What can a Virtual Bookkeeper do for you?

What can a Virtual Bookkeeper do for you?

Do you spend endless hours tallying up receipts and managing spreadsheets? Are errors in your current bookkeeping processes costing you extra money? Have you considered hiring a virtual bookkeeper to manage the numbers for you? If so, you’ve come to the right place. 

WHY VIRTUAL?

When it comes to hiring a virtual bookkeeper, we know there is a lot to consider. Your company’s finances are nothing to be taken lightly, and you want to place your trust with only the best. Your finances, however, are not the only thing that you juggle to keep your business running smoothly. 

You may even feel that you don’t have time to figure out how to manage a relationship with a virtual team. The truth is, you are probably already more virtual than you realize! Do you facetime with family or friends? Do you use email, slack, or zoom to communicate with clients or teammates? Rocket Station Virtual Teams use the same tools you are already using to communicate, so integration with your business will be seamless.

WHICH TASKS TO DELEGATE TO A VIRTUAL BOOKKEEPER

Rocket Station virtual teams will take the pressure off you to handle all the routine daily tasks that are essential to your organization. While many of your tasks are essential, it doesn’t mean you have to be the one doing them. 

Only you can:

  • Make long term decisions for your organization
  • Forecast your financial plan based on the data
  • Make strategic decisions for communicating your company’s vision
  • Hire an assistant to help with collecting bookkeeping and billing information
  • Familiarize yourself with the tools you desire to use for your finances
  • Code expenses and provide receipts with transaction details
  • Give your bookkeeper access to bank accounts, financial software, point of sale software, etc.

Your virtual bookkeeper can:

  • Provide data entry
  • Create expense reports
  • Process and pay vendor invoices and monthly bills
  • Reconcile bank statements
  • Maintain the chart of accounts
  • Debit & Credit Card Reconciliation

LONG TERM SAVINGS

Fewer things will be as costly as poor money management for your small business. Hiring a virtual bookkeeper will allow you to save more while getting the maximum value for your business. Virtual bookkeeping services are also more cost effective than having a salaried bookkeeper

FLEXIBILITY

Virtual bookkeeping services have experienced, trained bookkeepers who will manage your accounts on your schedule, without the added cost of office space, benefits, and equipment. 

ACCURATE REPORTING

When you’re juggling everything on your own, your focus on bookkeeping is likely not the priority. Virtual bookkeeping services can provide financial reporting, so once tax season arrives, your accountant is ready to go. 

ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS

Includes your ongoing salaries, benefits, office supplies. The easiest way to reduce administrative expenses is to cut staff, or to consider utilizing an outsourcing provider. When you hire virtual, you pay an hourly rate and do not need to factor in the expenses of insurance and other benefits. By utilizing virtual teams, you gain access to global talent at a lower cost than salaried or part time local employees.

SAVE TIME

Virtual bookkeepers can check off the tasks that tend to end up at the bottom of your to-do lists, which will save you time, stress, and a huge headache at the end of the year

PEACE OF MIND

Need we say more? If none of the other benefits for hiring a virtual bookkeeper resonate with you, surely you can at least appreciate a service that can give you a little peace of mind while you juggle literally everything else in your business. 

Let’s face it – hiring is complicated. Rocket Station takes the guess work out of it. Our team of highly vetted virtual bookkeepers are already familiar with the bookkeeping tools that you are using, and are ready to seamlessly integrate with you and your teams. Contact us to learn more about how our virtual teams can help you!

How to Reduce Overhead for Small Businesses

How to Reduce Overhead for Small Businesses

Business overhead costs are classified as the expenses that are required in the day to day of running a business. Overhead expenses can include fixed costs – like office space leases, insurance, and employee salaries, or varying expenses – like repairs and advertising budgets. In order to increase profitability, it is crucial to reduce overhead for small businesses.

During slower seasons, cutting overhead is typically one of the easiest ways to reduce losses to get you back on the path towards profitability. 

Typical overhead costs include:

RENT

Lease costs can be reduced by moving your business to a new location, or negotiating new deals with your landlord. You can even hire a virtual assistant to do the negotiating and location scouting for you, so that you don’t have to give up valuable business hours.

UTILITIES

Including gas, water, sewer, phone, and internet services. There are several ways to reduce your utilities costs. Internet and Cell Phone usage should be reviewed annually to ensure you are only paying for what you need – there may be potential savings available by switching to lower-cost plans.

