Once you’ve been in business for a little while, it’s likely you’ll reach a point where you find there are certain tasks you wish you could simply stop doing.
At the same time, you realize that even if you don’t enjoy spending time on these tasks, they’re essential to helping your business flourish.
At this point, you might find yourself exploring the idea of hiring a team member to take these tasks off your plate.
And while I’m a big believer in delegating so that you can focus on the work you do best, I’ve also heard more than a few horror stories about business owners who hired support and had it turn into more of a hindrance than a help.
With this understanding, there are a few recommendations that can help you hire the right support for your business and begin this partnership in a way that allows you, your team, and your business to thrive.
Ready to build a successful team to take your business to the next level? Here are a few tips to help you start:
1 – Know exactly what you’re looking for and what you need.
When we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it’s easy to feel like we just need help and that maybe anyone will do. However, you don’t just need help, you need the right help to meet your needs and the needs of your business.
You might start by making a list of everything you’re currently doing or want to be doing in your business. From that list, you can make a list of tasks that could be handed over.
At the start, it’s unlikely that you’ll hand all of this over. It will take time to train a team member in each new task, plus you’ll want to build trust so that you know each task will be done as you wish.
With your list, look for tasks that are essential to run your business or move your business forward. Even if some of these tasks only take you a few minutes each day, that time adds up. Often, it doesn’t just take up time, but the energy and mental space as you switch from task to task.
Once you know the specific tasks or type of support you’re looking for, take some time to think about the qualities you’re looking for in a team member.
Are you willing to work with someone just starting out or do you prefer someone with more experience?
Do you want someone who is a self-starter or do you want someone who will follow your lead?
What other personality traits or qualities are most important to you?
Once you’re clear on what you’re looking for, you can write out a job description. Even if this is just for you, it will help you compare each candidate to what you need and make sure you’re choosing to hire the best match.
2 – Take your time, don’t rush the hiring process.
After you know the type of support you’re looking for, you can start seeking referrals or recommendations. You might reach out to colleagues, request recommendations on social media, or seek out a virtual assistant agency or matchmaking service.
To narrow your pool of candidates, here are a couple of options you can consider:
- Ask a few people you trust for recommendations. Let them know exactly what you’re looking for in your ideal team member. It’s likely that you’ll have fewer options, but that they’ll be a great fit because you’re only reaching out to people you know and trust.
- Create an application form if you plan to ask for recommendations through social media. Posting on social media is likely to connect you with more applicants, but they won’t all be a great fit. By creating an application, you’ll quickly narrow down your options because not everyone will take the time to complete your form and those who do will allow you to easily assess whether or not they match what you need.
Once you have a few ideal candidates, take the time to interview each of them. Give yourself time to prepare in advance. Review the information you have about each of them, write down questions you have or the points that are most important to you.
Take your time with each interview and allow yourself to be fully present. Remember that this is investing time in your business, because the right person is going to help your business move forward. If it helps, record the interview or take notes, as these can help in your decision process.
Along with noting their responses to your questions, take time to notice how the two of you communicate and if they feel like a good match. Often, personality is just as important (and in some cases more important) than skill-set. Even though it’s virtual, you’ll want to hire someone with whom you enjoy working.
3 – Once you’ve hired a team member, take some time to build your relationship.
When we hire support, it’s understandable that we want to hand tasks over as soon as possible.
However, the truth is that in order for your team members to best support you, you’re going to need to put in a bit of time and energy to help her succeed.
Communication is everything in building a successful team.
Most done-for-you service providers want to do well, but we don’t mind readers. No one is going to be able to do tasks exactly as you wish unless you give clear, detailed directions.
When you start out with a new team member, begin by handing over one task at a time. For each task, write out step-by-step instructions for what you need them to do, how you want them to do it, and when you want them to complete the task.
If at all possible, record a video of yourself doing the task, such as setting up a blog post or scheduling social media posts. Talk them through each task as you do it, giving extra information or details as necessary.
When in doubt, lean towards over-explaining everything. The more information your team member has about what you’re looking for, the easier it will be for her to take over the task without having to come back to you with questions.
As she completes each task, take some time to look it over. You won’t have to do this forever, but the first time or two it can help to make sure that everything is done as you wish.
If you notice anything that isn’t quite right, be open with her about what you’d like done differently next time. Clear, open, honest communication from the start will make it more likely that she can meet your expectations and ease your workload moving forward.
At the same time, when she’s doing well and helping out, make sure to show your appreciation. A quick note of gratitude can go a long way towards building up her confidence and making her feel like a vital part of the team. When team members feel appreciated and that their work matters, they’re likely to feel more loyal to you and put their best effort into everything they do for your business.
Hiring support can ease your overwhelm and lead to incredible growth in your business, but hiring the right support requires a bit of time and intention. By following these recommendations, you should have a solid start to building a successful business that helps your business thrive.
And if you know that something needs to change, but even the thought of delegating is overwhelming because you don’t know where to begin, let’s talk. I love helping business owners ease their workloads and bring their visions to life with ease. Sign up for your free Business Lifeline Call right here.