So you’ve been thinking of hiring support? Congratulations! I love seeing women take this important step in easing their workload so that they can focus more on what matters most.
That being said, I know you might be a bit nervous about taking the leap. After all, being in the online business space, it’s quite likely you’ve heard a horror story or two about outsourcing that turned into more of a nightmare than a dream.
And while I know those experiences happen, it doesn’t have to happen to you.
I could give you quite a bit of advice to help you hire your dream team, but you’re probably already feeling somewhat overwhelmed right now. So with that, I’m sharing four essential keys to help you co-create your dream business:
1. Know exactly what you’re looking for.
I see it every day, business owners popping into Facebook groups and leaving posts that say something along the lines of, “I need a VA. Where do you find a good one?” And if you take a glance, you’ll see they receive dozens of pitches in the comments of their post.
The problem with this, is that there are so many done-for-you service providers in the online space. While each of these virtual assistants might be incredible at the work they do, it’s possible that none of them are a good match for this business owner.
If you’re looking for support in your business, it’s likely that you’re already overworked and overwhelmed. Don’t add to your stress by being bombarded by pitches from candidates who can’t offer what you need.
The first step towards co-creating your dream business, is to know exactly what support you’re looking for in your business.
If you know you want support with design, you might choose to begin by seeking and hiring a graphic designer.
If you know you want support with social media, you might choose to begin by seeking and hiring a social media manager.
If you know you want support with a variety of smaller tasks in your daily work, you might choose to begin by seeking and hiring a virtual assistant. Even with this, make sure you’re clear on exactly which types of tasks you want them working on. Yes, their tasks might grow or evolve over time, but you want to start off by hiring someone who can support you with the tasks you’re ready to hand over right now.
2. Communication is everything.
While many done-for-you service providers are amazing at the work they do, we aren’t mind readers. Communication is essential to building a successful team that can support you and your business.
As you begin to outsource, make sure you have a contract in place that carefully spells out the work that will be done for you and what you can expect from your service provider.
From the moment you agree to work together, make sure you have a clear plan in place for how you will communicate. You might use a project management tool that allows you to both see progress on various tasks. Some of these tools also offer a chat feature so that you can message each other as needed, or you can use a separate tool for communication such as Slack or Voxer. You might also want to set up weekly meetings at the start, so you can check in and give weekly updates on projects or ongoing tasks.
With each task you hand over, make sure to give clear directions on exactly what you’re looking for. Give examples whenever possible. When in doubt, lean towards over-explaining everything.
As you move forward, be open with your feedback. Let your service provider know what you love and appreciate. At the same time, be willing to offer constructive feedback if projects aren’t quite as you wish them to be.
The clearer you can be on your expectations, the easier it will be for your service provider to meet them.
3. Understand that hiring support will require more time and work at the start.
As a one-woman operation, you don’t have to think about or explain how you do any of the behind-the-scenes tasks in your business. You simply know what you need to do and how to do it.
And while it would be wonderful if we could simply transfer that knowledge to your team members, the fact is that no one is going to be able to magically do things exactly as you would in your business.
If you want to be able to hand over work in your business, it will require some time, energy and thoughtfulness at the beginning.
For each task you’re handing over, you’ll want to clearly document your step-by-step process for its completion. I recommend creating a video of you doing the task, such as setting up a blog post, and talking through each step as you do it. This allows your assistant to see how you do each task and doesn’t require additional time on your part.
Along with this video, I recommend writing some simple directions, reminding your assistant of key steps involved in the task. If a detail is important to you, make sure to write it down in your instructions.
I understand this is a frustration for many business owners. After all, you’re hiring support because you want more time to focus on the work you do best.
However, I promise that taking a little extra time to give clear directions at the beginning, will save you so much time and frustration down the road. Just think of how much easier it will be for you when your team members can take over tasks without having to come to you with questions.
4. Follow the Golden Rule when working with your team.
As a business owner, it’s likely that you’ve had your share of dream clients and perhaps a few not-so-dream clients. The same is true for done-for-you service providers.
From my experience, hiring support works best when you treat them as part of the team. Think of how your dream clients speak with you, act towards you, and treat you – then follow this example with anyone you hire on to support you and your business.
Enter into this relationship looking for and expecting the best. Trust that this person wants to do her best and cheer her on in doing the best she can for you and your business.
Trust her expertise. Value her opinion. Give her the space to truly shine and let her know she’s an integral part of your team.
Appreciation and respect help to build your relationship, and as you have a work relationship where each member of your team feels seen, heard and valued, you’ll build a team who is committed to the success of your business.
If you’ve built your business on your own up until this point, I know it can feel a bit scary to hire support. Yet the truth is that you can only do so much on your own. Hiring support allows you to focus more time and energy on the work you love most, so that you can be of greater service to your clients.
And if you want some extra help in co-creating your dream business, let’s talk. I love helping business owners like you organize the behind-the-scenes parts of their business and my team excels at taking care of the daily tasks required for your business to run smoothly. Sign up for your free Business Lifeline Call right here.