INSURANCE

Every business needs insurance coverage, which may include property insurance, general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and business interruption insurance. The cost of your insurance plans will vary from provider to provider, – you can utilize a virtual assistant again to research the best options for your business.

ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS

Includes your ongoing salaries, benefits, office supplies. The easiest way to reduce administrative expenses is to cut staff, or to consider utilizing an outsourcing provider. When you hire virtual, you pay an hourly rate and do not need to factor in the expenses of insurance and other benefits. By utilizing virtual teams, you gain access to global talent at a lower cost than salaried or part time local employees.

Maintenance & Repair

If your business uses special equipment or vehicles, the cost of maintenance and repairs can be overwhelming. Shifting to hybrid or fuel-efficient models can help cut costs here.

Sales & Marketing

Expenses related to marketing your services or product – THIS includes wages, benefits, incentive bonuses, advertising, promotional materials, cost of trade shows, etc. Reduce overhead in your sales and marketing departments by hiring virtually to integrate with your existing teams, or to act as a standalone department.

Accounting & Bookkeeping  

You can reduce your accounting and bookkeeping overhead by doing some or all of the business accounting chores yourself, or by hiring a virtual bookkeeper.

As you can see, there are several ways to reduce overhead for small businesses during slower seasons – you probably also noticed that you can avoid the grunt work of doing it yourself by hiring virtual teams. If you are ready to hire virtually, Schedule a Discovery Call to learn what Rocket Station can do for you.

Benefits of Business Process Mapping

Benefits of Business Process Mapping

Strong business processes should be the foundation of any business. The understanding of processes, how they function, and the impact they have will help you better manage your business. This is where Business Process Mapping comes in. 

Mapping processes allows for the visualization of your business functions, and helps you identify gaps in roles – in turn, making your business run more efficiently. With business process mapping is done correctly, there are countless benefits – such as:

Visualization of Roles

Most organizations have likely encountered a situation where a process has not been defined, causing confusion all around. Who is in charge of what? When is the report due? Was nobody double checking this work? How did the airbags go off too early? 

A business process map helps visualize the responsibilities for each team member – it will be very clear which team member is responsible for each step of the process.

Problem Solving

Spotting the problem is easy – the airbags went off too early. Finding the source of your problem can be a bit trickier. A business process map visualizes the entire process that lead to the bottleneck, making it easier to know what went wrong.

Compliance & Risk Management

In addition to identifying causes of inefficiencies, business process mapping is a great tool for spotting potential risks caused by existing processes. Some of these risks can be a cause for legal, heath, and safety issues within your organization.

If you miss a crucial step to comply with governmental regulations, it can be a dangerous situation for your teams and environment. By creating clear process maps, the resources and actionable steps can help ease the process of complying with regulatory standards.

Establishment of Best Practices 

Once business process mapping has been efficiently optimized and rolled out within an organization, the map can be used as a resource for best practices, as well as a guideline in mapping other business processes. This will provide cohesion within the organization, allows for benchmarking, and will allow for easier identification of potential underperformance in your process steps.

Siloed mentalities can find their way into any business over time, causing team members of all levels to lose sight of end goals. Even when you focus on just one organizational process, business process mapping can help everyone re-focus on the big picture, and know the steps required to achieve the company goals. 

11 Ways to Increase Profitability in 2021

11 Ways to Increase Profitability in 2021

Whether you started your business as a challenge to create something new, to improve a something you had a negative experience with, or another reason – most businesses share a common goal: profitability.  

Knowing how to improve the profitability of your business is essential for the sustainability of businesses. Many businesses with large customer bases have still failed due to financial struggles. This is typically due to lack of a strategic plan towards achieving profitability.

You don’t want to be one of those businesses that cannot earn a profit due to lack of planning.  Below is a list of tactics you can implement into your business to head towards profitability. 

