I’d love to have a team one day. Not yet though, but someday I will.
This kind of statement resonates with too many solo-preneurs.
I have heard this from many hobbyists-turned-business owners. They know they need to divide the responsibilities they have, but doubt they have the means to do so.
They feel limited.
So, they get to work. They manage to do everything all by themselves, suffer from burnout, and then realize that even Superman with all his abilities isn’t so strong after all.
When you are just starting out and decide to do it all by yourself, consider DIY to be a short term thing. Try as early as you can to leverage on every help you can get.
Outsource every task that you might not have enough time to handle and still be able to grow your business. These tasks may include marketing, sales, inventory, billing, maintaining a physical and online store and much more.
Having a team that has the same zeal and devotion as you can push your business to a whole new level. The truth is you want your business to grow. An indicator of a growing business is the evidence of new heights day in day out.
For the changes to be evident, you need to invest a lot of time and money in the business. You also need a lot of wisdom when hiring a team.
I know a thing or two about hiring (finding the right people to divide up responsibilities to), and I bet you’ll have a fresh perspective about your needs too after you read this.
Pointers of Getting the Best Help Available
- The lesser-known benefits of hiring a team
- How do you know when the time has come to hire
- What tasks should you divide to your team?
- How much to pay
- Where to find an A-list team
- How to manage your team
- To train or not to train
- Why you can never hire soon enough
The Benefits of Hiring Help
Are there any advantages of hiring an assistant or a team?
Yes, yes, and yes again!
You can hire a VA, content writer, designer, an SEO expert and more. You will benefit from this team by mainly delegating mundane tasks that eat up your time. This will allow you to focus on more important things such as marketing your brand and growing your business.
Think of hiring someone to help you manage your business like buying more hours. If you need to work 20,000 hours before your site can start making you decent money, but you can only do 20 hours a week, doesn’t it make sense to hire 1 or more people to add their hours to the total?
Sure, your expense will go up, but so will your income.
Here is a scenario to help you keep things in perspective. Assume you write all your content, upload them to your website, track ranking, keyword research, tweaking those same posts for conversions, and building links. Doesn’t that sound like a mouthful?
That’s a lot of work.
You need to get help right now!
Is It the Right Time to Hire?
You’ll feel it when an excellent opportunity to hire comes.
- Slow or no growth.
- Lack of interest or motivation to carry on.
Don’t wait to experience all the above before you can think of hiring someone. You need to hire right away. Having a group looking up to you for their daily bread can sometimes be the boost you need to get out of bed.
When your team sees you motivated, they will draw their strength from you. They will want to be just like you; your business will be important to them just as it is to you.
Here’s a disclaimer though, hiring someone doesn’t guarantee growth, so don’t expect to see some tangible ROI right after your hire.
However, be assured that when the time is right, all your efforts will yield high returns.
It helps to let your help know where your business is and where you hope to be after some time. Being very clear about your hopes and dreams sets the right tone for everyone to go into the business with vigor.
This also helps you know if you have the right team or time wasters who are only after your money. The right team will want the money of course, but after bringing you the results, you desire. So, hire a goal and result-oriented team
When I first started, I got someone to write our content (I designed the website myself). Next, I hired a VA as a project manager for the site. All I was trying to do with the hires was to get someone else to worry about all the small tasks. I started hiring help right when I felt comfortable to teach someone else to do the things I wanted to be done, but didn’t have the time to do myself. I start right after I launched the business.
I don’t regret that move. It was one of the best things I ever did for the business.
Do all you can, but when you feel that you can’t do it all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What Tasks Should You Divide Your Team?
Please, please, please, don’t expect your team to be great.
Because a great team is probably doing the same thing you are trying to do and chances are they’ve already achieved half the things you want to achieve in your business. While such a team might be glad to help, their attention might not be yours to have 100% of the time.
Also, when you hire someone to help you run your business make sure that you can do everything yourself. Have someone you’ll be ready to delegate to tasks that you can handle, but don’t have enough time to do so.
Let your assistant run to you for clarification and not the other way round.
