How to Grow your Business by Building your Team (Part Two)
“You’ve got to have help if you want to make it to that exclusive 7-figure club.”
I absolutely believe that statement. —All of the millionaire online entrepreneurs that I know or met or even know of have someone to support him or her. Most have a handful.
In Part One of this series of posts, I talked about how to decide which tasks to delegate. In this part, I’ll talk about when to unload which tasks as you grow and where to find the team members who can do the work for you. In the next part, Part Three, I’ve asked Peter David to share his tricks and techniques for selecting the best from your pool of candidates. – That’s his profession and he knows much more about that than I do.
Delegating a task does not mean that you give it to someone and walk away. The frustrating thing can be that delegating is often more time consuming than just doing it yourself. So you need to be prepared to both train your new team member and monitor his or her progress.
You’ll know that your training is complete when 95% of the time you can tell your new team member what to do and not how to do it. Even then, you need to check out his or her work product often enough to know that your needs are being met.
On top of that, you as the supervisor in that setup need to give your colleagues feedback. It is essential. If you do it right, it will strengthen your professional relationship with them.
Here’s the situation that is easy to fall into and you want to avoid. If you wait until you are absolutely strapped for time, you will be tempted to bring someone on board quickly and expect that person to not just do the job right but also do it the way you would have done it. When they don’t – I can guarantee that they won’t – you will be frustrated, possibly angry. The longer it takes for you to discover the roots of your disappointment, the worse the situation becomes.
The implication of all this is that you need to be planning and to be monitoring your enterprise’s workload.
There are two considerations in your planning:
- You need to estimate how long it will take to train and integrate the new team member into your enterprise so you can start looking early enough.
- You should make a list of those tasks to be delegated on the basis of importance.
This second bit of planning is not easy.
There is one fact that all businesses share. Marketing and customer relations are the most important functions. That is why your email lists of loyal and proactive prospects and customers are your most important assets. Growing those lists results from skilled marketing. Maintaining those lists depends on skillful, courteous customer support.
Since you are probably the most essential member of the marketing team, I would expect your enterprise to be very close to 7-figures or beyond before you can truly hand marketing over to someone else. (Truly skilled marketing managers are very expensive.) Those marketing decisions will make the difference in success or failure of your business.
Customer support is critical but much easier to delegate than marketing. So I recommend that your first new team member be customer support. A good source for customer support team members may well be from among your satisfied customers. They are familiar with your product so training will not be so difficult. Finding the right personality is just as important. I’ll let Peter tell you the techniques that work in Part Three of this series.
Filling out the rest of the list of tasks to be delegated in point 2 above depends on you and your line of business. This is where monitoring the workloads helps. As a particular task starts to occupy a great deal of time, you’ll want to get ready to add another team member before that task becomes overwhelming.
Since bringing the wrong team member onboard can be disastrous, you want to be very careful. Actually, hiring someone as an employee is one of the riskiest things you can do. Depending on the laws that you are governed by, terminating an employee can be extremely expensive and time consuming. To add to the challenge, governments want anyone who does anything for you in exchange for anything of value to be an employee so they can collect more taxes.
I am not giving legal advice. I am just telling you what I have noticed by doing business in several countries. The safest way to add a team member is to find someone who can work over the Internet and has more than one client.
Here’s what works for me:
- An American fellow provides customer support.
- A young lady in Bangladesh does my artwork for me.
- A Hungarian does some of my blogging and advertising.
- An American maintains my websites.
For the price of a dinner in a good restaurant, you can contract with two or three people and give them the same task. Be careful about selecting a team member just on the basis of quality. That person must fit into your enterprise and be compatible with your and your colleagues' personalities. Peter will give you some great techniques for making those decisions in Part Three.