It is that time of year when we take a moment to reflect on the things we are most grateful for. When it comes to me thinking about my business, it is very easy. There are two things I am the most grateful for:
1) My amazing team!
2) My amazing clients!
Today, I am going to focus on my team…
Four years ago, I was a solopreneur struggling to pay rent in New York City. I was finding that I was quite proficient at being a Virtual Assistant and had a knack for technology, strategy, efficiency, and writing. Even though I was working almost every free moment I had, as a single mother of a two-year-old and sleeping very little, I was struggling to keep up with my workload and make ends meet.
Through the process of building my business, I began consulting potential clients on how and what they could and should outsource. What I realized is that any business can outsource and in the process become more efficient, produce more work, and become more profitable. The irony of course, is that it took me over a year to realize that I could and wanted to practice what I preach in my own business.
I’m happy to share the process of how to build your team in your own business. This is a process that I walk my clients through and have personally experienced in my business.
1. Face Your Blocks
Why isn’t it natural for business owners to simply think… “You know, I haven’t gotten to a social media post for over a month; why don’t I hire someone else to do it?” Or similar thinking applied to anything they feel they should be doing.
Well, there are many reasons, but, the biggest reasons I have heard from clients are the following:
I don’t have enough revenue to hire someone right now.
No one can do what I do, as well as I do.
I don’t have time to train someone.
Even if I did have time to train someone, if I don’t retain them, I am going to have to train again in a few months.
All of these reasons are valid, still, at the end of the day, there are solutions to all of them.
By hiring someone to do parts of your daily work, you will be free to do the parts of the business you can bill for, be more efficient at doing and therefore make more money.
That’s true; there are things in your business that no one can do as well as you. Those are the parts of your business you should continue doing. Still, everyone has pieces of their business that they are not very good at doing, which are the things you should focus on delegating.
This is a sticky one. When business owners know they need to hire, it means that they are probably drowning in their day-to-day workload. The only thing I can consult on is to make the time. For a few weeks, decrease some of the least important things you are doing in your business to focus on training.
When you are training someone, make sure that while you are doing it, they are writing procedures of what they are being trained on. Recording videos is also helpful for this process. Create a procedures manual of the tasks you are delegating so that the next time you have to retrain someone, it takes half the time.
2. Systematically Hire
In my previous blog, How to Save More Time in 2021 I reviewed the process of how I help our clients and colleagues systematically determine what they should delegate first. It is based on two criteria:
1) The likability of the task (1-5)
2) The amount of time it takes to complete the tasks.
The things that you like the least and take the most time doing, are the first things you delegate. It’s really that simple.
You can start slow by hiring someone to do one task for you a week, for an hour a week, and grow from there with more and more tasks being added. This is an easy way to ease the strain on your budget of hiring and the time it takes to train.
3. Make Sure you Have a Good Rapport with your Assistant before Hiring
The best thing I have learned before working with a client is to have two meetings prior to talking about proposals and contracts.
My process is :
A Discovery Call. This is a 30-minute call where we have a casual conversation getting to know each other. In this call, both parties are able to see if there is synergy and good communication.
A Consult Call. This is a paid one-hour call. I provide each person a Business Assessment Worksheet before the call that serves as our outline for discussion. Again, you can find this list on my previous blog, How to Save More Time in 2021.
Then, we spend an hour of essential onboarding of the tasks that are listed. This is the time that I learn what the business owner is currently doing, provide suggestions of what they can immediately change to make things more efficient, and understand what our proposal will be for working together.
The added value of this call is that it gives both the business owner and myself the opportunity to see how well we communicate, understand each other, and whether we are a good fit for their company.
No matter what your process is with someone you are looking to outsource work to, I highly suggest a process where you can see how they work and whether you are a good fit for each other.
This is the process I use myself and advise my clients to go through for hiring. For Assistants 4 Hire, we are now up to a team of eight! I can say that without my team, I would not be able to focus on the parts of the business that I love...networking, learning each business individually creating strategies for how we will work together, and simply managing our outstanding team of Virtual Assistants.
Want to learn more on how you can build your team and get expert advice on where to start individually for your business? I would love to have a conversation! Book your discovery call HERE
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Written by MerriLyn Gibbs