How to Grow your Business by Building your Team (Part One)
All online businesses come to the point when the entrepreneur must either build a team or stop growing. You will realize that you can only produce a limited amount per week. No matter how hard each of us works, we all have our limits. You need help. Hiring the right person—someone that you can comfortably delegate to—will accelerate your journey toward the coveted seven-figure income. But there are risks.
Hiring the wrong person can set your progress back dramatically. The landmark Hiring for Attitude study tells us that an amazing 46% of newly hired employees fail within 18 months and only 19% will unequivocally succeed. The March 3rd issue of Forbes says, “Most fail—not because they’re incompetent—but because they don’t fit with their bosses, their colleagues or their new company.”
My failures as a hiring manager came when I didn’t look past technical competence—the fundamental skills needed to get the job done. Yet only about 11% of those who are discharged leave because of incompetence.
In this series of blog posts, Peter and I are going to lay out a course of action that has worked for both of us in finding and hiring the kind of team players that entrepreneurships need to sustain a high rate of growth.
Now that you’ve made that all-important decision to expand your workforce, you need to take a deep breath and systematically work through the next steps. You’re about to make an extremely important decision—one that will determine your economic future.
The natural thing to do is to bring someone onboard as quickly as possible. You may think: Since I am a successful entrepreneur, surely a similar person would be the logical hire. That’s too easy and can be one of the worst mistakes you could make. You need someone who complements your skillset and whose work ethic dovetails with your own.
Here's an effective way to avoid that pitfall:
- Initially, you must decide what tasks you want to delegate.
- Then you must decide what skills and personality type the optimal team member should have.
- Finally, you must find that person.
The easy way to identify the tasks that you want to delegate is by sorting the tasks that your entrepreneurship does. I use these categories:
- Those that you cannot delegate,
- Tasks you can safely delegate,
- Tasks that you hate doing, and
- Tasks that just about anyone could do.
Now prioritize the tasks that you can delegate by importance. Those that you hate doing automatically get a slightly higher importance.
Determining what’s most important may not be as easy as it sounds. So let me get you started.
Your most important asset is your email list. But only if it is responsive, enthusiastic, trusting and willing to buy your products and services. The tasks that your business must do to build that high quality list are to
- Deliver high quality content and products
- Carry on a dialogue with your list members
- Support products you have sold or given away
You cannot perform those essential tasks without an attractive, well maintained website.
Then there are the tasks that are specific to your particular market niche.
Now that you have identified and prioritized the tasks that you can delegate, you need to list the skills needed to perform each task. That will help you to decide what kind of person to hire.
Now is time to address the 46% question: What are the traits of a team member who can work with you and the other team members in your current company environment. That’s a tough one and I would like to dedicate Part Two to that question.
Then you will be ready to formulate for your own benefit what you are looking for in a new team member. This preparation should be your guidelines for recruiting, help you formulate questions before the interview and select the right team member.
Let me remind you that you should be patient and not push yourself too hard. After all, you are not just the HR manager; you are the marketing manager, operations manager, customer support manager...
I will continue contemplating on team building in my next blog post on this subject. Until then, let me know what you think, what causes your headache: leave a comment for me. I will respond, I promise.