Why you need to hire support
A common piece of advice from business coaches to those who want to grow their business is to hire team members who can do the support work so you can focus your efforts on money-making tasks. In other words, don’t waste your time doing bookkeeping or answering emails because you’ll make more money selling your stuff.
So how’s a business supposed to run smoothly when you’re not doing those necessary tasks?
Simple…you hire support people to do those tasks for you.
There are expert Virtual Assistants who can create an organized inbox with filters, folders and labels in mere minutes.
There are expert Bookkeepers who find joy in numbers and live for balancing your books each month.
And there are still others who adore creating online content and helping customers with their questions and problems.
This is the team you need to create.
When do you need to hire support?
You need to hire support when you have some of these growing pains:
There’s not enough time in your day
If this is your excuse for not getting tasks done, then it’s time to hire at least one team member. Make a list of your most pressing tasks that need doing and hire the appropriate person for the job.
Start small if necessary, paying a Virtual Assistant for 5 hours a month, for instance, and then work up from there as you become more comfortable delegating tasks to them. You’ve just gained 5 hours in your month so use it wisely.
You can’t clone yourself
How on earth can you serve your clients and customers while also getting prospects into your sales funnel and creating books or other signature programs? You can’t, plain and simple, because there is only ONE of you!
This leads back to you doing the money-making tasks.
Hire a ghostwriter to write your book or programs. Hire a Virtual Assistant to help with administrative tasks. Or hire a Customer Service Specialist to answer your phones and client questions.
While they work, you work on building relationships with your clients and prospects.
You don’t have time to learn the latest technology
Technology is wonderful and keeps improving every day but who has the time to learn all these programs and apps?
Canva is certainly a cool tool for designing graphics but instead of fooling around for hours to design your book covers or social media graphics, hire a graphic designer who already knows about design and color principles and likely has the latest and greatest design program. There’s no learning curve here. You only have to explain your vision to the designer and let her take over.
Again, focus on your money-making activities.
I don’t know what tasks to give up
Giving up control can be intimidating but if you have a business plan and know exactly what tasks YOU want to handle, the art of delegation becomes much easier.
How to hire support and build a team of “A” players
You really can’t do it all alone. No small business becomes a big business with a single person at the wheel. It takes a team of experts to scale your efforts.
The problem is, building that team brings its own stress.
How can you know who to trust? Where will you find the time to train? What if you can’t afford to outsource?
These and other questions are what prevent entrepreneurs just like you from turning a good business idea into a 6- or even 7-figure empire. Here’s what to do about it.
Know your personal work style and preference
Not everyone works in a similar style. Some people love to touch base by phone, while others prefer email. Some people require lots of direction and step-by-step guidance, others work better when they can figure it out on their own.
No way is right or wrong, but if you’re a phone person and you hire an email lover, there’s going to be conflict.
Look for team members who are a fit with your preferred work style, and you’ll be much happier with the end result.
Commit to the effort of hiring support
Hiring a team takes time. Not only do you have to spend time looking for the right person, interviewing several candidates, and onboarding your final choice, but you also have to train your new team member.
Remember, no matter how skilled they might be, they’ve never worked in your business, so there will be a learning curve. Encourage them to ask questions, and take the time to answer carefully. Expect mistakes—at least in the beginning—and build enough time in your schedule to allow for fixing them.
The effort and time you put in up front is well worth it when you have a team you can count on.
Don’t be afraid to cut ties
Not everyone you hire will be a good fit. As a business owner, it’s up to you to do the right thing for your business growth (and your own stress levels) and sometimes that means moving on from a relationship that’s not working.
Remember, it’s business, not personal. Sometimes even the best-looking applicant turns out to be all wrong, and that’s okay. Take what you’ve learned from the experience, and use that knowledge for the next hire.
3 key questions to ask before you hire
Finding the right support person to handle your smaller projects is extremely important but also daunting unless you know the right questions to ask. Even if someone comes highly recommended by a business associate or peer, always go through the interview process because your needs may be very different from those who offered the recommendation.
Write down a long list of questions to ask in the interview but be sure to include these top three questions:
1. How much experience do you have?
The old saying, “You get what you pay for” is accurate. And many times virtual assistants, project managers or graphic designers will charge less or offer a discount when they are just starting out as a way to drum up some early business.
Sure, they may know the basics but do they have the experience of actually putting those principles to work for other clients?
Do you want to pay a discounted rate for your support?
Does their portfolio match up to their answer? (Hint: you should always check out their online portfolios before you even get to the interview process).
2. Do you have experience doing this type of project and will you be the one actually doing the work?
Just as not all photographers can successfully shoot weddings, not all graphic designers can handle company branding.
For example, if you find a graphic designer that can handle branding, they may not design eBook covers or website graphics. Not because they can’t but because they choose not to. Or maybe they outsource those smaller projects to another designer.
It’s always convenient to find someone who can handle a wide variety of projects but be aware that the pricing will likely be higher.
Likewise, if you’re paying a pretty penny for the work, you have a right to know who is actually doing the work you need.
3. Please explain your work process.
This is where your potential contractor will explain how they do things. How long does it take to get you a response, generally? How many edits you are allowed, for example, if they are doing some copywriting or design work for you? And when you will start to incur additional charges to the project?
If they can email you a timeline, that’s a great reference for you. Just be aware that this timeline will often depend on how quickly you communicate, when you give your feedback, and how timely you pay your bill.
Don’t be afraid to interview
Never be afraid to ask questions of any service provider you think of hiring. Going into an outsourcing situation blindly never ends well so do your due diligence. And the more clearly you can explain your needs when it comes to what you’re looking for, the easier the whole process will be.
Finally, start small.
While you might dream of working two hours per day and taking entire summers off, it’s unrealistic to think you can go from 12-hour days to stress free entrepreneurship in a few short weeks.
Start by hiring one person to take on the tasks you most dislike, then slowly grow your team and their responsibilities. Eventually, you’ll be left with only the work you truly want to do (and that you enjoy) and your business will run even more smoothly.
If you’re ready to start building your team, let’s talk. Email me about how I can help you grow your business without the stress of managing all the details. Let me take care of the tedious trivia while you focus on what you love: helping your clients and making a difference, while increasing your profits.
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