseeing and micromanaging and it starts becoming a numbers game did you complete this file did you see this
(06:59) thing all the way through yes or no no well let’s talk about that where in the process do we need to adjust things what education do I need to give you what um uh resources do I need to open up to you uh so that you complete those and that’s where we’re going to discover did they do their job or not absolutely I I think you hit on such a critical element um whether whether you are using virtual teams or not so many businesses are are are struggling because there is no standardized process um it’s it’s you
(07:36) know I I it’s all in the head of the entrepreneur that’s it or it’s in the head of another person in the office let’s just say her name is tamy and Tammy is like the person that wears six hats in the office and knows everything she knows the accounting software she knows the CRM she also knows all the vendors but guess what if Tammy got hit by a bus tomorrow we’d be stuck absolutely God bless tamy of all of the offices that’s right because they are superstars but we need to not but it’s
(08:06) dangerous to to rely on Tammy the whole entire time we need to we need to duplicate Tammy that we should I should have a service called duplicate Tammy exactly I I think that’s a great one so so you know here’s another concern that that I think we hear quite a bit is uh you know what are the are there tax implications how do we how do we pay uh somebody that’s working for us virtually in another country you know what is there a is there a simplified solution to making all that happen yeah Al the
(08:39) the hardest part of it is um yeah paying these these employees because some of them are in countries where gosh it’s like PayPal can’t even pay them zel can’t send it you got to get creative with how you’re sending the money do you send it as a service do you send it as family and friends there just a lot of complications in in that payment process and if you’re building your own virtual team it does get complicated uh because you you know now you’ve given yourselves payroll but payroll that can’t happen
(09:10) through ADP this is payroll that you’re going to have to get in and do yourself manually um what my company does uh verfy is we are um Business Development partners with our clients so we’re going in to each client and saying these are all the tasks that someone uh in another country can do right um where where are the holes in your company where do what do you want to fill them with and we’re going to help you create the job description the Sops for that person we’re going to be the your virtual HR
(09:47) department we’re going to make sure they’re using their 20 hours or their 40 hours um but we’re also the one that pays them and here’s the critical part is that um this is actually the beautiful part you’re you’re paying for an employee on your credit card when’s the last time you paid your employee on your credit card and you got points for it right no our our employees are on W2 payroll whatever this goes on your credit card right so let’s say your employee is a th000 bucks a month cool you’re going to
(10:18) see a th000 bucks a month but that line item is paid to us virtualy here in the US you’re we’re a consulting company so it’s comes as a Consulting cost all right on line item it doesn’t go on HR so what happens is you’re you’re not paying employee payroll or employee taxes or filing for an employee because we’re the company we’re the ones doing that right on our end so we got to pay them we gotta convert the money we got to submit to the IRS that this employee is an international employee because
(10:52) they really work for us but they’re your employee so it’s a really beautiful arrangement that we’ve created excellent yeah and then as far as you know the uh that working relationship so they uh they work for the business owner uh but you are going to be the the Formal Connection point if you will so so when you have let’s say an issue where an employer has a a problem with their their virtual employee how what are the steps they should take to resolve that every um uh every client gets a customer
(11:31) success manager this person is your HR um your HR manager so if you had an employ if you had a really big company you would likely have an HR Manager in house and if you had a problem with an employee you could either take it up directly with that employee or what bigger bigger bigger companies do is that they just um they talk to the HR person the HR person then talks to the employee and so in our situation if your the relationship with that employee is directly yours right they’re your customer success manager they’re your
(12:11) executive assistant whatever that’s you’re communicating with them you’ll have a WhatsApp group with them they have an email address that’s your email address like it’s just a normal employee but if you want you had a problem with them you don’t have to take it up with them you could tell us your customer success uh manager and they can now deal with this issue but it’s it’s it’s more likely that um an issue won’t come up H because we’re we’re creating Sops so
(12:40) that issues don’t come up um it’s more likely Carl what what what clients do is that they’re asking for another employee they’re asking us to recruit another person because it works so well with this position why not with the next position so your your customer success manager is is your HR manager so they’ll actually initiate recruitment but they can also of course talk to an employee that might not be working as hard as maybe the entrepreneur wants maybe there’s some issues that uh you know