  1. Redesign your process workflows for greater efficiency. Map out the steps you take for each process in your business operations and identify steps that can be cut or reworked. 
  2. Set specific, achievable goals for team members. Every team member can be utilized to increase profitability. Refocus your goals for the year and guide your team how to contribute towards those goals.
  3. Decrease overhead by outsourcing some of your business processes. By hiring virtual teams through an external service provider, you can eliminate costs of office space, salaries and benefit costs – only paying for the hours you need.
  4. Hyper-focus your efforts. Spend the majority of your time, talents, and attentions on promoting your most profitable products and services. 
  5. Implement and Monitor a budget. By utilizing accounting and bookkeeping teams – whether in house or virtual – you can have a staff dedicated to strictly following your designated budget to keep you in line on your monthly, quarterly, and annual goals.
  6. Use a cash-back business credit card. This is a simple way to get 1-2% reduction on your profit margin. 
  7. Strategically plan ways to upgrade your top 15% of clients to a “gold” status with higher value offerings. They already trust your brand, they want your services, and will pay for those higher-tiered services.
  8. Look for opportunities to add-on services into bundles so you can increase the average ticket price of every sale. 
  9. Attack your accounts receivable, starting with your most current. Utilize the help of a virtual assistant to contact customers and determine when they will be able to pay their invoices. By contacting your most recent due payments first, you keep the reminders at the top of their mind.
  10. Map out systems to help your customer consume your product or service more rapidly, increasing purchase frequency. Look for opportunities to educate them on the ideal use of your services or products. 
  11. Get social, get qualified. Accreditations, licenses, and certifications can set you apart from your competition. Take your reputation online through social media, the website, and blog, as an opportunity to solidify your brand as an industry leader.

5 Things to Keep In Mind When Hiring Your First Virtual Assistants

5 Things to Keep In Mind When Hiring Your First Virtual Assistants

Making the transition from being an employee to being an employer is not an easy feat for many. This transition involves a learning curve with several bumps along the way while figuring out the processes necessary to succeed. One of the biggest challenges managers face during this time is doing everything on their own. From handling business operations like building corporate relationships to overseeing marketing and maintaining the books, being a one-person show can take a toll on new business owners.

It’s easy to see why many new business owners take on every responsibility themselves at the beginning to save on capital. However, without savvy management and distribution of responsibilities, things can fall through the cracks and end up costing more in the long run. To mitigate this issue proactively and ease the transition from solopreneur to manager, delegating some of your responsibilities to an assistant is an invaluable solution.

When hiring an in-house assistant, the undertaking could get costly as it involves more than just remuneration. You will likely need to provide benefits, a working space, 401k matching, etc. – this is why utilizing virtual assistants is a more cost-effective solution.

There are several benefits in hiring virtual assistants:

The most important benefit of hiring a virtual assistant is time. By delegating duties like record keeping, cold calling clients, scheduling, etc. to a virtual assistant, you will have more time on your hands to focus on your bigger business goals. Your priorities will shift to handling larger scale responsibilities and focusing on the growth of your business, rather than the administrative tasks. You may even get to carve out a little personal time!

As a new business owner, it’s expected that your work doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. Launching a new business is time consuming. Having virtual assistants can give you some time back in your day to grab lunch with potential clients and friends and allow you to spend more time with your kids or pets.

With plenty of advantages to hiring virtual assistants, there are a few things to consider before finally hiring one. Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

Be Thorough with the Job Description

When you approach agencies that provide BPO solutions, you have to be specific in your expectations for a virtual assistant. This can include:

The number of hours per week you want the assistant to work

A general explanation of the tasks they will be responsible for

Skills you want the virtual assistant to possess

Work values you expect them to demonstrate

Skills & Qualifications

Virtual assistants possess a wide range of skills and are differently qualified, depending on their niche. As expected, an assistant to a Chief Technology Official will require more technical skills pertaining to IT compared to one assisting a marketing manager.

In addition to basic qualifications, the following skills are an important asset of any great virtual assistant:

There are soft skills virtual assistants should possess as well. These all contribute to developing effective and efficient operational methods. These include:

  • Transparency
  • Reliability
  • Meticulousness
  • Efficiency
  • Resourcefulness
  • Time management
  • The ability to multitask
  • Shows initiative
Look Beyond the Resume

These skills and qualifications are pre-requisites that prove a virtual assistants’ eligibility for the position. When you request interviews through a vendor, look for cues that indicate a match with your personality.

You will be working very closely with your virtual assistant. It’s imperative that you not only get along with them but that your hire is quick to get up to speed. Conversing with them will give you a clearer picture of whether you will be able to connect with your virtual assistant.

