Once you realize you need a team you are probably going to want to get started quickly. That's how we work as entrepreneurs, an idea gets in our head and we leap forward.
Typically we rush to bring a new team member on board because we need help now. How can you fix this? A few key elements can easily remedy about 85% of common hiring mistakes.
1. Create a vision statement. Make sure you have written out what you want your life and business to be like when you hire the person. Don't skip this step - it really is crucial to attracting the right people to co-create the experience you want.
2. Develop a job description. Map out exactly what you want the person to accomplish for you. This will also help with estimating the number of hours to plan for.
3. Identify your standards, values and vision for your company. If you don't communicate them up front, how will you know if they share your standards, values and vision? If your standard is to respond to phone calls within 24 hours and your VA's is to return calls within 5 days, you could have a problem.
4. Create a checklist of skills, work style preferences and resources team members must have. Do they need to have experience in your particular trade/ industry? Do you use Microsoft Outlook and need to be compatible? Do you prefer to work with self-starters who need little guidance or want to be intimately involved in the day to day operations with them?
5. Take time to interview and check references. Interview at least three to five candidates. Ask questions like, "Tell me about a time when you didn't know how to complete a job, what did you do?" or "How did you learn how to perform your duties at your last job?"
Once you get the basics down, here are two quick-start strategies to build your team:
1. Delegate Your Weaknesses
If you know what you do well and not as well, then you can determine what to delegate first. The reason why this is a first good strategy is that when you stop doing the things you aren't good at, not only do you have more time but you will also have more energy. There is something very freeing about letting go of things you don't do well.
When pulling a team together, you add to your team people you need to be hiring to strengthen your strengths and never to strengthen a weakness. By knowing what your unique ability is, you can strengthen what you are really good at. When you're doing what you love doing, you never feel overwhelmed, you are energized. Find people whose unique abilities complement your weaknesses. There are people who just love to email or call people to answer questions. They find creativity in these areas that may seem mundane and overwhelming to you. The right person in the right spot will strengthen your team. The right person in the wrong spot can never be a good team member and you will dilute all your efforts.
2. Clone Your Talent
The second way to build a team is to find people who can do what you do - but cheaper. It's like reproducing yourself into a bunch of "Mini-Me's" who help you serve more clients. At a certain point, when you get more clients than you have time, this is an excellent option.
Michele PW, a top-notch copywriting specialist, had a huge breakthrough in her business when she began to outsource her writing jobs to other copywriters who didn't want to spend a lot of time marketing and selling. They just wanted to write. The beauty is that she is doing them a big service - getting them jobs without their having to market themselves.
Building a strong, quality team of owners (not just task managers) can have a significant impact on your sanity and your bottom line. Do it right in the beginning and you'll reap the rewards for years to come.
Melanie Benson Strick is the Million Dollar Lifestyle Business Coach. If you'd like to learn more about how to get out of your own way and stop hijacking your success, you can download her new report, The CEO Factor Manifesto at http://www.TheCEOFactorManifesto.com.