One of the first pieces of advice you’ll hear as an entrepreneur is “you need a team”. While I am a big advocate of operating in your zone of brilliance right from the start, battling your overwhelm with more team members is not always the answer. Adding people to your team costs money (and time). You want to make sure that you are getting the most from your investment.
Here are three questions to ask before you add someone to your team.
- Are you clear on what your company does? OK, I know that sounds like a really dumb question, but unless you are hiring a business coach, you can’t expect your team members to create your vision right from the beginning. You can invest a lot of time and money into work that you end up not using. I had a client once who changed her entire business 8 times. I had lots of work putting up new web sites, writing new copy, but all of that effort was wasted.
- Are you clear on what you want the team member to do for you? Lack of clarity and communication are two things that cause failed contractor relationships. Your team member is not a mind reader. Ideally, before you hire them, you’ll have clear tasks and performance goals for them. If you just need “help” and are “drowning”, you need to take the time to get yourself out of the crisis before you bring new people on to the team. Sometimes the answer is simply to stop doing so much – especially if all the activity is not bringing you the results you desire.
- Do you really need the help? When you are totally overwhelmed, it can seem like hiring someone will stop the bleeding now. But, a lot of times, the answer is a better system, not more people. Take a step back and look at the process you want to hire someone to do for you. Ask yourself:
- Is this something that I could automate? Is it worth paying someone a bit more up front to automate the process than getting someone to do it manually?
- Is there a more creative way of getting this done? Can I trade with someone else? (We created Time Traders Club to make this easy for you)
Staffing is one of the biggest expenses of a solo business. If you can get this right, you can get more done, decrease your overwhelm and increase your profits.