When I first talk with them, I hear that they are thrilled that their business is going great, but they are worried that they are losing the very balance that they wanted to have – the reason they started their business in the first place.
They are busy growing their business and serving their clients in a big way!
When your business gets to a point of growth where you need support, it can be intimidating to make a choice. This is your baby we are talking about after all!
There are many different options a business owner can use to build their team.
I'm going to share a few thoughts today, but my hope is that you'll chime in on the comments and share your thoughts too. Together we can help everyone find the right choice for their situation.
Understand Your Real Needs Before You Hire Anyone
Many coaches and business owners see a pick-up in their business and start to panic a bit. You went into business to have more freedom in life and as work picks up, you may feel the squeeze on that freedom. When this happens, sometimes people will bring in a “warm body” rather than deciding what is really needed.
Let me share Ralph's story to illustrate this point. He had a receptionist / secretary that was frustrating him. She was a “terrible performer” partly due to his lack of leadership and partly due to her lack of skills. He had originally hired me to help him with replacing her (one of my degrees is in HR, so we help with job descriptions, process manuals, etc.).
His operation was small – 3 people including him and he wanted a lifestyle business where he could work part-time. Once we outlined the exact work that he needed completed, we found that it amounted to about 10 hours a week. He was paying someone full-time pay and benefits because he needed someone to answer the phones.
Ultimately, we got procedures documented, he hired a virtual assistant for specific monthly client communication tasks and an awesome answering service for the phone systems and let go of the ineffectual employee. (She was thrilled because she had been trying to figure out how to quit for months but thought my client was such a nice guy that she did not want to let him down.) The work got done and he ultimately paid less. He invested that money to grow his business.
Ways to Build Your Team
Once you know specifically what you want and need to have completed in your business that you need not be doing, then you can determine how to build your powerhouse kick-butt team. (You want a powerhouse kick-butt team right?)
1 – Hire a Business Manager
If you are a coach or other solo-service pro, this could be a fabulous choice for you. A business manager (also known as an online business manager) takes care of your business operations and is a strategic partner so that you can focus on what you do best. Business managers can be employees or they can be contracted through companies that provide management services.
A business manager partners with you. This position is strategic. Often, a business manager has a staff of her own or a rather hefty list of resources to help you get all of your business tasks done. The business manager handles the details so you don't have to!
2 – Hire a Virtual Assistant (VA)
Virtual Assistants are business owners that provide administrative support to a business owner. They are independent business owners that are often highly skilled. When you hire a VA, you take on the management responsibilities and hire based on the specific tasks you need to have done. For example, some VAs specialize in online marketing while others specialize in bookkeeping. VAs can be your partner for one project or for ongoing service delivery to your clients.
3 – Hire Part-Time or Full-Time Employees
4 – Hire Freelance Experts
Freelance experts work on a project basis and generally have very specialized skills. For example, I have hired copywriters, graphic designers and PR experts for various projects I have completed.
5 – Hire a “Task” Related Virtual Assistant Company
A “task” company is a company that has hired employees to provide administrative and task related services. When you work with a company like this, you have a relationship with the company, not the specific service provider. They assign the individual to each task.
6 – Hire a Specialty Company
There are a number of companies that provide services that are fantastic for the growing business. One for example, the answering service Ralph hired.