It can take a while to reach the point where your business is booming and you’ve got oodles and oodles of work to be distributed.
But once you reach that point, you’ll want to be ready to hire quality team members who are as passionate about your business as you are and whose knowledge can help take your business to the next level.
So it’s never too early to begin thinking about the steps involved in expanding your business beyond “solopreneur” status. The earlier you begin contemplating this process, the more successful you’ll be in hiring a quality team that you’ll be happy with.
Take it Slow
Here’s my first tip: Proceed with caution!
It can be costly to leap before you’ve done your research.
And, yes, it can be overwhelming to get started. You’ll likely be contemplating such questions as – What type of help should I hire first? What type of person should I look for? Where do I find qualified candidates?
Here are a few essentials to start with. Keep these front and center as you take action to hire a quality team.
- Identify what types of tasks you want to delegate and which tasks you would like to keep under your personal control. This can help you determine whether you need someone who is good with numbers, someone who is creative at determining ways to get your business into the news, someone who can provide outstanding client service … or all of the above and more!
- Look for someone who has the ability to add to your business, not just keep it running at its current pace. There are many skilled individuals out there who can complement or supplement your expertise. Look to add team members who can have strengths that your business will benefit from.
- Be realistic! You won’t be able to pay someone a CEO’s salary, so you can’t expect to find someone with CEO experience who is willing to work for a clerical wage. You aren’t likely to find someone who will commit nearly the hours per week to your business that you do. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and disillusionment. Be realistic about your expectations for team members.
- Initiative is priceless. The last thing you need is the added stress of having to hold someone’s hand throughout everyday simple tasks. Make sure you are selecting team members who can function independently from you and who understand your needs, your style, and your goals.
- Interpersonal skills are not optional. To develop the highest quality team for your business you need to be able to communicate easily with one another. There is nothing worse than feeling like you should have just done a task yourself. That defeats the purpose of delegating. So be sure that your team members have excellent interpersonal skills and that your communication styles mesh with one another. Communication is key to building a team that will support you and your business well into the future.
Where to Start
Get out there and talk to others you know who have hired help with running their business. Ask your peers as well as other professional colleagues, such as your accountant, attorney, board members and members of organizations you belong to. They can often provide referrals for good support personnel. By tapping into trusted resources, you’ll learn about options you might not have otherwise know about and you’ll likely shorten your screening process.
Check out popular blogs and websites with an eye for recommendations.
Set up some complimentary consultations with potential support staff. Get to know the people you’re considering hiring. What are their strengths? What is their turnaround time on tasks? How do they like to communicate and how often? What’s their current client load? Etc.
Last but not least, you might explore using an employment agency. A recruiter (for a fee) can eliminate the headache of searching for and selecting candidates to hire.
Explore Your Options
You’ll find that most tasks you need help with can be outsourced or done by free-lance contractors. Tasks such as accounting, website design, marketing and public relations or even customer service and administrative duties can be handled on a “virtual” basis online via a virtual assistant (VA). VAs are either paid by the hour or the project.
You could very well end up hiring more than one person. There are VAs specializing in different types of projects – and you might eventually need the services of several of them. Or you might prefer to hire one assistant (as a manager) to work directly with your other contractors and then let that person delegate your tasks and projects.
There are many different options. Be sure to explore them – sooner rather than later – before you’re ready to hire.
Business Growth Requires Support
Hiring a quality team is a ‘must’ if you want to grow your business.
It’s well worth the effort to get it right. And the sooner you begin exploring your options, the happier you’ll be when it comes time to hire.