Deciding to hire a new team member and grow your team is a big decision.
First of all, congratulations. This is an exciting moment!
You’re getting a bit uncomfortable in your business which means you’re growing, expanding, and changing! But, at the same time, you now feel like you have yet another decision on your plate.
My clients often ask me:
These are totally natural questions and they’re questions I’ve recently reflected on in my own business.
This post is a “tell all” where I’ll share how I put my teachings into practice. We’ll walk through how I decided to grow my team for the biggest impact.
Growing a team looks different for every business at every stage.
You’ll walk away from this blog post with…
When consistency waivers, overwhelm creeps in. As a result, many entrepreneurs jump right into one solution: bringing on more help and growing their team. This is a very valid response and can be a smart choice depending on your circumstances.
However, I encourage entrepreneurs to reflect on their systems and workflows first. Some of your overwhelm could be solved by putting the right automation or time management systems in place.
Taking inventory of your needs lets you determine if growing your team is right for you at this moment in time. It will also help you feel confident that you are hiring the right person for a role that will have the biggest impact on your business.
As a COO and Business Coach, I work with entrepreneurs to help them create and implement systems that support their…
I encourage the people I work with to decide how they want to show up for their clients and audience.
I remind them to take note of when systems are or are not supporting them. I coach them to notice the overwhelm and pause to reflect with intention.
In my own business, I pride myself on consistency. This is how my audience learns to rely on me for valuable information and it speaks to my core values. If my consistency waivers and I don’t show up the way I intend, I know it’s time to make some changes.
I teach my clients to be consistent as well. We do this through what I like to call, “rhythms”. Together we outline tasks and dedicate specific time blocks to each piece.
Before you jump into growing your team, I highly recommend you take the time to look at your systems and workflow to see how you can optimize what you are doing on your own.
As COO I work with entrepreneurs to tighten up business systems and rhythms, reflect on what is and is not working, assess their tasks, and determine which hire will be best for their current needs.
In this post, I will walk you through that process so you can do the same independently!
What are you doing inconsistently that you need to improve?
Before you consider outsourcing, it’s a good idea to take inventory of what is already happening in your business. Take time to identify what works well, what works for now, and what is not working.
Let’s start by assessing your “needle movers” and rhythms.
The Three Needle Movers is a system for time blocking and increasing your productivity. It can be used daily, weekly, and even monthly. It allows you to prioritize and stay focused on what is going to have the biggest impact on your business and move the dial forward.
First, take some time to figure out your 3 needle movers that must get done. Block out time in your calendar to take care of each of these 3 items in order of priority.
Taking the time to block off these “movers” will help you hold yourself accountable so you can focus on priority tasks first and foremost without distraction.
Next, we focus on time management. You can develop your time blocking systems by considering your ideal workweek. My goal is to identify rhythms in your business and how you see everything piecing together on a day-to-day basis.
Here’s a peek into what my daily and weekly rhythms look like:
One of my favorite weekly rhythms is to schedule all of my coaching calls on Mondays. I noticed that this rhythm worked well for me and my clients. I love starting my week off strong by connecting with people and jumping right in!
Over time, I’ve also noticed this tremendously benefits my clients. They have more time to implement feedback and put new systems in place. We all get more from the experience.
Consider when you work best and how you can leverage your time during the week.
You can also apply rhythms monthly, quarterly, and annually. This can include tasks such as updating your finances each month, planning your content or updating your overall marketing plan. Using these systems will help reduce your workload so you’re working smarter not harder.
Now that you have evaluated your “needle movers” and rhythms in your business, it is easier to identify which parts of your business are being neglected. You might be surprised to find some of these tasks may not be all that important to you anymore while others are essential and need to be addressed.
Returning to your Core Values is the best way to determine which of these tasks in your business need more care and attention.
Every entrepreneur has unique values at the core of what they do. It is important to establish these values and come back to them consistently to ensure that as your business develops, you are staying true to what matters most to you. Some values may change over time while others will remain consistent.
Some examples of core values include a commitment to a freedom lifestyle, educating your audience, consistency in all areas of business, and clear communication. Consider about 3 values that you feel are at the heart of your business.
Consistency is one of my Core Values. I want to show up for my audience with valuable information they can count on. Blog posts, emails, and social content were non-negotiables but they were falling off and keeping me out of alignment with my business vision. With this clarity, I was able to dig deeper into my needs.
With my Core Values front and center, I began to evaluate my tasks. I knew I had automated and systematized anything I could in my business, so the remaining tasks were falling off because of a lack of time and an increase in work volume.
This is a natural time and place to seek additional help and support.
The question now was not, “is it time to grow my team?”, but “who do I need to hire to grow my team the right way?”
First I categorized my tasks into four groups.
As you take note of all of your current business tasks, be prepared: this will be a long list!
Most entrepreneurs play the role of CEO, social media manager, accountant, tech support….the list goes on and on! Write it ALL down. No task is too small or trivial.
Once you have all of your responsibilities down on paper, you’ll start to categorize them. I like to start by considering my relationship with each of these duties.
If you ADORE your time on Social Media then a social media manager may not be a great first hire. Or maybe you genuinely look forward to writing your weekly blog posts and a copywriter wouldn’t serve you well. Think of what pieces light you up and bring you the most joy. Also, be honest with yourself about how consistent you are in completing these tasks.