Have Realistic Expectations

When you are hiring virtual assistants, you might have a preconceived notion that the first choice will always hit the mark and deliver exactly what you were looking for and beyond. However, it’s you have to set realistic expectations as the adjustment period is the same on both ends.

Virtual assistants only have video conferences and virtual communication channels to get to know who they are working for. They will require some time to understand your standards, your method of running the business, and your expectations from them.

This is where you will also have to put in a little time to train them. Once they get the hang of things, you can get on the same page. You need to consider it an ongoing relationship, which will need consistent, productive communication.

Choose a Reliable Vendor

When searching for virtual assistants, do your homework on the vendor they come through. Rocket Station sets high standards when it comes to their virtual staffing solutions.

From clerical skills and basics qualifications to soft skills and aptitude for the role, they pay attention to small details when finding a match for you. The care that they put into their filtering process will make hiring the right virtual assistant for you easier.

We understand that your needs for a virtual assistant require careful consideration. With over a decade of experience under our belt, we can help you during your transition into becoming a true business owner. Give us a call today or schedule a meeting to see how we can help your hunt for a virtual assistant.

7 Tasks you can Outsource with Virtual Employees

7 Common Tasks you can Outsource with Virtual Employees

Now, more than ever, companies and organizations are utilizing virtual employees as they make the shift towards primarily work-froma-home environments. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the days of hiring talent within a certain radius of your organizations physical location are gone. For startups and young companies, outsourcing is a key component as it helps entrepreneurs to keep their focus on business expansion and takes away the hassle of hiring multiple people for business operations.

There are hundreds of tasks that can be outsourced. Outsourcing can bring relief on financial strain and free up crucial business hours. Below is a list of common tasks that companies can outsource to virtual employees.

Accounting or Bookkeeping: Keeping track of bills, invoices, and purchase orders is a time-consuming task, which is why many small business owners outsource their bookkeeping process to have better control over their finances. Rocket Station virtual bookkeepers can integrate with your existing accounting software to provide seamless solutions for your industry.

Lead Generation: The first step towards business expansion is having a robust sales team that can generate impressive leads. By outsourcing lead generation to virtual employees, you can easily get access to qualified leads that are in the purchase stage of the funnel. A successful virtual sales team will continue to nurture your leads through multiple communication channels – giving you more time to focus on other tasks.

Customer Care Services: By hiring the right virtual customer service team, you can expect professional, high-quality customer service throughout the lifetime of your customers journey. Customer care services are available via email, web, text message, social media, and more. With several touchpoints in the communication pipeline, it is crucial for your employees to have strong skills beyond those of traditional telephone support agents. By outsourcing customer service representatives, you can save overhead in office space and employee costs while retaining the professionalism required to fulfil the promises your brand makes to its customers.

Marketing: Marketing your brand links your values, personality and identity with communications to potential customers. Outsourced marketing efforts should seamlessly integrate with your existing teams and provide process documentation to bridge any disconnect in reaching your target audience.

Social Media Management: Hiring a skilled person who can manage social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are crucial to the success of any organization. It is also very easy to manage a social media account remotely. But outsourcing social media management, you can ensure a cohesive strategy across each of your social profiles, further validating your branding efforts.

Executive Assistant Services: Virtual executive assistants are highly skilled professionals that support the senior management personnel in their administrative jobs with tasks ranging from handling client accounts and clerical functions to managing schedules. Virtual assistants can also carry out some critical tasks like market research, drafting important documents, and creating promotional strategies. By outsourcing tasks to a VA, you can focus more time on the profit-generating aspects of your business.

Real-Estate Virtual Assistants: A real estate business requires a skilled person to manage multiple tasks like online marketing activities of properties, scheduling meetings with clients, managing contracts for cleaning and repair, creating leads and closely coordinating with other departments. A real estate virtual assistant needs to efficiently manage multiple properties and should be excellent at data entry.

There are many other functions that can be outsourced to virtual employees to save resources, depending upon the size and scale of your organization. While there are many companies that offer business process outsourcing solutions, Rocket Station’s team of experts can create a custom solution for your needs.

Building Virtual Teams – The New Normal. Robert Nickell Describes His Experience

Building Virtual Teams - The New Normal. Robert Nickell Describes His Experience

When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I had a really hard time at the beginning building virtual teams, building culture, and being a great leader in my organization. There was so much to do in the day today I was so focused on outcomes and implementation, that driving culture and building the correct team was something I struggled with every single day.

