Let’s talk about hiring the right people for your small business so that you can focus on doing what you do best and outsource the rest. (Can you tell I’m a mom with kids, talking in rhymes?)
Building a Support Team
Here are my quick-and-dirty tips to build a support team that actually supports you and your business and helps you to really grow:
1. Identify Your Needs, NOT Your Wants
There is, you see, a difference between what we need and what we want. Yes, we teach our kids this but we often, forget it ourselves. So, take a sheet of paper and make a list of your support “Wants”. Then go over this list and identify 3 things that you really, really NEED.
For instance, your “Want” list may look like this:
- Website designer
- Customer support person
- Production assistant to make/package products
- Virtual assistant for admin tasks
- Product photographer
- Website copywriter
- Social media manager
When you go through the list, ask yourself: will hiring this person help me build my business and if so, how? If the answer is a resounding “Yes”, then it is a need.
In the above example, again, your needs may be:
- Website designer because better designed and easy-to-navigate website will help me sell more products. (Meet my go-to web gal, Jennifer, here.)
- Production assistant so you’re not spending all of your time in your workshop, and can be out pitching products to stores and sending press releases to media to build your business.
- Virtual assistant to handle administrative/customer service tasks to ensure customers are happy and encouraging repeat orders and again, freeing up your time to work on tasks that generate income.
Now you may have loved to have a nanny or housekeeper, but the truth is that these other 3 people could free up so much time while improving and building your business that they’re a need rather than a want.
Do this exercise, NOW and determine your true needs.
2. Identify Potential Candidates
Next, once you know who you need to hire, you need to find the right fit of skills and values. You also need to set your budgets for hiring each. And yes, if you have a limited budget, you can still get support from interns, as well as sites like oDesk or Elance, depending upon your needs.
You can find prospective candidates in many ways. Place a job ad on your site, spread the word around in your community, ask fellow business owners for references. Make a short list of everyone who fits your criteria.
3. Interview Them Right
Next, interview candidates, either in-person or over Skype if you’re hiring someone virtually. But talk to them. See if they resonate with your business values and belief system. See if they get what you want and if they bring the right skills, personality and value to the table. Ask for references and then check those out – no matter how great a person may seem in conversation, do your due diligence and check references.
4. Have a Trial Period
Finally, once you’ve narrowed down and made a decision, start with a training and trial period. See how your new hire comes up the learning curve. Prepare to be patient.
Go ahead, take that plunge! Build your business and bring on the support system you need to make it shine!!
Have you hired help for your bath and body business? If not, what’s holding you back? Share in the comments below.