Things A Business Owner Needs to Know About Creating a Successful Team
As a business owner there comes a time when you need to expand your team. You’ve reached a point where the company’s continued growth, and possibly your sanity, will depend on it. It’s an exciting time as you see the goals you’ve set being realized, yet knowing you cannot do it alone. You need help. What does that look like for your growing business, and how do you achieve it? Here are a few things to consider as you grow a team.
Your First Step – Get Legal Advice
I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV – so I am not giving you legal advice. I do recommend though you get legal counsel and understand your state and federal labor laws. It will help you decide on hiring traditional employees or independent contractors, such as virtual assistants. Some states use what is called the ABC Test and others the Common Law Test, so you should consult an attorney familiar with your state laws before hiring a team for your business.
Identifying Your Needs
There are many considerations as you determine where you need support within your business. What tasks are there that you will feel comfortable handing off to someone else? What ones would you most benefit from if they were off your plate? The best option is to choose things you don’t like to do or don’t do well.
Next, evaluate how much time will be freed up on your schedule. That will allow you time to do what you do best, the things only you can do. Perhaps take a course and pick up a new skill or make plans to offer a new service. It may even give you time to do what you love outside the business. If you find you want more time, repeat the process. Remember, you get to choose what works best for your business!
Remote Support or In-House Help - How Do You Decide?
When reviewing your hiring needs, and whether to enlist remote or in-house support, consider a few factors. Does the position require face-to-face contact with you or your clients, and do you want someone in-house and able to help with day-to-day activities? If the task does not require a physical presence, then you could consider a virtual team member.
Also, consider the costs involved in hiring your team. If you go with onsite staff, you have the costs of recruiting, outfitting an office, payroll and taxes, benefits, and so on. While hourly rates are often lower for onsite staff these additional costs add up. Your self-employed contractor’s hourly rate may be higher, but they pay their own taxes, and the overhead of having a contractor is significantly lower.
While your costs increase when hiring a team, what is the cost of you doing it all yourself? Can you scale your business without additional help? How much growth will you have with staff on board? Remember your business’s growth and additional revenue helps offset your costs.
The Hiring Process
Hiring onsite staff is fairly standard. You place the ad, review applications, interview top candidates, and choose the best fit for the role and your business. Sometimes you even receive referrals from existing employees or people you know. In the virtual space, the process is similar. The virtual assistant industry has exploded in recent years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not hard to find someone, but you want to find the right someone.
Here are a few tips that will help you find the right person for the job.
- The first step is to ask around for referrals and recommendations from fellow business owners or even on LinkedIn. Remember, these potential team members do not need to be local. If your connection in California knows someone and recommends them, do not hesitate to interview them.
- Conduct your interviews via video, through Zoom, Google Meet, or similar video platform. Get to know prospective candidates on a more personal level, and assess non-verbal cues and soft skills during the meeting.
- Most virtual assistants have a website or LinkedIn profile where you can learn more about them. Ask for portfolios, testimonials, and references from previous clients.
- Lastly, partner with a VA Agency to locate quality contractors for your business. There are many benefits to working with an agency. They will recruit and onboard your virtual assistant, handle payroll, and supply coverage if your VA is unavailable, among many other things.
How Can You Effectively Communicate with Your Team?
Communication is key to a successful working relationship regardless if your team is onsite, virtual, or a combination of the two. Keep your entire team connected using employee engagement tools, such as Slack or MS Teams, for messaging individuals or the entire team. Project management boards keep projects moving forward - team members know their responsibilities, due dates and overall project status. As you manage your team, learn what motivates them and their communication styles. Consider using a psychometric test – the AcuMax Index and Meyers-Briggs are two examples - that will help you build an effective and efficient team.
Add weekly video meetings or in-person huddles as part of your strategy. Team members will connect on a more personal level and collaborate on issues or challenges they face. Plus, you can recognize and celebrate all your wins together!
So Many Decisions!
Team building is critical in the success of your growing small business. While these efforts take time and energy, you will be rewarded in the long-term. If you need to partner with an HR consulting and recruiting firm, Let's Build Talent can help build your talent strategy and recruit on-site talent! And if you need a virtual team, our sister company, Achieve VA, is in place. Schedule a free discovery call today, and join our mailing list to keep up to date on our latest news.