I hate doing the serious business stuff and by that I mean everything to do with accounting, taxes, policies, and procedures. I enjoy coming up with strategies, meeting people to see how we can help each other, and being part of the creative process.
When you’re just starting out, you’ll find yourself learning and doing everything to save costs especially when you’re bootstrapping. I learnt how to built HTML websites, how to change blog themes, write newsletters, update my social media channels, how to sort of balance sheets and how to network better. I gave up doing my own taxes so I outsourced it to an accounting agency.
However, for your business to grow, you need to plan your finances well enough to ensure that you can hire people to do the stuff you don’t like to do or stuff you’re not great at.
To be honest with you, I’ve had some trouble hiring people because:
#1 I’m a control freak
Over the years I’ve built my business and its brand. I like to do things a certain way. I also find it faster to do things myself rather than having to train a junior to take over my tasks.
#2 I’m very frugal
I come from a small middle level income family. I’ve seen my parents struggle through the 1986 and 1999 recession. I’ve seen them jobless. I know how hard it is to get money and it’s too easy spending money. Because of this, I’m very careful with how I spend my money and my company’s money. Very rarely do I go on holiday and shop for new stuff and I spend a little more on good meals with my really close friends every few months. I also reward my team after a job well done.
I understand that to hire someone good would mean investing in him/her but I really need to know that he/she can perform well enough to bring in business to our company like I did before giving him/her a well deserved good salary.
#3 I don’t “read” people very well
Sure, I’ve got the instinct telling me if someone is genuine or not but I can’t “read” candidates. I know of business associates who are able to “read” candidates by the words they say or how they act. I’m usually too nice during interviews as I don’t like intimidating people only to realize later after the interview that the candidate wasn’t good enough and end up not hiring anyone.
#4 I don’t have time to train the new staff myself
I’m always on the move, meeting clients, preparing proposals, meeting partners etc. In my busy-ness, I always feel that I won’t be a good enough guide despite me having all the templates and what not in place.
Of course you know these are all excuses. Reasons in our head to remain in control and avoid unnecessary problems.
I’m not alone as I know other business owners who are facing the same issues I am. So what do we do? We need to learn to outsource and delegate so we can focus on what we love doing.
What to outsource
Once you get comfortable with giving up control on things `only you can do’, outsourcing starts to get addictive. You can either start with a Virtual Assistant or a Fresh Graduate who is hungry to learn. Weigh your options carefully and watch your budget.
I would suggest to start out with some very simple tasks you feel that you can hand over. If the job isn’t done properly, it won’t kill you.
Since I’ll be delegating my appointment making, I would have a sales kit handy with an email and call template. To keep within my budget, I’ve decided that the staff will only be working a maximum of 25 hours a week (5 hours a day) as a start. Once, he or she is more experienced, he or she will then be trained to meet with clients and work on projects independently.
Next on my hiring list would be for someone to handle my social media pages. I love writing but it would be great to have someone sharing great stuff on different channels frequently. I would also need to hire a Graphic Designer to create unique logos, posters, e-books, ads and stuff. I might hire a Virtual Assistant for these tasks.
As you can see, building a team is done one step at a time, and each time you do, you’re able to give more control and responsibility over to them, and become a better leader.
Working with a new team can be a challenge if you let your team do their own thing all the time. To ensure everyone is on track it helps to have monthly planning calls with key team members, and a weekly report from your staff that should cover the key business metrics, what he/she working on and what he/she’s achieved the last week.
As the business grows and you might then need to get ready to hire more staff and move to a bigger space. It really depends on the type of business you do, of course. If you’re service based, working remotely works. However, if you’re a B2B or brick and mortar or e-commerce business, you would eventually need to hire non-remote staff. Hopefully by then you would already be comfortable with the hiring process.
I’m hoping to get more done with my delegated tasks. I’ve got lots planned and I won’t be able to enjoy what I do best if I were to do everything myself. Here’s to a more productive business for all of us!