I've conducted over 20 interviews with highly successful entrepreneurs from all kinds of different backgrounds. One thing that has come up over and over again, is that at some point they all face the same challenge, and that’s team management.
The truth of the matter is that you cannot do it on your own. When you start out as an entrepreneur, you kind of do it all by yourself. You wear 1000 hats.
- you do your marketing
- you do your content creation
- you do client work
- you do finances
- you do it all
Then obviously, when you start to really get traction, you start to have less time to do things that are not your main priority, which is obviously working with your clients. So, when you look at expanding and scaling, you need other people to support you.
This is where it gets tricky.
How to Hire the Right Way
Recently, I talked to a friend of mine and she told me a story about her unfortunate hire in the beginning. There were two important lessons she learned from this.
Number One: Don't skimp on your first hire
Number Two: Don't hire too early if you don't have the budget
This brings up a couple of questions. Obviously, you do want to hire because otherwise, you can't grow. But if you're strapped for cash, you kind of have to look at what's affordable and that can really go wrong.
So today, I'm going to give you some advice.
How to manage a team effectively
- Evaluate what is necessary for your business and what is expandable. My practical tip here would be to make a list of everything you do every day, all the different steps. Then sit back and look at what is actually bringing you, clients, the quickest, what is most effective. If something is draining your time, and you need some cash flow to hire someone to help you, then I scratch those activities for now and really focus on what brings you cash flow the quickest.
- Get some more cash flow into your business and reinvest into a quality hire. Those might not be the cheapest, but it is difficult to figure out who is selling their skills accurately. There can be a correlation between price and quality (doesn't have to) and I do find quality people very often have a higher price tag. It also depends on where you are in the world. When I have freelancers in Europe, they do cost more than if I hire someone in Asia.
3. Know how to ask for help. If you need someone who really helps you structure the business to keep it all running like a project manager or an online business manager, keep in mind that those people will carry a lot of your weight on their shoulders and they need to have experience. You need to know how to ask for help! You need to be super clear in your structure and as to what you are looking for. Make sure that the job description that you're putting out there is very accurate. You need to know how to phrase things and you need to have clear KPIs (key performance indicators) in place so that you can be very objective. Make sure that you pay by the task, not by the hour. This means that you will need to know how much time a task requires. All of these things have to be prepared in advance.
4. Treat your employees like your clients. When you have people applying, I'm completely against test projects aka making them work for free and then selecting who performed the best. I honestly feel that you have to pay everyone for their time. Being fair straight from the beginning and treating your employees like your clients is going to reward you in the future.
What to Do After You Hire Someone
So now that you found the perfect candidate, what’s next?
- It's important that you have SOPs in place (standard operating procedure) which you will do in advance so that you can simply hand them over to this new person. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't matter, they're still in place for the next person.
- You will have to share your KPIs with them, discuss and see if those are possible for them. Have some metrics in there, know what to look for, know what to analyze, because otherwise you might be spending money on something that is not converting into revenue, and then it's not worth anything.
- The final thing is to really understand that all the processes that you have in place are a work in progress. Checking in on a regular basis and making that mandatory meeting on your calendar with your team to evaluate and to get their feedback as well, is going to help you a lot during those discussions. It's really about what has been working for them and for you; those meetings are meant to be communication meetings where everyone is, exchanging how they experienced the process.
With all this said, keep in mind that you need to give metrics three months or so to even show any impact at all. But, if your KPIs aren't a match, it's very easy to say: “I'm sorry, but I need a person who can work within this frame. Unfortunately, as the numbers show, you are not that person. So, at this moment in time, we are not a fit.” This is another lesson – hire slow, fire quickly.
Be aware that you too need to take accountability as a leader when something is not going too well. Praise also goes both ways. If something goes well, it's easy to say: “This was because of my leadership.” But if something doesn't go well, it's also important to look at yourself and say: “What can I do better as a leader?” So, those communication points are super important.
Now, there are more practical steps that are involved in helping you with leadership and your team management, and I have them all in a free guide for you, so make sure you grab that.
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