When you’re first starting out in business, chances are, you’re a one-person show. You’re handling the sales, you’re handling the marketing, you’re handling the admin tasks… anything and everything that happens in your business, you’ve got it covered.
But if you want to be successful in business, there comes a point where you realize you can’t be a one-person show. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who stop trying to do it all in their business and hire the right team to take their businesses to the next level.
It’s no secret that the right team can be a complete game-changer for your business. But what is a bit more of a mystery is how and when to hire that team. What kind of support do you need? When’s the right time to hire? Is hiring a team going to justify the cost?
It might seem a little overwhelming, but figuring out how and when to build the right team for your business is actually pretty straightforward. Let’s take a look at how to determine if and when you need virtual help (and what kind of help is going to make the biggest impact in your business).
How to determine if you’re ready to build a team
First things first: how do you know when you’re ready to bring on a team? Here are some big clues.
You’re not spending your time on the profit-generating activities in your business.
There are probably a lot of reasons you started your business, but generating profit was certainly high on the list.
If you want your business to generate profit, you need to spend your time doing profit generating activities. But the truth is, not every task in your business is going to generate a profit. When you’re managing your business on your own, all of those tasks that are necessary but aren’t making any money—like administrative work, invoicing, scheduling, and research—fall on your shoulders.
Take stock of how you’re spending your time. Is the majority of your day spent doing things that aren’t generating cash for your business? If so, it’s time to consider hiring someone to take over those tasks—so you can focus your time, energy, and attention on the areas of your business that are going to bring in profit.
You feel completely burned out.
At some point, you—like every entrepreneur before you—are going to come to a crossroads in your business. You’re working around the clock trying to stay on top of your work. You feel like you’re chained to your desk. You’re tired, you’re frustrated, and totally burnt out.
If you’re dealing with the dreaded burnout, you have two choices—you can either push forward and run yourself (and your business) even further into the ground or you can have a lightbulb moment and realize if you want to keep your business afloat, something’s gotta give.
And that “something” is hiring a team.
Your business can’t succeed if you’re completely burnt out. Feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted by your business is a surefire sign that it’s time to bring on a team.
You’re generating enough income to cover your necessities.
One of the biggest areas of team building where entrepreneurs struggle is income—how much do you need to be making in order to hire a team?
The answer is: less than you probably think.
How much is “enough” to hire is a bit of a “which came first: the chicken or the egg?” scenario. Most entrepreneurs think they need to be bringing in a ton of cash before they hire anyone, but the truth is, the key to bringing in a lot of cash is hiring the right team. When you have the right team in place, it’s much easier to scale your business—and increase your profits as a result.
But hiring a team (obviously) isn’t free. There’s a threshold you need to cross before you hire, and that’s what I like to call the “necessity threshold.” Once your business is generating enough income to cover your necessities, you can reinvest any additional income into hiring the right team. This will free up your time and energy to focus on taking your business to the next level—and the cash will follow.
If you’re not there yet, don’t worry! Focus on getting your business to the place where it’s bringing in enough cash to keep you afloat—once you’ve got that locked in, then you can focus on building your team.
How to determine who to hire
Once you’ve determined the time is right to build a team, then it’s on to the next challenge—figuring out what kind of person you need to hire to have a real impact on your business.
The position you should fill first is going to be entirely dependent on your business and how you’re spending your time. The right hire is going to be someone who can take things off your plate and free up your time to focus on generating more profit and taking your business to the next level.
So what’s the first step to figuring out who to hire? Figure out how you’re spending your time.
Use a time-tracking app like Toggl to track how you’re spending your time for a week. Then, at the end of the week, review and identify any areas that are taking up large chunks of your time. Are you spending an insane amount of time doing research or responding to emails? Then hiring a virtual assistant to handle administrative tasks is the right move. Are you spending hours every week trying to update your website or figure out your CRM software? If so, a tech assistant is probably a good bet.
The point is, the right hire for you is going to be the person with the skills to take things off your plate—and the only way to identify that person is to figure what needs to come off your plate in the first place.
Wrapping things up
When you’re first starting out in business, it can be challenging to determine if you’re ready to hire a team—and, if so, who the right person to hire is. But now that you have the information you need, it’s time to evaluate where you’re at in your business—and if the right team is what’s standing between you and the success you deserve.