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A one on one training client said to me in 2016 (when I was really just starting to build my business), that having employees and hiring people to help run your business what is the move to make. Because that way, you can be away, or working on the most important things, while your employees essentially run the business.
But having employees and managing people was never something that appealed to me. My personal goal was basically to make my business as big as possible, and as automated as possible without hiring a team. Seven years into it, I mostly still feel that way. But that may change with having a baby. Only time will really tell how much I can manage, and where I need help.
I have one on one business clients who have 5+ employees that work for them as contractors. I am not against building a team, but I think it’s very important to answer this question if you are currently a solo entrepreneur.
First we have to think about what constitutes a team when it comes to running a business. For me, it is literally anyone outside of yourself that helps with your business. Whether that be on a daily basis, or a quarterly basis. If you have a book keeper, or an accountant per se, that will be part of your team.
I simply don’t want you to think that having a team means hiring full-time employees. Because that is not required, and it’s also not likely. Think about a team in the way that you would hire an assistant coach, or a virtual assistant, or an operations manager. Even something like hiring a website person. These are all parts of, or can be, part of building a team. So keep that perspective as we go through this episode.
Certainly more than you want to do the work yourself. This is imperative. And if you think you want to have a team but are apprehensive about your management skills, I suggest not only investing in a team, but a coach for yourself that can teach you how to best manage that team. Which really should be a win-win for everyone.
So if you don’t think you want to hire a team, I want you to think about the longevity of your business. I’m not saying you have to hire a team, but maybe you could start with one person. Essentially look at how many tasks you have to complete within your business at its current state. Can you scale that by yourself? That’s the most important thing to look at. Because it is scaling that typically leads to the demand for help. For some level of a team to begin forming. I speak from experience. I never wanted to have a team or manage a team, but I reached a point where I couldn’t continue growing if I went at it alone. And I’m sharing this because it’s probably going to be true for most of you as well. So what happens when you reach your ceiling? If you don’t want to grow, and you only want to maintain, then you may never need to hire a team. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s why I say it’s most important to know what you want out of your business. I’ve had clients in the past who just want to make a certain amount of money per month, and not push for substantial growth. I’m all game for that, if you have that clarity. It’s the clarity that I’m encouraging.
If you don’t want to have a team, then the approach would be to automate as much as you possibly can in your business. Now, I encourage this whether you want to hire a team or not, simply because it’s best for efficiency. But it will likely be a necessity if you are not going to hire a team.
If hiring other coaches, or an assistant, a copywriter, a web designer, or some other trade is appealing to you, there are some other things to consider in your team building.
Whether you want to hire a team or not, list out all of the tasks that could possibly be done in your business. And then somehow make a distinction between the tasks that either demand you, or that you enjoy doing. And then identify which tasks could be delegated to someone else. That is going to be step one before you hire anyone or not.
Then it’s time to determine whether the tasks that can be delegated should go to one single person, or be divvied up between multiple people who specialize in these areas if that makes sense. For instance, you can hire an assistant that does generalized tasks for you. Or, you can hire specific people for specific tasks. You can hire someone to manage your email marketing, you can hire a copywriter, you can hire a bookkeeper or an accountant, an operations manager, a client relation manager, and the list goes on.
I’ve also spoken in other episodes about budget when it comes to hiring a team. You obviously need one, because you are going to be paying people to complete tasks for you. Whether that’s one person, or multiple people. Just know that building a team or hiring a team does not have to be some massive expense. I have one on one business clients who pay a virtual assistant $100 per email that gets sent out to their newsletter. All of the design, structure, and continent is created by the assistant. That’s worth it for this coach and entrepreneur to put out emails consistently. And it’s a pretty low expense. That’s the other thing. It really needs to make sense to you. What is worth it to someone else might not be worth it to you. And that is 500% OK
As an example, sometimes I think I want someone to edit, format and upload my podcast. But then I do research, and look at how much people charge for that, and it’s just not worth it to me. My current assistant and I play our parts just fine for what my podcast is and what I want it to be. I just can’t see paying $800 a month for that service at this point in my business. My point is, that someone else might look at me and think that it’s insane that I am still editing my own podcasts. But that’s the beautiful thing about business, it’s yours and you have the last say.
So what is more appealing to you? You don’t have to have this answer right now, but think about whether a jack of all trades or individual team members makes most sense for the tasks in your business and also how you would like to scale that business. Making your list of tasks and possible delegation should make that decision easier.
Some reminders and warning signs for hiring a team. I think these are important to bring light to. Even if you only ever hire one or two people.
Thus far in my business, I definitely prefer working with individuals over agencies. The two agencies that I have worked with, one for Facebook ads, and one for taxes and accounting have been predominantly negative experiences. Perhaps there is a issue with me in that. But I much prefer working with an individual. I’ve done this for taxes and accounting in the past as well as my final build out and those were both very positive experiences. I just really enjoy having that direct contact and communication. It’s not that I will never choose to work with an agency again, or that individuals can’t be a bad experience, but I keep my past experiences in my back pocket for a reference. I mentioned those because they are technically a part of my team.
When you begin paying people for services in your business, remember that it’s not a set it and forget it situation. That can be a dangerous game to play. So there is a stance between not micromanaging, but also not becoming blind to some thing within your business.
That’s the managing piece when it comes to building out your team and trusting people with parts of your company. I’ve made the mistake in the past of thinking that I am hiring someone because they’re an expert at some thing, so I can take both hands off the wheel. But it’s still your business that they’re applying their expertise to. So it’s vital that you keep one hand on the steering wheel.
Remember that you get to choose the people in your team. You get to choose who your assistant coaches are, or who your assistant is, who you are hiring to manage some area of your business. And that can be an incredibly joyful and freeing experience. You don’t have to fully know what you’re doing, you just need to know your business and what it needs. If you are apprehensive about hiring, or beginning to build your team, just remember that.
I would also implore you to start building your team before you are busting at your seams or on the verge of burn out. Be proactive in looking at the growth and scalability of your business. Because there will be this period of time when you begin hiring, that your time will be taken up by building systems, and micromanaging upfront to some extent. This is so that things are done correctly, in order to create the actual space you are looking for. If you are busting at the seams, have a full client roster, have to keep up with social media and email marketing and training someone new to do something in your business the way you want it done, it’s just going to be a rough time. Doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but that’s why I am extending this warning to you. So keep that in mind as you grow and get closer to possibly needing to hire someone.
When and if you are ready to hire, I suggest reaching out to your audience and having people apply, asking colleagues if they have anyone on their team that does what you need, so getting a referral, or using a Network like Upwork to hire freelancers. Those are the places I would start. And regardless of which you choose, you need to first have clarity on what it is that you need.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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