Growing a team can be a challenge for even the most savvy business owner. You need to be ready to delegate, because even though you feel ready to bring new team members on there’s a good chance you’re not quite ready to let go of those projects (no matter how ready you think you are).
It happens all the time. Business owners hiring VAs and other contractors, only to get frustrated because it doesn’t work out. Usually, it’s because the business owner isn’t ready.
Is it really the right time to hire?
Sometimes, hiring is a better option than DIYing something; other times, you’re better off doing it yourself. Do you know how to tell the difference?
First, ask yourself what can you not do that needs to get gone in your business. Build funnels? Handle your website? Update product descriptions? Edit your podcast? Anything you can’t do should be the first things you delegate out. It’s much less expensive (and more efficient) to hire an expert than try to learn it yourself.
Then ask yourself what you hate doing in your business (or what just takes up more time than you’re willing to give up). We often put off these necessary but tedious (to us) tasks so they don’t get done. Why not just hire someone to take care of it for you and open up the headspace and time to take on projects that bring you more joy?
Attract the right candidates
Finding the right person the first time can be a challenge, if you don’t plan ahead. But if you’re ready to scale, you need people.
First, you need a really good handle on your mission, vision and values so you can hire someone who aligns with them. It’s easy to teach someone a skill but not so easy to work with someone who has different values than you.
It’s also important to surround yourself with the right candidates on a regular basis, so you have a bank of possible new hires ready and waiting for you. Keep showing up online and in person, attending events, maintaining relationships and being of service to others. Attracting the right candidates is a lot like attracting the right audience members and clients, and the work is never done.
Avoid onboarding mistakes
We all have stories of hiring gone bad, and we’ve probably all been on both sides of that story. Once you’ve made a quality hiring decision, avoid some of the big mistakes when adding that new person to the team.
Be sure to be explicitly clear on your expectations for the new hire and communicate those expectations–both in writing and when you chat with her on her first day. Communication is key, friend! And not just with your new team member either. Your current team members need to know what her responsibilities are as well and will likely need some ongoing dialogue with her (and you!).
Know the expected ROI
You hire team members to help grow and scale your business, but are you getting the ROI you put in? Some team members will directly impact your bottom line (your sales team and those who work directly with customers, for example) while others will not (like your right-hand gal and your content writer). But at the end of the day, all of your team members should demonstrate value in your business.
Part of measuring ROI is assessing the talent of each team member. They need to be performing and, ultimately, getting better at what they do. That could mean they’re finishing tasks more quickly or moving on to higher-level tasks that bring more value to you.
Adopt a team mentality
I keep using the word “team” and “team members,” and that’s an important part of your business growth. You may be the CEO in your business, but that doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know. Experts in other areas are key to helping you stay financially healthy, organized, visible and more.
To adopt a team mentality, start by hiring contractors to give them (and you!) a “test run” before bringing on employees. It takes some of the anxiety away for both of you. It’s also important to keep the lines of communication open throughout the team member’s tenure with you. This ensures that she feels appreciated and knows exactly what’s expected of her, and gives her the space to talk to you about concerns when needed.
Growing a team is an exciting time for business owners. It allows you to grow and scale your business much faster than if you were in it alone. But it’s not without some stressors–stressors you can avoid when you grow the right way.