As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we all know that running your own business isn’t all fun and games. You’re trying to juggle ALL THE PLATES, and it often seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Want to take a vacation? Yeah, it’s so much more complicated than just requesting the time off.
Because of this, a lot of entrepreneurs put off growing their team, even when they need one. If you’re ready to grow your business, though, you CAN build a team alongside it, though. It’s not as hard as you think!
Growing a team can start small, but it can have a tremendous impact on your business. Having that extra set of hands can change your entire game plan. You don’t have to start off by hiring someone full-time, paying them a salary, or anything like that.
How to Build a Team that will Grow Your Business
You can start off by hiring a VA (aka virtual assistant) to work one hour – or maybe even less – per week. If you want to start growing a team, but you’re not quite sure what the first steps would be, just start off with a trial run.
Put out a call for whatever position you’re hiring and talk to candidates about doing a short (paid!) trial run. It could be for a week, a month, or however long you need to determine if they’re the right fit. Whatever it is, as long as you both agree to the terms, this is an excellent way to get started!
Where to find your new team member
One of the best ways to find a new hire is to reach out to your network. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably connected with other entrepreneurs. Even if you aren’t super close friends with them, they may still have someone they can recommend. You can then reach out directly to the people they recommend and see if they would be open to a trial run.
Even if they don’t advertise that they offer trial runs, it’s worth asking. It’s beneficial not only for you but for them as well. If it isn’t the right fit, you’ll BOTH end up miserable and unhappy with the match, so it’s in both of your best interests to have a trial run before continuing more permanently.
Document your systems and processes first!
Before you start the trial run, though, make sure that you have your systems and processes documented. Keep a log of the tasks and processes that you use on a regular basis in your business. This will also give you a better idea of what tasks take you the most time and would be most beneficial to outsource.
Once you know what tasks you’re looking to outsource, you’ll be able to create a process guide for your new hire. This essentially means sitting down and outlining how you do what you do for this task. This will give your new hire something to go off of. You’ll probably still have to tweak it, but at least it gives you both a starting point!
What to do after your first business team member hire
After you’ve made your first hire permanent, you can start thinking about your second hire. This probably won’t happen right away! It can take a while to get into the groove of having a team. A lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners have trouble giving up control too, so if that’s you, I wrote the Outsourcing for Success Bootcamp with you in mind!
One of the best things you can do after that first hire is let them train the NEXT person! A lot of times, that first hire will be able to grow into a ‘bigger’ position. Maybe they start out managing your inbox and social media accounts. Then they start helping you plan for launches and new products. You both quickly realize that this best utilizes your assistant’s skills, so you decide to move them into that position more permanently.
You start looking for the next team member who will be a good fit with BOTH of you (they might even have a great suggestion!), and your first hire trains the new team member in their original tasks, then moves into their new capacities. Since they’ve probably already been doing these new tasks in a relatively unofficial, or at least un-titled capacity, they likely won’t require a whole lot of training in their new position.
This frees you up from having to train each new hire with quite as much hands-on work as the first time around. This not only enables you to stick with the other aspects of your business that you likely are better at and enjoy more, but it also gives your first hire a sense of ownership and trust from you, which can give them more confidence in their position. Win-win!
Side note: if you hire someone with a specialty, don’t be afraid to give them some extra license within that specialty. You may get even better results if you set their expertise loose! Don’t be afraid to let them take the reins sometimes to help grow your business.
Don’t stop documenting your systems and processes – trust me!
Okay, so, remember how we talked about documenting your systems and procedures before starting your initial hiring process? Yeah, you’re going to want to keep doing that. As you go along, you’ll probably find that your first hire will run into things that you didn’t think to document – things that were common sense to you, but didn’t come naturally to your first hire.
As you go along, you’ll probably find that your first hire will run into things that you didn’t think to document – things that were common sense to you, but didn’t come naturally to your first hire. Start documenting those as they come up. Put this documentation in a dedicated place (something like DropBox or another online cloud storage location is great), along with the original documentation, so that it’s easily accessible for future reference and new hires.
This will also be something that you want to keep doing for your new hire’s first position. Why? Because each time you grow someone into a new position, you’ll likely discover new systems and procedures that will need to be in place and documented for the next person who takes that position, or for your team to refer back to later.
So make sure that you’re documenting everything properly. Using video and other visual tutorials is an excellent way to do this because it enables your team to follow along with the exact steps in a process. It may seem intuitive to some of you to click a particular button in your CRM, but to others on the team, they may not have thought to look for it. Having a video tutorial capturing each step and screen of the process will make sure that crucial steps are not missed.
Knowing when to build your team is crucial
Another thing that you’ll want to keep in mind as you evaluate when and how to build your team is that you need to be objective about your growth needs. Yes, there is a chance that you could start too soon, but you can also start too LATE. If you’re already overwhelmed and can’t take on another new task, you’re going to struggle to find the time to train a new hire, or even to find that person to hire.
Don’t let this stop you from starting to build a team, though! There are ways that you can make the transition easier. Automating portions of your business, such as through a CRM like Dubsado, or streamlining your processes so that they take less time are both fantastic methods for freeing up more of your day.
Unit 25 can also help you through this transition. We provide business growth coaching and service packages. That means that your coach will help you figure out your next steps, as well as providing you with an Action Steps report so that you have a roadmap towards growth. You’ll get a big picture view of where your business processes can be tightened up to free up your time, and where your greatest areas for potential growth are.
On top of that, your coach will already be familiar with you and your business, so when you’re ready to grow your team, they can help you onboard your team, whether you use Unit 25’s branding, content, marketing, and support services or not. Having a coach in your corner will help you create a growth strategy so that you have everything in place when you’re ready to build a team!
However you decide to grow your team, make sure you start at the right time for YOU. Have your systems and processes in place so that your trial run with your new candidate will go smoothly. Once that person has hit their stride and is working well in your business, let them train the next hire as they grow and change their position within your business.
A team is a valuable asset for any business, so build yours the right way from Day One!