February 22, 2023
Does growing a small business ever come to mind, or has that been way off in left field? Where do you really want to be in your business? That’s the first question you need to answer before you decide to scale and hire a team.
You might love working in your niche and getting a lot of face time with your clients. And if that’s what really drives you, you might want to stay a solopreneur who just outsources to contractors occasionally. But if you decide to grow your business, you’ll quickly hit a point where you need to hire employees.
What Do You Value As a Business Owner?
As you’re thinking about whether to grow your team, figure out what you’d want an employee to do. Focus on what you really enjoy doing in your business. And then look at the tasks that are preventing you from doing that. Those are the tasks you’ll give to your new employees.
That’s what it means to move into leadership — you find the best places to use your skills and delegate the other areas of your business to your team.
Know When It’s Time to Hire
Hiring can be overwhelming and scary, especially the first few times. But it’s also crucial if you want to grow your business. Ideally, the best time to hire your first team member is when you have a firm grasp on your industry and you’re confident in your brand. You’re ready to train your new employee and step into a management role.
But there’s a good chance that the opportunity to scale won’t wait for you to be ready. And hiring while you’re still honing your own craft can be messy. But it’s also a fantastic chance to grow.
Hiring is like anything — the more you practice, the easier it gets. Hiring and training your first employee while you’re still ironing out your business is tough. But you learn and adapt, so the next hiring experience is better.
Choose the Right People
How do you decide who to hire? Of course, you need to look at qualifications and skills, but don’t forget that you’re building a team. Ideally, a team of people who will be invested in your business and its success.
Look for people who share your values and fit your brand. And be intentional about that from the very beginning. If you know exactly what you’re looking for and specify that in your job description, you up your chances of getting the right candidates to apply.
Choosing the right people isn’t just about your employees — it applies to your clients too. One of the reasons that so many large companies are toxic is that they work with clients who are toxic too. You get to choose who you work with, so look for clients who respect your boundaries and your team.
Leverage Your Desire for Control
Entrepreneurs have a few things in common, including our desire for control. We started our own businesses because we wanted total control of our lives and careers. And that trait isn’t necessarily bad as long as you leverage it correctly.
The right way to be a “control freak” is to manage your business according to your values and goals. The wrong way — and a mistake that many business owners make — is to micromanage every part of the business.
This is extremely counterproductive when you have employees. You hired and trained these people to do certain tasks. If you continually change their work or refuse to treat them as independent people with their own autonomy, that’s a toxic work environment.
So trust your team! You chose them and trained them, so let them do their damn jobs!
Step Into Your Role as a Mentor
One of the most interesting things we’ve seen recently is the number of employees who are insisting on better treatment. And that’s something you can give your employees! As a business owner, you get to decide how you’ll treat your workers.
It’s not only about paying a fair wage and respecting your team’s work/life balance. You can mentor your employees and help them grow their own careers. You could be that boss that they look back on as the person who changed their life! So invest in your team and enjoy the satisfaction of watching them succeed.
Analyze Your Metrics
Finally, never stop analyzing your business. Before you can decide whether to change your role or get more clients or hire new employees, you need to know exactly what’s going on. What’s driving your revenue? How are new clients finding you? Which offers are converting best?
Those are just a few of the critical questions you need to be asking. And the answers to all of them are in the metrics. So if you aren’t spending time analyzing your metrics, start! Make it easy on yourself with this free resource from my friend Lauren over at Brand Good Time.
Remember Your Motivation
Being an entrepreneur is hard. You always have to be willing to learn and change and grow. But you also get the chance to build the life and career you want.
At some point, you may decide it’s time to move on from your business. And that’s OK. You should always be evaluating whether you still love your business. And if the answer is no, it’s time to find your next opportunity.
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