You can break these down even further to help you decide which tasks you need to keep for yourself.
Think of it this way.
Ice cream is delicious. Coldstone Creamery KNOWS that you are going to choose an ice cream mix that you’ll enjoy. They anticipate you’ll choose a cup size that aligns with your love for that flavor.
Think of each of these ice cream cup portions as business tasks. These categories can help us identify which tasks we want to hold onto and which we want to hand off.
You want to keep the “Gotta Have It” tasks on your plate. These are the pillars of your work. They keep you engaged and fuel your passion for service. These tasks tend to be in or directly related to your zone of genius.
The “like its” and “love its” are manageable, but could be handed over without you feeling like you’d lose your identity as CEO.
Look at your “like it” tasks. Can you pay someone to do it better and quicker? You may consider increasing the cost of specific services if you know the quality will improve. This will offset the investment in your new team member. It’s a win-win-win for you, your new hire, and your clients.
“Time-eaters” vary from person to person. These could be things you actually like to do but tend to take a lot of time. Think of the tasks that pull you down the rabbit hole. Could someone else do them as well, if not better, and in less time?
What would you GLADLY hand over to someone else? The tasks in this category are the things that remind you of lima beans more than ice cream– yuck! These tend to be parts of your business that you put off until the last minute or avoid altogether. You understand their importance, but drag your feet to do them. These tasks are permanent residents on your to-do list.
Now that you know which tasks you want to hold on to, could let go of, and need to hand over, you can start to notice some trends.
What patterns or related tasks could I hand over to one person?
How can we cluster a few key tasks together strategically to make sure my new hire is leveraged to their fullest potential?
For example, as I was considering my options, I acknowledged that I was no longer able to stay consistent with the educational and communication portions of my business. I needed support with my social media content, regular email communication, and my blog posts.
These three things were really important to me. They were things I genuinely enjoyed doing, but they either took me forever to finish or I never got around to starting in the first place.
While I could have hired a social media manager for Insta posts, a VA for emails, and a copywriter for my blog content, that was just WAY out of budget! Instead, I took time to think through how I could be more streamlined.
I realized that a copywriter would be able to serve all three of these needs efficiently.
My copywriter and I developed a plan to recycle and leverage content. She creates a blog post which is then dissected into multiple social posts and an email inviting my audience to read the blog.
I was able to hire one person whose zone of genius serves my three biggest needs!
Taking the time to see where your biggest areas of need can overlap will help you make a wise choice and utilize your new hire in a way that allows their talents and skills to shine.
The three most common first hires are Virtual Assistants, Copywriters, and Social Media Managers. Each of these experts can provide you with a ton of value. Now that you’ve identified and prioritized the tasks that need the most attention, you’ll be able to choose the expert that can support several of your needs best.
A VA can be a great hire for your business. Most people associate VA’s with administrative work. And while they can definitely help you with these tasks, they can be leveraged to do so much more. A VA can help by engaging with your audience, offering personalized support for your clients, and can improve your automated systems regularly to grow with your ever-changing needs.
Hiring a copywriter is like hiring a “two-in-one” role. A writer and a salesperson. Sure, a copywriter will take all of the time-consuming writing off your plate. You’ll spend more time in your zone of genius and less time with dreaded writer’s block! Copywriters know how to strategically craft your messaging to resonate with your ideal audience. This means your words will act like a salesperson, all day, every day. The words on your website, blog, socials, and email will help to sell your products and services for you! Once they’re out there, they’re working for you constantly!
Social media is a large piece of your business and visibility. It’s common for entrepreneurs to get sucked into social media: comparing “likes”, spending hours on Canva, and trying to keep up with DMs from potential clients. A Social Media Manager can be an excellent hire if you need breathing room in the social world. This individual can help you craft content for your posts, communicate with your audience in DMs or comments, enhance your hashtag game, and help you develop an overall social strategy on your platforms.
After going through this process, I finally landed on my first hire. I surprised myself, to be honest.
I originally went into this thinking I would hire a VA first, it seemed like the obvious choice. However, after really digging into the needs of my business, I realized a different expert would serve me better.
I HIRED A COPYWRITER!
My copywriter has already added tremendous value and taken a huge amount off of my plate so I can show up consistently for my audience and clients while staying in my zone of genius.
She’s the reason you’ll be able to count on value-packed blogs like this one! I’ve been loving the collaboration process. A strong copywriter can truly capture what’s in your brain and get it onto the page.
I’m so excited about the growth I am already seeing and the potential for the future. I cannot wait to keep growing my team intentionally and sustainably.
When bringing on your first team member, you want to be sure that you are hiring the person who is going to move the needle forward in your business MOST so that you will feel the greatest impact.
Being aware of your needs will help you have clear communication with your new team member from the start. You’ll be able to ask the right questions and understand what you need as you grow your team.
Before making an important hiring decision:
Growing your team is a big decision. If you’d like a little support to help you take inventory of your business and strategize your hiring process, schedule a free strategy session with me! I’d love to support you, and maybe even give you the clarity you need to take action and move the dial forward!