Getting Help: How to build your team
This post will walk you through the three phases of determining who and what you need on your very own business team! These ideas and concepts are courtesy of our very own Dannie Fountain, MSHR unless otherwise noted. These ideas and concepts do not replace true legal advice in terms of contracts and workplace legalities.
What kind of help do you want on your team?
There are two different kinds of “hired help” for online entrepreneurs and solopreneurs*. The first are the people that will help you run your business on a day to day basis. These include:
- Community Manager (Social Media Assistant)
- Tech Support Manager
- Customer Service Manager / Personal Assistant
- Event Manager
- Graphic Designer
These are the people that will truly have an impact on your business and the amazing things that you’re doing, so it’s incredibly important that you decide up front if you’ll hire anyone in this category, what their scope of work will be while they’re working for you, and what your budget is for paying them. It’s also important to consider whether you want true “employees” or you’re willing to contract other solopreneurs/online entrepreneurs to fill these roles.
The other kind of “hired help” is the types of roles that are more project based. These are the people that you’ll keep listed in your Business Black Book but you might not call on every day for assistance. These people include:
- FB Ads Manager
- Remarketing/Licensing Specialist
- Trademarks Specialist
- Web Designer
As you can see, these are incredibly important roles, but you might not be utilizing a web designer or your lawyer on a daily basis. It’s still important to budget for expenses related to these types of roles and ensure that you have a clear plan for when you’ll use them, when you’ll delegate to your core team, and when you’ll accomplish a task on your own.
What kind of personality do you want your team members to have?
There are many different “personality” tests out there, but there are two personality tests that are absolutely perfect for figuring out your “workplace working style”. In our case, this means the style and approach that we use when running our businesses. The two tests that we recommend for understanding your own working style (and that of any current or future employees) are the DiSC Assessment and the Five Faces of Genius. Either one is applicable regardless of your industry and both conclude the testing portion with phenomenal recommendations on how to work with people who have personalities or work styles that differ from your own. Plus, activities like these are always an awesome “team activity” for teams that don’t always get the chance to connect face-to-face.
Beyond traits and capabilities, you also want to look for employees that are dedicated. It’s important to consider whether you’ll hire “employees” that will be fully dedicated to your business or “contractors” (other business providing services to you) that may only be able to offer a few hours a week to work on your business.
Where do you find team members?
Where can you find employees/contractors?
- Local Colleges/Universities (internship programs - paid and unpaid)
- Small Business Owner Resource Groups (ex. Female Entrepreneurs Association or Rising Tide Society)
How should you go about hiring employees/contractors?
- Have a formal application process (submit resume, email you with info, do a Skype/phone interview, etc.)
- Have a formal training process (ensure that candidates know your brand voice and your brand look/feel)
- Implement a formal review and coaching policy (this gives the employee/contractor beneficial feedback and also provides you opportunities to course correct if the working relationship isn’t flowing the way you’d like.
How do you delegate to employees/contractors?
- One of the easiest ways to delegate is to start an Evernote or Google Doc that has a list of tasks you want to accomplish and target dates you want them finished. Using a color coding system, you can mark the things that you’re going to handle and you can also assign tasks/responsibilities to the members of your team.
- Alternatively, you can send “Monday (or Friday) Assignment Emails” that outline what you’d like each member of your team to accomplish based on the number of hours in a week that they’re available to work for you.
You should also plan on holding meetings or sessions where your whole team can interact. If you all work in the same city or location, this is relatively easy and likely doesn’t even need to be mentioned. If you all work remotely, in different time zones, or even in different continents/hemispheres, making sure that the whole team is connecting on a semi-regular basis is important to the integrity of your business. Schedule out some time to meet with your whole team in person or via Skype/Google Hangouts/etc. Send out whole-team updates acknowledging specific awesome things that they’ve done or goals that you’ve accomplished as a group. Make sure your team feels valued!
*Position Split example used from Kathryn Hocking's Year in Review post. This is just an example of a split between the two types of help you can hire - you can definitely create your own list!