(13:16) they they came to work late or showed up to a meeting late or they’re you know they want to fix something in that relationship they can use us as that uh buffer okay excellent and then I know another question people are going to have is is what about communication you know language issues and that’s a lot of people have had you know experiences on other platforms with uh uh you know Freelancers or or virtual people that uh they got in there and couldn’t hardly communicate so so how do you ensure that
(13:51) communication’s going to be smooth how do you ensure that uh that that flow is going to work well yeah it’s probably one of the top questions is language right do they speak English so in Venezuela you’re dealing with a country where English was taught in school um so they do have a a Latin accent now in the United States when we’re not um a Latin accent is not seen negatively um and in fact I think for some clients having someone that can speak Spanish is actually uh really good for their business because fastest growing segment
(14:31) of consumers in the United States are Hispanics so your your business if you hire a virtual team member from us um you’re getting a Spanish-speaking uh employee um but we’re sending you videos beforehand and you’re watching videos of these people and you’re listening to their English and you’re thinking to yourself a can I deal with this accent all right B can my clients deal with this accent if it’s a client facing position so you’re listening to it and you’re you’re kind of uh evaluating it
(15:04) and then you’re saying all right that’s cool because in invent as well we’re an employment agency so when they come to us they’re filling out a profile they’re doing an English exam they’re doing a personality test so we know the proficiency of English of each person and if the client says man they need to be a rock star at English well then of course we’re just recruiting at a higher proficiency for English um and and now that’s not always the case Carl for all of of uh virtual assistants or virtual
(15:35) team members because this whole industry started out in the Philippines and in India and Pakistan so what happens is a lot of a lot of uh entrepreneurs still have it in their mind that um when you’re building virtual teams or or getting virtual assistant you’re having people with an Eastern accent and um sometimes that accent is not uh appreciated here for whatever reason or another and so um that’s something that we don’t experience on on this hemisphere because a a a Spanish accent isn’t seen the same way excellent
(16:14) excellent so let’s kind of talk about your screening process for clients to make sure you have a a good fit how do you make sure that that a a client of verfy is really a good fit for your services yeah that’s a great question I think it starts with a discovery call really it starts by understanding what’s their need um and that then leads to the conversation of if we can even fulfill on that need um I’ve had clients call they they call and they say hey I need a cold caller right someone that’s going to cold call
(16:51) all day long um and I have to tell them sometimes listen I’ve I’ve tried the cold call thing and they get really burnt out very fast um so you might so I recommend you uh contract a cold call center right because that’s what they specialize in that’s what they do um so but the discovery call Will usually like 99 out of 100 times it’ll be something that we can help them fulfill on is something that we can find for them which leads then to the next uh session that we have with with them it’s called
(17:31) a verification analysis consultation this is where after discovering that we can fulfill on a position we’re having a zoom call and we’re asking them everything that this person’s going to do what are their tasks how does the process work from beginning to end and we’re really analyzing that process we’re creating a job description from that process we’re even creating a a a training program from that process um so that the the the person that we’re hiring is coming into a set position
(18:07) because as you talked about earlier Carl not every company has these Sops in place and we discovered on RM that if we didn’t have this critical Discovery call and this critical session in between if I introduce you to Carlos and Carlos starts working for you no one’s going to win in that relationship because Carlos is going to be frustrated because he’s waiting around for work you’re going to be frustrated with Carlos because Carlos ain’t working and you’re paying for them and we’re going
(18:38) to be frustrated because the whole thing’s going to break apart so we have to create we on our end virtu fi had to create this system of evaluating of pulling out the what are is this person doing so that we can then create the proper onboarding um so that this relationship ship is retained and it’s fruitful and it works excellent and then you know last couple of of things here uh you know we talk about building you know virtual teams you and I both have had the experience of of we’ve successfully built businesses using
(19:16) virtual teams I think for a lot of business owners though this kind of A New Concept hiring not particularly inhouse not somebody that’s going to come to your place of business every day uh but hiring somebody that that’s going to work remotely from a different country um and so when we talk about that is as you’ve kind of observed companies use this virtual team process to build with what do you think are some of the the the I’m going to call them foundational places that somebody could use a virtual team member uh to start