Remote teams and virtual management is really not anything new. The military is probably the most complex organization that I can think of using remote teams and virtual teams all over the world to accomplish large missions on a scale that’s hard to even really imagine. Americans historically were a work from home labor force – cobblers, weavers, bakers, and blacksmiths all worked out of their homes. The Industrial Revolution pulled people from their homes into the factories for the first time. We didn’t even really build office buildings until we had public transportation and the advent of electricity.

When we think of words like telecommuting, it feels like a relatively recent phenomenon but telecommuting goes back in 1973 when a NASA scientist Jack Nelius coined the term. Virtual management of remote teams is really nothing new – the only thing that is new is that billions of people are forced to figure out this new normal, seemingly overnight.

Today at Rocket Station, we are business as usual. Not because we had to make any changes, but because we have been efficiently operating virtually since 2013. What’s really rewarding is that we get to do so much more than just find amazing team members for our client partners – We get to help people become amazing leaders and build an amazing culture within their organizations. Obviously, I’m going to assume you have a team full of rock stars. If you don’t have amazing people in your organization you don’t have a chance. But once you have amazing people, now it’s time to create a process around Leadership, Management, and building an amazing culture within your organization.

Management, leadership, and culture – it all comes down to a process. I am going to give you some tips and some of our secrets. My name is Robert Nickell – CEO and Founder of Rocket Station, and I am excited to show you how easy it is to start building virtual teams and amazing you can be at virtual management leadership.

Effectively Communicating With Remote Teams In the New Work-From-Home Environment.

Effectively Communicating With Remote Teams In the New Work-From-Home Environment.

Whether in an office or managing remote, how you execute the leadership principles is sometimes a little bit different. There’s a few things you’re going to want to make sure that you do when communicating with remote teams.

While managing remote teams is still new, you really need to reset the expectations – go all the way back to the basics. Start with what your working hours are – It may sound silly, but your office is now your home and there’s no distinction between the two places. It’s easy to lose your sense of normalcy. Can you work at night? Can you work before your shift starts? What are allowed to do as far as your working hours? Our teams are normal business hours – the only people for Rocket Station that work outside of our normal 8-5 hours are analysts who put reports together before they start their day. I love having data before the day starts, but everyone else just has normal working hours.

Availability Boundaries

Availability can also seem weird in a virtual environment. When can I reach out to someone? When is someone available? The chat tools we use make it very simple to set a status. Skype, Slack, and many of the other tools have a color-coding system where you can rename your status, and setting color code to it lets your team know exactly where you are. We have a 3 color system at Rocket Station.

Red means I’m busy – do not reach out for any reason

Orange beings I’m working on something but if it’s important you can call me

Green is I’m going to go you can reach out chat video call however you need to reach out to me is fine.

It’s important that you create an availability process with your team. Communication easily and seamlessly is another one of those basic things that seems totally get lost when we transition to a remote environment.

Home Office Etiquette

At Rocket Station, dress code is the same whether we’re walking into an office or working from our home office, we are business casual every day – unless there’s extenuating circumstances. Video calls, interacting with clients and even interacting with their own team totally change the environment when you’re dressed for the day.

What am I allowed to do at my work station and what am I allowed to do in the office? For us, it’s pretty simple. The same rules applied to your home office as they do in our regular office.

Food – Nobody likes watching someone eat through the computer – it’s gross, so no food allowed at the desk.

Drink is limited to water, tea or coffee in either in Rocket Station mug or a blank cover.

The general rule of thumb is the HR guidelines are the same working from home as they are within the office. Setting the expectations from start makes the overall process so much easier. I highly recommend the creative process for your team about working hours, availability, and overall work environment in a structure that you’re allowed to have in your day-to-day.

You can really help your remote team members by supplying some anchors to their schedule throughout the day. Working from home can come with a lot of pressures you otherwise wouldn’t feel it in office. By having some anchors in the day, we create consistencies for our team. Start of the day, mid-day, and end of day routines are critical for your team to have consistency, stability, and the outcomes that you’re looking for.

Start of Day – every one of our team members says “Good morning.” They check in, they say hello to their groups and their teams, and they let everyone know they’re locked in and ready to go. Every. Day. It’s a consistency that builds rapport, builds relationships, and eliminates the unknown. We all know who is there, who is ready to rock, and who is ready to perform.

