You know you have what it takes to run your business on your own but you also know that in order to keep growing and expanding you will eventually need to bring on some help. The thought of finding someone you trust enough to handle things in a business you’ve built from the ground up can be an overwhelming thought all in itself, but then add training, on-boarding and managing them on a daily basis and it can make you stop right in your tracks.
In today’s post I am going to walk you through what I want you to start thinking about and working through prior to bringing on your first virtual team member.
#1 – Establish your budget
Often overlooked just out of pure desperation to get things off your plate, your budget is probably the most crucial step you should be thinking about and planning for in advance of hiring your first team member. It may be an obvious one but is oh so important in helping to make the hiring process easier. This can help you determine the right person for the tasks required and in what capacity you can bring them on (at least to start)
Depending on the type of business you run whether service or product based you will want to do a cash flow analysis to determine how much you can afford to pay someone each and every month. As a product based business you may have consistent sales coming in on a monthly basis, so you know that you can spend X amount of dollars on a team member. Some service based businesses may not have clients or consistent revenue coming into the business at a steady pace in which case you may want to have enough in reserve to pay this team member for a set duration to allow you to bring in more clients.
You will want to assess if there are periods in your business that are slower or if you have a down season and if you need seasonal help or help all year round.
If you need help with this make sure to check out this post from my friend Shanna Skidmore on the
5 Numbers you Need to know in your business
#2 – Perform a Task Audit
This is a great place to start to get a handle of the tasks in your business that only YOU can do and what tasks you feel you could hand off to a new hire. You can kick it old school here and just jot down on a piece of paper and answer some of these questions or download my free worksheet HERE:
What tasks are currently draining you in your business?
What tasks light you up or are revenue driving tasks for your business?
What tasks can only YOU as the business owner do?
What tasks could be handed off to someone else? ( Inbox management, client services, customer support, social media management, blogging, content writing etc.)
Once you have a good handle on the tasks you would like someone else to perform you will have a better understanding of how many hours you may need this person for a week or each month and the type of person you are going to be looking for in the hiring process.
#3 – Have your SOP’s (standard operating procedures) Documented
For most business owners a lot of what they do currently resides in their brain but when you bring on a team member that information is going to need to get from your brain to theirs in an organized, clear and effective manner.
It is best to get your systems, processes and workflows documented so they can be used as training material. They don’t have to be perfect, but the easiest and most efficient way to do this is by screen recording yourself doing the tasks themselves.
You can house all the trainings in a folder in GoogleDrive or Dropbox that can be easily accessible and shared amongst the team. Having SOP’s typed out is a great addition to the videos but recording yourself doing the work is the fastest way to get started.
#4 – Contractor VS Employee
This can be something that often gets overlooked or more often than not is confusing and unclear.
What constitutes an employee vs a contractor? This will vary depending on where you live so make sure to check your state or provincial guidelines to ensure you are within those laws. Please promise me you will do your research here.
Based on the task audit you did above, take a look at the types of tasks they will be performing, for example:
Are the tasks you listed ones that need to be done at certain times of the day? Where you want to set their hours?
Based on your budget do you want to be in more control of how much you will pay your hire VS a contractor that will most likely have their own set rates and fees that accompany their services?
Dictating the hours they need to work and the rate you are willing to pay them would fall under the category of employee for example. You will want to establish which direction you want to go in so that you know who you are going to be looking for when it comes time to make that decision and to expand your team.
#5 – Start Drafting a Job Description
Once you’ve determined what tasks are involved and whether or not you feel a contractor or an employee is a better fit for what you are looking for, you can get to work on crafting your job description for your ideal candidate.
Things you want to make sure to include are:
number of approx. hours a week or a month
outline of the daily responsibilities
a section about your business and what a stellar brand you have ( get them excited to work for you if they aren’t a fan already)
what education or experience you require or would like them to have etc.
Having this in place will make it super simple to start the process when you are ready. You can post this on your blog, social media and in your email newsletters.
#6 – Carve out time for training
This is probably the biggest reason I hear for not hiring – that you are just too busy to bring on help (yet this is why you need it) and you can’t even imagine the time it would take to train somebody. I bet you are thinking that it is always faster if I just do it myself!
Maybe this is true in the short game but we are going for the long game here.
You will want to take a look at your schedule and the upcoming quarter or year and see what launches you have planned, what trips are booked and what your schedule looks like so you know the best time to bring someone onto the team.
You want to make sure to carve out enough time to get them trained properly knowing that they will most certainly have a few questions along the way.
This will help with feeling overwhelmed when they start because you will have already cleared and made time in your schedule for training.
So there you have it, the 6 things you should start thinking about before hiring your first team member for your online business. And don’t forget to grab my free task audit worksheet to help you get started on step #2!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any more questions on how to get you and your business set-up so you can start building your virtual team!