So you’ve decided you are ready to delegate! Take a moment and celebrate that because your business will never be the same (in a good way of course!) Huge congratulations to you.
Below are a few of my best tips for starting down the road to delegation.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant – Often starting with a Virtual Assistant is a good first step, especially if you aren’t ready for the commitment of an employee. The two methods I suggest most in building your team with a Virtual Assistant are through referrals and RFPs. Start by asking your colleagues about their experiences with their VAs. Many times referrals are the key and your search will need to go no further. If you aren’t satisfied with your options your next best option is to send out a Request for Proposal or a project request to Virtual Assistant organizations such as IVAA (www.ivaa.org) and VAnetworking (www.vanetworking.com) and/or places such as eLance, Guru, Craig’s List, etc..
Hiring an Employee – If you are looking for an employee a local job search board is an excellent choice as a first step. I have also, myself, had a lot of luck using Indeed for finding an employee, but a word of caution you will have to sort through the applications as you will likely get some that are not your ideal employee. Another great way to find an employee is with social media. Post to Facebook groups and on your Facebook profile. You never know who in your list of friends may just know someone.
Research and Testing – Simply having a referral or an answer to your RFP should never be good enough for you. After all this person is going to become an integral part of your business. I always suggest doing a little research and perhaps even having them complete a test project. Use google to your advantage and google their name. Also look at their social media as often a person’s true personality comes out in social media. It won’t take a great amount of time to take this step, but it can be very telling what you find.
Hiring – one or more? Many times your ideal candidate may not be found in just one person. The most important thing to consider as you decide whether to work with one or more people is can they help me meet all my needs at a price I am willing to pay? If for example, you work with one person for your online marketing are you willing to pay their rate for basic admin tasks?
Online Tools to Help – As you build your team you will want to look for systems and tools which will work for you and your team to ensure the best possible outcome for your relationship. Some of the tools you may want to consider are project management software, file-sharing programs, online collaboration tools, and virtual phone numbers. The better you can keep track of what is going on the better chances for team success.
Working as a Team – Not everyone is going to be a good fit for you and just because someone works well with one person is not an indicator of success with you. Each person has their own unique working style and knowing how you work best will determine what you need from your team. Don’t ever try to change yourself and more importantly don’t be afraid to tell someone how you work best. It’s your business and you need to find someone that is willing to work with how you work best and not expect you to change. Time and again when things work (or they don’t) it is simply because there was a feeling or just something about the person that you couldn’t quite put your finger on. The bottom line is simple, as you build your team, listen to gut it won’t steer you wrong.