Mid Day – we love to have some key activities. Quick check in with our teams and then I like to take a quick break. Weather that’s going for a walk, going for a jog, riding my skateboard, celebrating Dirk’s amazingness. Anything to get the blood moving for 5, 10, 15 minutes. I don’t full on workout because I can’t recover in time to get back in a timely fashion, but just 10 to 15 minutes to do something to get your blood moving out. Getting of your office for a few minutes will be a huge boost to your mental stamina throughout the day. Your midday anchors and having a routine to break up the monotony on the day is really important to a successful home environment.

End of day – we have a schedule, both for work and personal. For work, we log out the same way. You say “goodbye” to everyone when you leave the building. You let everyone know you’re on your way out and it’s a good way for us to stay aligned as a team. Personally I like to reset the house throughout the day. When it’s evening time and I’m leaving my office, I can structure the house to be more of a home. I dim the lights and make it feel more natural, I leave my office and I don’t walk back in. This routine and having a few anchors throughout the day creates a stability and consistency that allows me to perform at a higher level.

Help your team create anchors for their day. Start of day, mid-day, an end of day points that allow them for a little bit of the mental break and more productivity at the end.

Meeting Frequency

You’re going to want to meet with your team more regularly than you’re used to. We have a weekly meeting with all departments, at minimum. Sometimes it’s more. A meeting is defined as a scheduled agenda meeting, where there is progress points or outcomes to be delivered. We have to do that because with everyone working remotely communication just doesn’t flow as seamlessly. We want to make sure there’s nothing lost in translation, no one is confused, and everyone can crush their day without any question.

By meeting regularly we also build relationships we can also build culture and build rapport with each other face to face, getting together as a group, spending a little bit of time talking about our personal lives before the meeting starts, and then getting ready to rock and roll. Consistent, regular meetings with your team – more than you’re used – will go a long way in creating accountability and transparency within your virtual team.

For all meetings, it’s required 100% video on – no black boxes within our team meetings. Seeing someone face to face totally changes the conversation, so it’s important that everyone on your team has their video on. If you set that expectation from the beginning, it’s a whole lot easier to implement. It’s actually really fun in a virtual environment when everyone has their video on, their focus engaged and is ready to perform.

Make it Personal

Build in a little more personal time into your meetings. Natural conversations that happen around the water cooler and at lunch during breaks just don’t happen as much during virtual environments. We need to make sure we create personal time intentionally. If you take some time to start each meeting with a little bit of personal information from each team member, it will go a long way in the relationships.

You have to slow down and celebrate more wins for a couple of reasons. It will help build a culture – when we celebrate people’s wins, we reinforce the positive. It simply makes people feel good, highlights the things we’re reinforcing and therefore other team members know what’s important what we’re focusing on. By keeping everyone updated throughout the day by celebrating wins, your team now knows exactly what’s going on.

We celebrate really small wins within every department. Each department has its own group chat, so for sales every time at discovery call or a sale, we celebrate that. Every time there’s a new client on board, we celebrate that. With every step of the process, we celebrate publicly. Each person has a different role and different tasks assigned to that role. We want to make sure we reinforce when they’re doing amazing things, so we celebrate all small waves throughout the day. All progress is essentially posted throughout all forms of communication – mostly chat, but we let people know the small wins that we have within our groups. This creates camaraderie – it’ll bond your team and it will also improve alignment and improve communication.

Management principles are the same, whether in office or managing teams remotely. But with your virtual teams you have to make sure you’re super intentional about building rapport, about creating stronger relationships, aligning communication, celebrating wins, a more regular meeting rhythm, just to make sure higher aligned throughout the entire day.

How to Build Culture with Virtual Teams

How to Build Culture with Virtual Teams

Effectively managing teams and building culture is difficult. When leaders think about doing it virtually, it can sound overwhelming to most. How do you build a thriving culture with virtual teams? The answer is the same.

You’re intentional

You have processes

You care about the individual

You bring the individual into the whole of the team

We are very intentional at Rocket Station about the way we create culture, and we create our culture with our processes every single day.

Culture starts with systems and processes. If from the top down, you have clear alignment about job roles, functions, responsibilities, systems and processes are mapped out, there’s a scope for everyone’s tasks, then expectations and accountability are clearly defined. If you do that for each team member, that’s the foundation to strong culture. Every individual in your organization needs to have clear understanding of what’s expected of them.

