Entrepreneur, Organization & Productivity

The Secret to Scaling and Growing Your Team without Cloning Yourself

Episode 022: Show Notes

Ever wonder how to go about growing your business and which strategy to pursue? Maybe you feel stuck and you are at the breaking point where something’s got to give? Well, today on the podcast we jump into exactly how to scale and grow your team. We tackle all the questions you need to be asking yourself before you even decide whether a team is the right move for you. Because for some of you, a team might not be the answer; it just might be what you think is the answer.

Ever wonder how to go about growing your business and which strategy to pursue? Maybe you feel stuck and you are at the breaking point where something’s got to give? Well, today on the podcast we jump into exactly how to scale and grow your team. We tackle all the questions you need to be asking yourself before you even decide whether a team is the right move for you. Because for some of you, a team might not be the answer; it just might be what you think is the answer.  |  Think Creative Collective

We dive right into the nitty gritty details of how much you should be spending on new team members, how much you should be paying them, and, of course, what the differences are between employees and contractors. We also tackle some of the fears and mentality shifts that come with running a team inside your own business. Specifically, we narrow it down so you can decide for yourself whether you are ready for a team, how to make that actually happen, and the critical questions you should be asking. So hang on tight, and join us as we dive into some killer growth strategy!

Start At the End and Work Backwards

To start, you need to imagine your business 5 to 10 years from now. This can be scary for a lot of people, because you may not even know what you want for your business next month! However, this vision will be key in identifying the type of growth strategy you need to pursue. Start by figuring out what kind of business you want, eventually. Is your future business an empire? Is there a big office? Is there a warehouse? Or perhaps you see yourself on the beach in Tahiti with an iPad checking your email every few hours? These are all questions that will help you form a picture of what you want your business to grow into. Keep in mind that as the business grows, your vision for it may change. That’s okay! Just regroup, re-strategize, and, again, start at the end and work backwards.

So, Who Do I Hire First?

When looking to hire someone new for your team, it does not help to look for a Jack or Jill of all trades. It is next to impossible, and will frustrate the heck out of you if you look for someone who can wear as many hats as you do, because you won’t find them. The first question you need to ask yourself is, “What is one specific task I can get off my plate right now?” Keep in mind, this may not necessarily need an employee. You may be able to take this task off your hands by automating it with a specific software or app. However, once you start looking to hire a person, identify the tasks that you are not very good at and offload those first. Then, once they are part of the team and you can trust them in your business, it will be easier to start giving them other tasks as well.

The Looming Question of Money, Money, Money

We could go on all day about who to hire and why to hire them, but we know that your biggest question is what to actually pay the people who you are bringing onto your team. The first step is to figure out how much it would cost YOU to do the task, and if you don’t know, then you have to do the math! Start with working out your hourly wage, then find out how long a specific task takes you, and multiply that out. This number may look scary at first, but it is important to remember that 20% of your business profits should be re-invested back into the business in order to pay for additional staff or purchasing new systems. This reinvestment does not reward you on the front-end, but will help you to build a stronger business, which will reward you down the line.

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If someone comes in and you hire them to do one specific part of your business, you don’t give them keys to the Rolls Royce.
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Be Empowered By Hiring Others

The one person you absolutely cannot hire for your business, is yourself. At the end of the day, no one cares about your business as much as you do, and looking for someone who can wear all those different hats will just let you down in the end. However, if having someone take over your role in the business is your goal, then perhaps the business is not for you. You shouldn’t be looking for someone to take on the exact same role as you, either. Often this will just lead to your employee learning all your tricks of the trade and taking those strategy secrets with them as they start their own business. You need someone with a different skill set who will bring you more clients. Once you are booked solid, then it’s time to bring on backup and hire someone to take on a similar role to yours to take over what you cannot get to on your own.

Doing A Trial Run and Hiring For Fit

One of the best decisions we made, and we have done this with almost every single person we have on our team, is doing a trial run before committing to a new employee. We are the kind of people who are afraid of commitment when it comes to some aspects of business. And when it comes to spending money on people and making sure it works, we are both very much into quality control. We always want to make sure that it is a good fit, and that we get along. See how it goes over the trial period, what the results of them being on the team are, and take it from there. If something is not working, it’s important to act fast because if you let it go on too long you will end up in this awkward friend stage where you feel uncomfortable giving them critique. Ultimately, you’re paying them to do the job and you can’t just be friends.

Are You Hiring Employees or Contractors? Know The Difference

For most creative business owners, independent contractors are going to be your BFF’s. There are several different types of contracts that you can have with them. You can either hire them on a project-basis, where they work with your team for the duration of a certain project until it is complete. You could also have them on a monthly recurring retainer basis, so they have a certain set of tasks that they do each month and you pay them an amount monthly for as long as they continue to do those tasks. Or, you could pay them an hourly rate and they send you an invoice at the end of every day. With an employee, things can get complicated really quickly. Depending on your state and how many hours they work, you may have to offer them retirement benefits or health insurance, amongst many other things.

Letting Go of Perfectionism to Foster Trust

When it comes to expanding your team, one of the biggest roadblocks holding creatives back is that they do not trust anyone else with the work. This comes from a certain level of perfectionism, not believing that anyone else will do it just the way that you want it done. That perfectionism and fear of others screwing things up can be like an anchor, weighing you down and preventing you from scaling up your business. The key to building a trusting relationship is not to give new hires access to absolutely everything in your business immediately. Only give them what they need to start with, and then, as the trust grows, you can give them more access as they need it.

Highlights

  • Learn why it is most beneficial to start at the end and work backwards. [0:02:08.1]
  • Understand who to hire first once you’ve made the decision to grow your team. [0:06:50.0]
  • Find out how to answer the looming question of money and what to pay new hires. [0:18:21.9]
  • Discover why you cannot hire yourself, and why you should be empowered by hiring others instead. [0:26:02.5]
  • Learn what it means to “hire for fit” and why doing a trial run can be beneficial during the process. [0:30:40.2]
  • Understand the difference between hiring employees and hiring contractors. [0:33:25.6]
  • Letting Go of Perfectionism to Foster Trust. [0:37:51.5]

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:48:45.8]

  1. Identify the specific task that needs to be done, reach out to find a suitable candidate.
  2. Hop on a face-to-face call with at least three potential hires, to see who will be a good fit.
  3. Once you’ve picked an individual, email them with a clear trial.

Today’sGuest

ABAGAIL & EMYLEE

The Strategy Hour Podcast

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We help overwhelmed and creative entrepreneurs break down their Oprah-sized dreams to create a functioning command center to tame the chaos of their business. Basically, we think you’re totally bomb diggity, we’re about to uplevel the shiz out of your business.

KeyTopics

  • Reverse engineering your business growth.
  • Making the first hire for your team.
  • The topic of money and what to pay others.
  • Being empowered by new team hires.
  • Learning how to hire for fit.
  • The difference between employees and contractors.
  • Learning how to trust and letting go of perfectionism.

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