Have you ever hired a team or even one person to help you in your business?
Maybe…you’ve been doing everything yourself in your business for some time now. Longer than you really should have.
But it’s not because you haven’t tried to find people to help you.
First thing is this – hiring is not an easy process.
Second thing – you are not alone in struggling through that process.
Third thing – it IS something you have to do at some point if you want to grow beyond a “job-replacement” business. (believe me – I know this from personal experience!)
Every business owner gets to the point of hiring in different ways. Some people start finding help from the second they start their business. Some people start with interns. Others do everything as long as they possibly can…
When is the right time to hire someone for your business? The answer is different for everyone.
That's what we're talking about on today's episode.
Over the past few years I've had to look for people to work on my team. It's the nature of being a business owner. People come and people go. About a year ago or so I was looking to fill a few positions on my team…Up until then, I usually only hired for launches–very specific people for big roles like web designer, social media, affiliate management, project manager, maybe someone to set up Facebook ads.
My focus was on finding experts that didn’t need to be managed at all. Even though my work experience before running my own business is exactly in this role, I didn’t want my “job” to stay that way.
Hiring experts only when you’re new to having a team and managing them is a great way to get used to being the boss.
You’ll still have to manage the process, give people direction, give them deadlines, make sure they understand what you need them to deliver.
Once you are comfortable working with people who know what they’re doing, it’s time for you to think about getting ongoing consistent support.
This has been a long process for me – to say it’s okay I don’t want to do my blog posts, to do my social media, to do all the things in my day to day business. For me – I’ve felt a little guilty handing off things I know I can do FINE.
But once I realized I couldn't play solopreneur anymore…I dropped that belief and guilt as fast as possible.
Here's why I've made a commitment to jump on the delegation train as often as possible.
Your (and mine too!) business will plateau this year unless you hand off tasks, busy work, and things that you've known FOR EVER that are taking up the bulk of your time. Period.
Likely those tasks aren't your key money drivers for your business.
So, if you're ready to start focusing on revenue generating activities, hand off the work that needs to be done but really should be done by someone else…
…If you're ready to dive into hiring for real, let's do this.
Ask yourself these questions as you're going through the process of looking for a new person…you'll find someone who's right for your business AND you'll become a better boss too!
- Is the person taking action or making excuses?
- Is a physical connection needed? (skype, no skype, voice, no voice)
- Does this person need to be bestie material (the answer is no)
Let’s go through these one by one — to see why each is important and what I’ve learned again!
Action vs. Excuses?
It’s really interesting to see how people respond or don’t when you give them a task.
One of the first things I do when I’m considering someone for my team is giving them a few test tasks. They aren’t actually toss away or fake tasks though…they are things I really need to get done. And I pay them to complete the tasks.
Now, what this does is allow me to hone my own skill of delegating and also see how the person responds.
Out of the people that I gave my test to, only one person took action right away, asked questions upon receiving the email, and then even made suggestions about how this fit within the bigger scheme of things.
When I saw that the one person had taken action so quickly, I realized that this is what I want. Though I’m an understanding person, action speaks volumes to me.
However, that’s not to say if the person had come back and told me they couldn’t complete the task, they would have been on my “no” list, but with zero/delayed communication…I have nothing but excuses as to why something isn’t done.
So – ask yourself if you are letting people give you too many reasons why they didn’t get something done and be prepared to choose someone unexpected especially if they are taking action, need only a small amount of direction, and are proactive.
Those are qualities you want on the team. Don’t settle until you find someone.
How Personal Do I Really Need To Get?
Now at the time of this specific search – I was adamant about getting people on the phone or skype. I've since changed how I need to connect with certain people doing work for me. (For instance, a web developer I work with, I've never spoken to before!)
So I could see them.
I even turned down one person because she wouldn’t go on a live call…which I do realize now is silly.
I do love personal interaction with people. Let me say that first.
But once I successfully completed that test by someone I did NOT speak to until after, I’m pretty sure it worked better that way. I was forced to be clear in my communication to her and my expectations…and I was forced to let go.
Clarity and letting go are huge when you’re working with new people…
So glad I was able to do both and make a decision without connecting more. Which brings us to the hardest one of all for me!
Stop Searching For Your Bestie
This is probably my biggest fault when hiring and one I know has caused me the most emotion and pain. Yes – really.
It’s easy to hire people who we “like”. It’s also easy to become friends with people who are working with us.
But let me tell you as a boss who was friends with their staff, it’s also really hard to:
- give negative feedback
- push them to finish work by a certain date
- tell them if you don’t need their help anymore
- give them a layoff or termination notice
- set boundaries
And so – even though I have amazing friendships with people I work with and are part of my team, some roles need to be work only.
For instance, when I worked with my content strategist Alexis, we were friends…In fact, I think we might be doppelgängers… and we are literally cut from the same mold. Born on the same day. Had amazing conversations with each other daily. But her role in my business was different from say a virtual assistant, social media manager, or even web designer.
She’s got her own business, I was a client yes, but I always viewed the work we did as more of a collaboration between us. She would always tell me when I’m off my rocker about anything and is great at setting the boundaries!
Of course, I love being open and friendly and caring to the people I work with, but I’m committed to keeping our communication and relationship, clean, clear!
What About You?
Are you thinking about hiring a new person for your team? Maybe your first person? Have you ever worked with someone — in a day job, in your business or on some other type of project and had friendship get in the way?
Leave a comment below and tell me what you’ve experienced!
p.s. If you want help training your team for your next launch, you’ll want to check out my workshop: Train Your Launch Team.
Resources Mentioned On This Episode
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