Virtual team members sometimes seem less connected, so we celebrate more wins than we would within the office. Smaller wins are broadcasted publicly among all channels. That way, there is more recognition, more often throughout the organization. By having open communication and praising and celebrating peoples wins, it makes your virtual employees feel a lot more tied in and appreciated.

Facebook Workplace

We publicly praise as much as we can. We call out individuals for doing amazing things throughout the day. We use Facebook Workplace quite a bit for our social interaction. Workplace for us is all about culture building. We like to celebrate birthdays, babies being born, holidays and special times of the year. We like to celebrate health and wellness – this is our place for our community to come and share personal stories and interact with each other on a personal level. All other forms of communication from our team is work focused, but within Facebook Workplace, we form a community environment that’s all about personal relationships and personal growth. It has been an amazing way for us as an organization to bond, grow and build our culture.

When we first started with Workplace, we had to kind of push it along. We had to kind of incentivize people to post, but once we got some momentum, an amazing thing happened. Workplace took on its own life. I no longer had to push people to share. Because people participated and shared pieces of their lives and themselves, workplace has become one of our best tools for growing culture.

Team Meetings

It might seem like overkill, but weekly team meetings are critical to effective virtual management. In team meetings, we don’t just share mission critical information. We come in with an agenda, there is a purpose to each meeting, every team member is sent the agenda beforehand and comes in focused and ready to go. But, each weekly team meeting has a couple different parts to it.

We always start the team meeting with some social interaction. Each person gets a chance to share what they have going on and any stories they want to share – briefly. This allows for the team to have some bonding moments

After we have a little bit of personal time, then we jump into the agenda and the scheduled meeting. Not only do we have scheduled meetings every single week, we let people personally participate in those before the scheduled agenda comes out. This is a huge part of our team building and makes people feel supported, loved, and part of a community.

Once a month, we meet all together – we call these a Town Hall. There’s a few specific things we cover during these town halls:

New Hires – we love to celebrate our new team members. What an amazing compliment when someone is willing to join our team! We are proud of every team member that comes onboard and we want to celebrate that.

Company updates – what are we working on, where is the company going, what is the focus for the organization going forward. It’s important on town halls to share company updates, focus, and what’s expected of the organization.

Company wins – large new acquisition, fundraising, anything that’s exciting for the organization. We make sure to share these wins during our Town Hall.

Events

Rocket Station has community events that we call Rocket Station Cares events. These are volunteer opportunities for our team members to go and serve the communities outside their own. They get together in groups, pick a mission, and go serve a greater purpose. These are one of the best ways to grow a culture inside your organization. Getting team members to work together on common goals bigger than themselves outside of your organization is an amazing way to not only build and bond relationships within the organization, but the overall culture will improve as well.

Yes we’re virtual. Yes we work remote. And yes, we still get together from time to time and have community events where we can share and hang out together. Even though we are working remotely, we make sure that once a quarter, all of our team members get together within each department. A few times a year we intermix the departments so everyone can get to know each other. In December we do a team event where everyone gets together, but throughout the year we make sure the team gets together multiple times for pizza parties, hangouts, different events to have a great time a couple times a year to grow and bond those relationships in person.

Setting yourself up to effectively work from home

Setting yourself up to effectively work from home

Equipment Needed:

You really don’t have to have a lot of equipment to effectively work from home. Technology has made the transition easier than ever. There’s just a few key pieces of equipment that you’ll definitely want to have:

Modern laptop or computer

A headset is critical – I love using my air pods.

I like to still write with pen and paper so I keep a moleskin on me at all times.

We spend a lot of time on video, so we really encourage a good lighting system.

You also obviously need great Wi-Fi.

Dedicated Workspace

If you’re looking to be productive and not overtake your personal life, a dedicated workspace is a requirement. There are really only a few things that you need with your dedicated workspace.

You’ll need a professional background – there doesn’t need to be any question so make sure you check it out before you jump on camera. There is nothing more distracting than people walking behind you during a video call, so make sure your space is not a transient space where people can roam or wander behind you at anytime during the call.

I would also recommend that you put things in your office that make you feel good – you’re going to be spending a ton of time there. I like to surround myself with things that really make me feel good give me good energy.