We all want to do things the right way when we’re starting our business.
I’ve heard many of you say you want to learn the “real” way to launch or you want to hire the right people to help you in your business.
I want these things too!
When it comes to building an A-Team, there are some simple things to do to get you to your desired result. You want an awesome team, that gives a hoot about your business and stick around.
If you’ve launched in the past without any help–and it’s possible, I do stand by that–you know that having help would make things oh so much easier.
But what’s the first step?
Your first step is figuring out what has to get done!
Now, before you run out and hire the WRONG PERSON or people…do this quick (ish) exercise to figure out who you need the most and what type of team you want to hire first.
- Brainstorm a list of everything that has to get done on your launch (let’s stick to a specific project). Include everything from answering potential customer questions and technical support to web pages that need to be set up. A bonus to doing this is you’ll start creating your master task list for your launch. So, include everything you can think of that needs to be done…even it some end up being combined.
- Make categories and split up all tasks among categories. See below – I recently did this with all the relaunch to-dos for Fearless Launching. My categories are communication, content, startup, partners, case studies, web-tech, promo/outreach. You might also have social media, product creation, or whatever else you need to include in your launch. Don’t worry about getting it totally right – you can always add categories if you need to!
- Create a category notebook page (you can see mine below) and transfer all related tasks to the category, any other things that come to mind.
- Once you have all your category pages set – review each one and take note of the things that ONLY you should decide or do. Even if something is in your genius zone, ask yourself, am I the only one who needs to do this? Often what you SHOULD and MUST work on yourself is different from what you think you’re the best at. No more making graphics, if you should be outlining the pre-launch content and fleshing out the communication for your launch.
This exercise might take a little bit of time. But hopefully, you’ll start seeing there are some tasks that you can hand off to someone.
And it’s okay to start with a virtual assistant…but before you get too far into the hiring game…
What’s your dream team look like?
There are 2 different types of teams you might put together. Keep in mind that these structures are my opinion on how they should run – for instance, you may not agree with paying people on a monthly basis. Watch this video to see what they are and remember that you can choose to do what I suggest or create your own new type of team.
Option #1: The Lean Team
The first type of team that I wanted to kind of go over is this lean, lean team. The lean team is probably what you might do first but Laura Roeder’s team started out this way where there were two or three people.
You might include yourself, the owner of the business. Then, there’s someone who’s doing tech and finally, there’s someone who’s handling admin or customer service. It’s you probably managing everything so you really don’t need a project manager for this.
You essentially have all you need with your backend, you have your front end, you have people, someone to deal with the people as they come in, that’s great and then you have you who’s creating all of the content.
The best way to handle this type of team is to pay everybody on a monthly flat rate basis and for that lean team, this is like you building people who are going to stick with you. Your goal is to have a core group of people that stick with you beyond the launch. Having that continuity makes launching easier and also helps in between to make sure nothing falls through the cracks because there will definitely be more work after the launch.
So, this lean team sets up systems for your launch but you’ve got to make sure that they’re also setting up systems that are going to be used in your business ongoing. Don’t hire for the launch, think long term.
Team Type #2: Specialists
The team type #2 are more specialists. Specialists are very specific people with specific skills. They can be freelance or permanent type team members.
If you need your header designed, it’s a graphic designer maybe who’s going to do all your kind of header graphics, badges, whatever, your opt-in forms.
If you want someone to manage the whole launch process, you might hire a launch project manager–someone with a mix of strategy and project management skills.
If you want someone to help you write launch emails, you might hire a copywriter or marketing writer.
Important for this type of team is that you need to have a point person – a core team member who can help you manage and track what all your specialists are doing! That’s why finding a project manager who’s used to managing virtual teams is invaluable. There’s nothing worse than spending your day following up with everyone on email and then not getting anything done yourself!
If they’ve been offline managers or online managers they’re used to pulling together kind of like these ghost teams of people. So work with your project manager to create a clear work agreement for every single person. Set dates of service, set like specifically when certain milestones seem to be met. Create a calendar. Make sure that the freelancers understand what’s due when and then that person the project manager will be checking in on all these freelancers while you are creating.
Which type of team is right for you?
Would you rather hire a lean team of people to handle the front end, back end, and customer service in your business? Or would you rather have 1 core person who can help you find experts to work with during your launches, keep systems strong, and streamlined even when you’re not launching?
Love to hear your team hiring story in the comments below – or if you’re just starting that journey to hire someone.
Need more guidance to help you build your team:
- Don’t miss my complete guide to building your team and then some over here: Ultimate Guide To Building An Awesome Virtual Team.
- How to manage a team during a launch
- The Advanced Guide To Growing A Thriving Team
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2012, but I had more to say and share, so I decided to share it with you now!