I firmly believe that every business should have team members, not subcontractors. Yes, there are times that a subcontractor can do the job of a team member, but there’s usually a breakdown somewhere along the line. In that instance, they may become unpredictable, scattered, and uncommunicative.
A team member, on the other hand, is in your business. They’ve seen your values, like what you stand for, and will work to help you bring that mission into the world.
Before you think about bringing in a new team member, there are a few questions to ask yourself. You should know by now, I love reflection and goal setting! When you do it before anything else, you have clarity around your desires and can create a solid plan for moving in the direction of those dreams.
Before we go any further, let’s be clear on a team member versus a subcontractor. A team member is a constant in your business. You may have them on retainer or you may hire them as a salaried/hourly employee in your business. A subcontractor operates their own business and comes in on a shorter, project-based timeline.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at what you need to clarify for yourself before hiring a team member and three (super-compelling) reasons why team members are the best people to bring into your business.
Where do you want to take your business? Or, where do you want your business to take you? There are some business owners who are happy to be solopreneurs. They don’t want to bring on team members or have to manage them. And that’s fine!
Are you looking to stabilize or are you looking to grow and scale?
Either way, an executive virtual assistant and other team members can help you out. While it may seem counterintuitive to hire someone when you need to stabilize your business, having support could be a huge game changer for you. You may need to delegate only a few hours or a few tasks so you can focus on shoring up your energy.
And if you want to grow and scale, girlfriend, you definitely need support. As your client-base grows, the demands on your time will increase. You’ll also have a lot of other responsibilities to watch out for and irons in the fire that you do not want to ignore.
Depending on your business type, your needs may be different. First, get clear on the tasks you love, hate, and never seem to get to, like I wrote about in this post about mindset mistakes you’re making before you hire.
It’s a great place to see ALL the jobs you’re doing, plus realize where you’re most likely letting things slip. You’ll also be able to see how you organize things and where you need the most help keeping things together.
If you tend to be scattered, you may need a team member who’s able to organize and synthesize for you. In that case, an executive virtual assistant who can be your second brain would be beneficial.
On the other hand, if you’re highly-organized and just lack time to check off all the extraneous tasks of the day, you may want an assistant who is task-oriented.
It’s important to note that team members should be a good match on both sides: they choose the team and the team chooses them.
They’re going to help you look ahead, note any curveballs you’ve missed, and take responsibility and initiative. A team member is going to recognize that they’re part of a whole and be responsible for their piece of it while also thinking about the greater good of your company.
A team member has understood your business’s values and agrees to work to help better your company and all that it stands for.
They’re all in, as evidenced by them signing a contract and agreeing to work with you.
Not only are they in on the vision, but they’re there for your business. They notice the little details and are always thinking of ways to move the company forward.
Team members can, should, and must take the time to know your company. Will there be some bumbles around the learning curve? Yes. And they’re going to learn from their mistakes to show you they’re growing.
Further, your clients will come to recognize them. You can train your clients to talk to a team member because they’re a trusted person in your business.
And they can also bring in past experience if they tend to work in the same or similar verticals. You don’t know what you don’t know, but a team member who’s been part of someone else’s business knows what to look for.
Perhaps you’re a graphic designer and you can’t do any outreach to acquire new clients, nor are you scheduling any social media or blog posts to draw people to you.
A team member who’s done work in this field and has taken time to learn about you and the people you want to work with would be able to help you generate quality leads and do that scheduling so you can bring in new clients while staying in your genius zone.
You’re putting in time training and getting this person up to speed. With a team member, you know that your hard work is not going to have to be duplicated in three months with someone else.
Like a good wine, they get better they longer they’re with you. By bringing in a team member for an indefinite period of time, they can find and hit their stride to give you their best work.
They are committed to being with you and aren’t simply looking for some quick cash. They want to be there for the long term and be part of building something successful.
While I don’t want to discount freelancers and subcontractors, I do see the biggest stumbles for my clients when they outsource in this way.
Yes, some have the vision and buy-in of team members, though not all of them and not consistently. Team members, however, are consistent, dependable, and there for you and your business.