How to Be a Productive Startup With a Remote Development Team

Being a founder means you have multiple hats and you are constantly working in a high-octane, non-stop environment, and maintaining a high level of productivity with your team is key.

While most early-stage startups have at least one technologically-based founder, as the company begins to take on funding, that person is going to need more help to get the product built or fine-tuned and into the hands of customers. Founders are now considering hiring virtual development teams to get the product where they need to be in a short amount of time with the same high quality and the latest features to get ahead of competition.

By hiring these remote teams, founders are also discovering that they can maintain focus on growing their business and a high-level of productivity back at homebase. Here are some benefits to hiring an offshore virtual team.

Minimizing Administrative Tasks

Hiring the right team members is really important to a company culture, growth and productivity, but it takes time and can tax one’s energy. When you’re under a time crunch, using your energy to search, recruit and hire developers can distract you away from the work you need to be doing. By hiring an offshore team, the firm can take care of all the administrative headaches involved in this process.

Sherwyn Soff, CEO and founder Enqos, a tech company that created an R&D center offshore to build its own startups and now offers this as a solution to other tech startups, said they help startups by “eliminating all recruitment, personnel management, payroll, infrastructure, accounting and financial expenses associated to hiring and operating a team.”

Saving Money on Employee Expenses

Speaking of money…not only do founders have the stresses of salaries, making payroll, health benefits, equipment, and more, they have to find space for everyone to work as a team when hiring in-house. With a virtual team, you won’t have these employee expenses and can have a smaller management team oversee the production. In addition, companies can focus more resources on getting the product where they want it, spend time on acquiring customers and closing deals.

“For starters an offshore team is cheaper to operate and has a lower burn rate. You can put more resources into a development team versus the cost of one resource in the states,” Soff said. “As long as the startup has a strong CTO or PM, tasks for resources can be managed to yield maximum productivity.”

Good Developers Are Overseas Too

But how do you know if the developers are good? An offshore firm needs to provide some level of confidence for the founders or CTO to ensure production of a quality product.  

“Keep in mind, every top technology company has a large research and development center offshore in countries like India and China, so it behooves you to look at offshore as a serious option that gives you access to top talent, helps you build your product faster and saves you a lot of money. I worked at Microsoft in the early part of my career, and Enqos’ interview process is based on my learnings from Microsoft’s interview process. Only top engineers make it through our interviews.


“For example, developers have to clear five rounds of interviews that include Algorithms and coding, technology deep dive, personality and cultural fit, and an as appropriate round. We hire specifically for you, so engineers are dedicated to your product and are sold on your vision. They are essentially your employees that are housed and managed by us,” Soff said.”

It’s also important to discuss the tech skills of each member assigned to your project.

Culture Differences Matter

Whenever you hire an offshore team, there will be differences in culture, communication styles and work flow. By learning more about your team’s culture it can help you improve productivity and communication. For example, a developer from India will communicate very differently than from Eastern Europe.

Soff said it’s important to have the right tools in place to help eliminate communication issues and measure deliverables as well as have the ability to assign and track tasks. There are a lot of really good project management and team collaboration tools available now to help with that.

By example, Enqos’ infrastructure was built with virtual teams in mind, so all engineers are equipped with web cams and meeting rooms are video conference ready, Soff explained.

Other Must Knows About an Offshore Team

Soff offered some additional must knows before hiring an offshore team.

  • With any contract, it needs to be clear who owns the code and has access to the secret sauce.
  • Make sure to thoroughly review the costs and look for any hidden fees
  • The time difference needs to be noted to schedule routine stand up and scrum meetings.
  • Ask the firm about their vetting process
  • Ask about the process of putting together a customized team for your needs

Read more about design and development trends at TechCo

This article was written in partnership with Enqos, a technology company building solutions that unlock the potential of entrepreneurs.

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Written by:
Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.
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