In this 3-part series, we discuss 10 things to consider when building your team.
- Series 1: What kind of business owner are you?
- Series 2: What type of team do you want?
- Series 3: Other factors (icing on the cake) to consider
What kind of team do you want?
From our first blog in this series, What Kind of Business Owner Are You?, we discussed that as a business owner it is important to know whether you want to sustain, grow, or scale your business.
To sustain, you may want to hire a virtual assistant to help with some aspects of your business just to keep you sane.
To grow, you will want to hire virtual assistants and operations people to run the parts of your business that do not directly generate revenue. For instance, a photographer may hire for scheduling, marketing, editing, etc.
To scale, you will need to hire for the roles already mentioned but you will also want to plan on hiring others for service delivery. To continue our example of a photography business, you will need a plan for hiring other photographers.
Knowing what kind of business owner you are is essential for your business’ future. Once this is determined, building the right team is important as well. There are crucial factors to consider when getting ready to build your team.
I heard the Navy Seals have a phrase: Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Taking the time to build out your workflows makes everything go more smoothly. Workflows make it a lot easier to delegate and for replacements to up to speed.
For smooth workflows, you need 3 components:
- Triggers: What causes the workflow to move from one step to the next? If there are gaps in your workflow, focus on making better triggers. Triggers can include notifications, set times of day/week, or a new task assignment in your project management system.
- Tools: Team members need access to your software applications, templates, contacts, etc., to be able to complete the workflow.
- Actions: Have the steps outlined so that they are no longer in your head. This helps to find the gaps and also new people to step in smoothly.
Levels of delegation
There are five levels of delegation. For each role, you must know the level of delegation that is required. Some tasks will require more reporting back while others are more independent. This knowledge helps to alleviate many concerns around trust when it comes to delegation.
The other aspect to consider is weighing what you want to let go of versus what they are capable of. If you are willing to delegate to a Level 1 and hire a Level 5, that mismatch will likely never get reconciled. However, hiring a Level 3 is likely reconcilable and you can balance what you are asking them to do with what they can accomplish.
Types of Virtual Assistants
Naturally when considering building your team, virtual assistants are always a strong option. There are 4 types of virtual assistants you can hire:
- Independent: a freelancer with a lot of freedom to work as you need. Keep in mind that as a one-person shop, their availability may be limited.
- Tech platform: if you prefer to search from a large pool and feel comfortable managing the search, tech platforms offer a lot of options for hiring.
- Offshore: if cost is a major factor, offshore assistants are a great option.
- Agency: Agencies source and screen their assistants prior to your consideration. They can provide backups and help manage your VA on your behalf.
Common tasks to let go
A common issue small business owners face is determining what to delegate. Over the course of a week, keep a notepad next to you and jot down every task you handle throughout the day. Then review for which ones you would be comfortable to let go.
- Customer intake: customizing contracts and setting appointments can be handled smoothly by someone else
- Digital marketing: consistency is key and having someone else do helps sustain that consistency.
- Data management: again consistency is key. Keeping up with current, previous and prospective customers and contacts regularly helps fill your pipeline.
- Calendar/email management: having someone else take care of the “little rocks,” like requests for information, gives you more energy to take care of the big rocks like developing partnerships.
In Series 3, we will share some other factors to consider, particularly automation and managing a remote team.