(19:51) scaling up their business to a higher level great question and I’ll usually um start with a basic position if if if it’s a solo preneur or maybe someone who has maybe one employee or two they are in critical need of an executive assistant this is a right-hand person that knows every part of the business that they could communicate with clients but at the same time they could uh collect payments they could pay bills um they can answer leads uh they can get into the CRM this right-hand person is so critical it’s
(20:35) the first higher that every single entrepreneur needs okay um so the smaller the business is the more critical that you have your first hbe an executive assistant why because as the company scales and grows you are going to need more specialized people that maybe that that executive assistant does five jobs right and now you’re you’re you’re growing so much that you need one person actually now to handle leads that are coming into the business uh sort of this uh appointment Setters salesperson um and so what happens is the executive
(21:17) assistant now finds his or her replacement and trains that person on what they need to do the executive assistant now removes the gives it to this person and the executive assistant becomes more of a manager now for you and helps you build your virtual team below you let’s say though Carl they already have an executive assistant or there’s always there’s already Tammy in the office who does all of this stuff well now it’s about um I I think the number one position the next position that needs to
(21:54) be hired is someone who’s going to to manage the incoming leads that are coming in right so companies like yours Carl you’re doing marketing you’re doing a great job at filling in uh that giving them leads bringing them leads into their inbu right but how many times Carl do marketing companies like ours get frustrated that we’re bringing in all of these leads but they’re not following up within x amount of time and then they do let’s say they do follow up but then the follow through isn’t happening right and
(22:32) and uh quotes are not getting followed up on in in in the right Manner and then let’s just say they are followed up on um but now we’ve got to complete this service and at the end ask for a review right ask for a testimonial so it’s so the whole process isn’t being done fully 100% And so what happen what what the opportunity that a lot of entrepreneurs have right now is you can get an $111 an hour employee to be this client experience coordinator right they’re not the project manager they’re not the
(23:10) account manager they’re not the the one um uh you know bringing the project to life and and fulfilling all the work instead this person is making sure that this customer has a great experience from beginning to end so they are getting to the lead in a timely fashion they’re communicating with that lead all the way through to the process of getting the service done and then once the service is done they’re closing that lead out and saying hey you know thank you so much do you have some referrals that you can give us maybe would you
(23:45) leave a review for us hey can I call you and get a testimonial for you from you so that we can get a proper case study from you that client experience coordinator is what every entrepreneur well every entrepreneur that does business right um wants that level of service for every client we just can’t afford to do it because everyone in the company is wearing too many hats to be that deep of a level of customer service but now we can because these people are only 11 bucks an hour so there’s no no reason why we shouldn’t be providing
(24:23) this high level of customer service which leads to more referrals absolutely you know I had a a mentor many years ago that had me take a look at everything I was doing and he asked me you know what is what is your hourly rate and he says now what out of all of those things could you hire somebody for a much lower hourly rate to accomplish and then he encouraged me clear out all of those things and so I think that is one of the keys to growth to scaling up is identifying those places where a BAS Bas on your time your talent your skills
(25:01) somebody else should be doing that particular work so so great stuff so uh let’s talk through this if somebody wants to to learn more about verfy where can they go and what’s the best way to get in contact with you or to learn more yes they can go to vt.com um and on the top right it says get started and you know just fill out that form and then one of well one of our customer experience coordinator is going to start to communicate with you um uh uh about your needs and then we’ll have that Discovery call which
(25:36) will lead to a you know verfication analysis consultation um so yeah vf.com um is is where you would go to get get started with us fantastic so Alex any any final thoughts that you want to share with our audience today it’s transformational the impact that this will have on your current business and all of your future businesses when I uncovered this skill set and I started to apply it to my business it not and not just business businesses it transformed me into a true entrepreneur a true entrepreneur is someone who can solve problems and build
(26:25) a machine to solve that problem so he or she can move on to solve another problem this is what we get to become when we build out teams in general right employees but when we do it with virtual teams we can do it a lot faster because it’s less expensive to build that team up fantastic Alex it’s been great having you today thanks for joining us thanks for sharing about your company your services and really this whole concept of of using virtual teams and uh if you’re listening today and you’re ready
(27:03) to scale you need to give some serious thought to making this a part of your your scaling process so thanks again thank you for having me Carl you bet

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