And, if you must ask, make it seem like you know what you are talking about and are just checking to see if you are on the same page.
When you finally decide to hire, go for an all-rounder. A VA, for example, with project management skills and multiple other capabilities to handle many different tasks is far better than one with only one area of expertise.
When I hire, I like to go for someone who is familiar with WordPress, is aware of and can handle some on-page SEO or keyword research, hope you get where I am going with this.
It’s far better to hire someone who understands the business rather than someone who is new to the game. This approach is both time and money saver.
Here’s what I tell everyone around me who’s ready to get into the games and hobby industry, “When hiring, remember, you aren’t obliged to hire someone permanently. Hire on trial or one-off project and see how it goes. You are new to this, take your time to learn before you can hire someone long term.”
How Much Should You Pay?
This is one of the toughest questions entrepreneurs ask me all the time.
My answer is always the same.
Different people are worth different rates. You can pay someone $10/hour and have someone else pay $100/hour for the same task with the same quality.
However, remember that you get what you pay for, offer a good bargain and you sure will get accurate results almost all the time.
How to Hire the Right Team
A team, a VA, the choice is yours. Is there a right way to hire anyone?
Here are a few ways that have worked for me; I hope they do for you too.
- Posting a job on upwork.com
- Posting a job on onlinejobs.ph
- Responding to people contacting me
- I sometimes post the jobs on my site
- Or turn to my circle of influence
- My audience sometimes always is great help too
I find upwork.com and onlinejobs.ph (this is a Philippine-based website, and the rates are reasonable) to be excellent places to start.
Upwork.com has a mix of every kind of freelancer from all over the world. Some of them command high rates others not so much. Avoid westerners when you have a small budget.
Hiring can feel like work in itself, to avoid going to the wrong people, post correctly.
Whenever I post a job offer on upwork, I get responses from a lot of applicants. Sorting through them is tough.
Tricks to Use When Posting
If my goal is to hire a westerner, I usually will post in the morning western time. If I want to get lower rates, I post later on in the day when non-westerners are awake.
I make my job positions very clear and to the point. This stops the wrong people from applying to my offer.
I try to ask a basic question like “What’s your favorite dish” and tell them to answer it when applying. Ignore the application of those who don’t answer your question.
Hire 50% more of the number you intended to hire because some of them will fail you. However, if they all work out then you got your A-list right there, divide all the work you had amongst all of them.
Test the group you hire by giving them 1-2 small tasks. Keep the ones that fall through and let go of those that don’t.
Check to see your new team’s ability to communicate. If you don’t hear from someone after 24 hours, then mark that as a red flag. You wouldn’t want to work with someone who keeps aloof; they probably might not be concerned with your business.
Managing Your Team
Don’t try to micromanage anyone that works for you. Most people don’t appreciate that. However, don’t be afraid to ask them where they are at; disappointments aren’t some of the things you’d want to be dealing with every other time.
As long as communication flows right, your help will always be up to speed with everything you want to be done.
Also, most responsible people know what’s required of them and as such try to live up to the expectations of those they work under. If you hired the right team, you wouldn’t have any heartbreak.
To Train or Not to Train
The only way your team will understand your business is if you let them know what you want to be done and to show them how to do it. If you remain silent, you’ll find yourself going back and forth.
It will not only be exasperating but a total waste of time and money. Remember, these are the only two currencies you are trading with, if you spend them well, they will come back to you in torrents.
Final thoughts: Can It Be Too Soon to Hire?
Take this for what it is, a lesson. The first test you will have to face when you start your business will be how far you are willing to stretch.
Before you can think of dividing responsibilities, you’ll have to determine whether you are comfortable enough to ask for help. In my opinion, you should ask for it early enough in the business. This will get things smooth faster.
You’ll have adequate to train your team if need be. Your team will fall into form early enough. You will know soon enough if your team is for or against the growth of the business. You’ll spend a bit on the hires, but you’ll also have more free time to make more money and grow your business.
All in all, you need to outsource, and scale if you want to see some tangible ROI, don’t put this off until the last minute.