When is it Time to Hire Your First Team Member?

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As a business coach, I often get asked by small business owners, “How do I know it’s time to hire my first team member?” The decision to bring on your first hire is a significant one, and it can be a scary step for many business owners; however, it’s a critical step that you have to consider if you hope to grow and scale your business.

Signs that it’s time to bring on your first team member

As a small business owner, there comes a time when you can no longer manage your business alone. And although it might not feel like it right now, that’s a good thing! That means all of your hard work has paid off and you have a growing business. But let’s face it, it’s probably not sustainable and you might like to take a vacation someday. 

 

Some common signs that it’s time to bring on your first team member include turning down work or opportunities because you can’t step away from the business, missing deadlines, and experiencing a drop in revenue growth. You may also find that your current clients aren’t getting the time and attention they deserve, or that you’re unable to create a new revenue stream by yourself. If the quality of your work or pieces of your offering are suffering, it may be a clear indication that you need an extra set of hands to help you meet the demands of your growing business. 

 

The needs of the business should be your guide when making decisions, so if there is a need in your business that is not your area of expertise or you find that the same tasks always fall to the bottom of your list, it’s a good time to consider hiring your first team member.

Identifying What Kind of Hire You Need

When you’re overwhelmed and know something needs to change, it can be hard to know what kind of hire you need first. Once you’ve identified that it’s time to hire your first teammember, you must decide what kind of hire you need first. Here are some steps to help you determine the type of hire:

 

  • Figure out what you don’t like doing or you aren’t good at (or someone else could do it better or faster than you).
  • Look at the tasks that you are doing that are repeatable in some form.
  • Identify those tasks that are “below your pay grade” and doing them is an opportunity cost for the business.
  • Find items that can be automated or enhanced for efficiency, but you don’t have the time or expertise to know how.

 

Common mistakes Entrepreneurs make when building their teams

As you begin the process of hiring your first teammember, it’s essential to avoid some common mistakes that solopreneurs make. Here are some of the most common mistakes I see solopreneurs make as a business coach:

 

Don’t

  • Hire a unicorn or Frankenstein person to fill a few jobs. Be clear about the job, the KPIs, and who the person is that can do them well. 
  • Hire a friend, neighbor, or cousin because you trust or like them. This can get messy and too personal when issues arise. 
  • Hire in a biased way based on what you think you want or need. 
  • Forget to research – look at social media feeds, check references (formal or informal), and ask hard questions in an interview. You want to really “know” the person as much as possible and make sure that their values and cultural fit work with yours.

Do

  • Make sure that your hiring pool is diverse. Don’t be afraid to bring in someone that will challenge you (in a good way).
  • Have a clear contract with clear terms of responsibility, payment details, and exit strategy. I recommend using a contract of your own rather than a contract the candidate offers whenever possible.
  • Set aside the time to be a manager. Even the best people need check-ins for questions and training.

The Challenges & Benefits of Delegating

For solopreneurs, the most challenging part of the process is often having the confidence to do it. Getting started and feeling like you don’t know where to begin can feel like a huge roadblock. Beyond that, knowing how to write a job description, where to find the person, and outlining the process that they want to use can also be challenging. As a business coach (and small business owner!) all of these feelings are normal. I know how difficult it can be to relinquish control of certain aspects of your business but having the freedom, creativity, and clarity to set the vision for the business is essential for your success. 

 

Are you ready to hire but still have unanswered questions? 

 

Schedule a Power Hour with me and I can help you figure out where you need to start outsourcing tasks and who you need to hire to help. A Power Hour is 60 minutes of targeted support designed to help you grow and scale your business while addressing some of the most pressing problems -like hiring and building an effective team!

 

Take the next step in growing your business –  I’M READY FOR MY POWER HOUR

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