Online business growth strategies are key for the creative entrepreneur. It may feel scary, but it’s the best way to find grow your creative business.
If you’ve been afraid of outsourcing in your online business, you’re not alone.
Launching a business comes with a lot of fear all on its own, but there’s even more fear around building a team to help you reach business growth.
Most of us feel pretty comfortable with the work we can produce, but how do we trust other people with our online business growth strategies?
Your online business can often feel like your “baby”, and it’s not uncommon to feel like no one else can do as great of a job working on your business as you can.
I had this fear for years before I hired my first team member.
It was a difficult decision, but it’s led me to hire dozens of contractors since then that have lightened my workload significantly.
This became even more important when my health took a downturn because of my autoimmune disease. Learning how to manage my health as a single, entrepreneurial mom was tough. SO tough.
During those early years, I saw why people say “it takes a village”. They are usually talking about an in-person community of neighbors, but it’s also true when you hire a team in business and build an online community.
You may not be managing an ongoing health condition or working as a single mom like me, but as entrepreneurs, we all need to be intentional about how we spend our time.
You may think money is our currency, but it’s actually time.
As an entrepreneur, the good news is that you have full control over your time. What a relief!
It also means you have to be diligent and proactive about when you need to call for help.
It doesn’t make you weak or incapable.
It actually makes you so much stronger because you are backed by other expert professionals who can help you create online business growth strategies while building a team of your own.
3 steps to hiring your team for Online Business Growth Strategie
After you’ve launched your business and seen some success, business growth is probably one of the biggest things on your mind. How do you want to grow in the future, and who can help you get there?
These are such important questions to answer, and you don’t have to overwhelm yourself by feeling like you need to have all of the perfect answers right now.
Instead, let’s walk through the three key steps of hiring an amazing team of creatives and professionals that can help you reach your next business growth goal (and then some!).
Identify what tasks you want to outsource
Your first step is to figure out what tasks you want to outsource. If you don’t know what to outsource, you’ll never be able to communicate what you need someone else to do. This can be one of the most frustrating things to new hires who feel like you hired them for a job you won’t let them do or don’t actually need.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, I recommend asking yourself these questions before you write a job description and start hiring other people to work with you. You may want to write these down in a journal so you can come back to them at a later time.
- What tasks do I enjoy doing most?
- What tasks do I hate doing most?
- What tasks am I indifferent about?
- What tasks are taking the most of my time?
- What tasks am I most (or least) comfortable in handing off to someone else? Why?
- Am I the only person who can do this task?
- Is my avoidance in doing this task causing workflow issues?
Once you have a good idea of what tasks you are looking to outsource and how you want to improve your business growth, you can start thinking about the dream team you want to assemble.
Understand who is the best fit for the job
The best person for the job might not always be you. You’ve done such great work in building your business so far (no one can take that away from you!), but hiring an expert or someone who is extremely efficient in a task that can feel like a slog will help you immensely.
Giving up control may be difficult at first, but it will help once you build trust with the person you are working with. I found this to be especially true when I was working with virtual assistants.
It was easier for me to trust my accountant and lawyer since I knew they would help me with things I didn’t always know how to do (legal terms makes my eyes glaze over!), but virtual assistants help me with tasks I’ve done in the past.
It’s easy to forget to tell your virtual assistant how to do something because it comes so naturally to you. Or maybe you tell them exactly how to do it your way, but their way is more efficient within their own creative process.
I’ve learned when to loosen the reins on my team members and when they need more of my proactive help. It usually is determined by how long they’ve been on my team and what working style they have.
Some people need more guidance than others. One of my team members doesn’t need instructions before she digs into something but another may want to hop on more calls to make sure she is running in the right direction.
You may need to shift your management style depending on the people you are managing. People work in different ways, so the sooner you can assess what they need to be successful, the more quality work they will produce.
When you’re ready to think about who you are outsourcing to, here are a few questions to ask yourself and write down in your journal to create your online business growth strategy.
- What is the core fear behind outsourcing this task?
- How can I overcome this fear comfortably?
- What would help me feel comfortable with outsourcing the task?
- What do I need to have or know in order to trust the person I’m hiring?
- What qualities am I ultimately looking for?
- What working styles work best with the way I like to work?
- Do I have any non-negotiables I want to communicate before I hire someone?
- How many hours do I need to hire them for the task?
- What does each team member need in order for them to feel confident?
Feel confident in your team’s contributions
We can’t stop at knowing what your team members are tasked with. It’s a great start, but we need to dig deeper and make sure we are understanding how much value each of your team members is bringing through their contribution.
Whenever you hire a new person on your online business team, there will be an upfront investment of time in order to train them and ensure their work meets your standards. However, if your team member is creating more work for you months later, it might be a sign that they aren’t as great of a fit.
To reach business growth, you want team members who take tasks and run with them, people who are self-motivated and don’t need too much hand-holding. They should take tasks off of your plate, not add more tasks to it. This is something to always keep your eye on as your building your team.
The more confident you feel in what each person is bringing to the table, the more relaxed you’ll feel when outsourcing tasks and growing your business. When this happens, you can step away from your work for an unplugged vacation or a small sabbatical and know your team has everything they need in order to get the same amount of work done.
Don’t forget this crucial step! It’s important to always stay on top of how well everyone is performing while identifying areas of improvement, just like a corporate boss would do. (Although you can be way more fun outside of the corporate world!)
Here are your last questions to answer (and trust me, they are good ones).
- How much would it cost me to not have to do this task?
- How much revenue could I potentially earn by not having to do this task?
- How much profit could I earn by outsourcing this task? [The equation here would be Revenue (money generated from your saved time) – expenses (money spent on team member’s services) = profit]
- What level of contribution am I looking for from each team member?
- How will I measure the effectiveness of each team member?
- How often will I review each team member’s performance? What will that look like?
Next stop: hiring a team for online business growth!
Now that you have some direction, you can begin to outsource some of your business tasks. Instead of jumping into the deep end right away, I recommend starting with a few administrative tasks or a smaller one-time project. That way, you can ensure the team member is a great fit and test out your team workflows.
As you improve your team’s productivity and increase your profit over time, you can add more team members as you reach business growth. It doesn’t matter if you have a team of two, five, ten, or fifty. It’s important to start outsourcing with intention from day one.
If you want some additional online business growth strategy resources to help you get started:
- Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
- The One Thing by Gary Keller
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 test
- Masters of Scale podcast
- Girl Boss Radio podcast