Are you in your first year of business?
When you’re in the early stages of growing your business, you may feel like you’re playing musical hats – doing data entry, invoicing, holding client calls, blogging up a storm, and trying to find two spare seconds to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back (and, y’know, reheat your cold coffee).
And that’s just what you do in ONE DAY.
Sure, it’s nice to hear people saying: “How the heck does she do it?” But the reality is: If you stay stuck in an I-can-do-it-all mindset, you’re limiting your potential for business growth and income.
Because really, hiring help isn’t something that comes after you’ve “made it”, and you’re making an impressive income. It’s the thing you do NOW if you want to eventually achieve all of that – and then some.
For many early-stage entrepreneurs, the idea of hiring someone seems expensive, overwhelming, and something to do when you’re business is bigger / more profitable / you’ve got oodles of tasks to hand off or a full-time position to fill.
The thing is, building a modern business – whatever your business is – takes learning from and leaning on others from day one. This allows you to focus on your “zone of genius” – that is, the things you love to do, do very well, and want to bring to your customer. And that means you can stop spinning your wheels, trying to master skills you could easily outsource, on your terms. (And your budget.)
It’s easy AND affordable to hire capable contractors as part of your virtual team.
The best thing about modern business-building is your “team” can be freelancers anywhere in the world, hired on a per-project basis, keeping your costs and risk low. Even better, you free up tons of time to focus on other things.
Currently, I have a virtual assistant in London (hi, Jolita!), brand + web partners in Australia (hey, Lis + Em!) and a copywriter extraordinaire in Ontario (yo, Janine!). I lean on them to deliver in their zone of genius, so I can focus on my special sauce – business coaching.
I love the freedom and peace of mind this affords me. Plus, they make me look like my best me – and help me run my business even better.
Here’s my simple 10-step process for hiring contractors:
1) Decide what you will outsource
Are there things you simply hate doing? What about those things that are fun or interesting, but can be done faster by someone else, so you can focus on more important things? Outsource ‘em.
2) Write your job description
Don’t know where to start? I’ve got you covered. Download my handy template at the end of this blog post.
3) Post your job in local and online networks where you know suitable candidates might be hanging out
Facebook groups, an email blast to friends, or one of the websites below are great places to post.
4) Review several qualified candidates
Beyond their resumé, you might also ask them to write you a cover letter email or send samples of their work. Remember you don’t just want people who you could have a beer with – you want to hire people who lend strength to your weaknesses.
5) Interview your favorite two or three candidates
I like to use Skype or Google Hangouts so we can see each other and get a better sense of personality fit.
Need some help thinking up questions to ask? I’ve given you a head start in the template at the end of this blog post.
6) Pick your favorite, ask for resources, and check them.
One of the great things about a site like Upwork is you can see how your candidate has been rated for past jobs. I like social proof!
7) Hire your favorite and get the legal stuff outta the way
Have your contractor sign your NDA and independent contract.
Don’t have those, yet? You need them, and it is light lifting to get them in place. Check out my favorite legal resources in My Faves.
8) Set up your payment process
If you are using a service like Upwork, you can pay your contractor automatically through the service. You connect your credit card or bank account, your contractor does the same, and Upwork pulls the money from you and pushes it to her.
If you’re hiring directly, Paypal or Stripe are both great payment options.
9) Set clear expectations for your contractor
You’ll get better outcomes if you set clear expectations for your team member, and share your overall vision + objectives.
I used a free + easy Google tool, sites.wiki.com, and created an online manual for my contractor. I shared with her my products, my target audience, and my goals. I also created a list to accounts that she needs access to in order to do her work.
The great thing about sites.wiki.com is you can “turn on” access to the wiki when your contractor starts, and “turn off” access when the project is done.
10) Set up weekly calls
You want to make sure your contractor has what she needs to do her job to the best of her abilities (and to ensure you’re working toward the same big picture vision).
For the first month or so, my VA and I had weekly calls. These days, everything’s like clockwork, so we don’t have them nearly as often.
11) Okay, I lied, there’s an extra bonus step: Breathe a sigh of relief!
So, where do you find your amazing people? You have lots of options.
I know two rock star women who have built their business around finding the perfect virtual assistant for people just like you. They are:
Victoria Klein @ VK the VA
Sara Wagers @ Virtual Biz Partner
If you want to cast a more global net, here are three services you can use:
- Upwork – 10 million freelancers
- Freelancer.com – 18 million freelancers
- Guru.com – 1.5 million freelancers
All three work in similar ways – you post your job description, you get matched with several qualified candidates, you interview, and you hire. The payment goes through the service, so there is no passing of bank account or credit card info. Seamless and easy.
But the BEST way to find an ideal match? Through referrals from peers you trust. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other biz ladies you know who are rocking it, put out your feelers, and see who is helping them succeed.
If you’re in a mastermind group or thriving Facebook community, post your job description and ask: “Who did you love working with?” or “Who would you recommend?” and see what gems you find!
You don’t have to do it all – and in fact, you shouldn’t. The more help you get early on, the faster you can grow and scale your business!
Now It’s Your Turn
In the comments below, tell me:
Where do you need the most help in your business, and what could you start outsourcing in the next 3 months?
Wendy is the creator and founder of She Gets Business, an online community and five-week program for women who are ready to create the life they love, make the money they crave, and build something they’re super proud of.
She’s an experienced business coach, mentor, and teacher with a great love for education, technology, and empowering women and girls. She has 12+ years experience with companies like Adobe, Apple, and Google, and has coached oodles of entrepreneurs with products ranging from fancy frying pans to enterprise software.
Her true love is teaching women how they can apply these best practices to their own small business, take their business to the next level, and flourish.
P.S. If you liked this post, why not share it with a friend?