12 Ways To Grow Your Business By Hiring Your Dream Team
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You’re ready to hire your Dream Team, and you have mastered the basics of team dynamics. You’ve identified how many team members you need to have, and what roles you’d like them to fulfill.
But of course, there are always tweaks and nuances to finding and creating the perfect Dream Team.
These twelve ways will help you fine-tune your process even more accurately so that when you do create your first dream team, you will avoid hidden pitfalls, as well as help your business grow and expand.
1. Make sure your business has one central project manager You may hire five people, each of them experts in their field– but if none of them realizes what the other is doing and how all the parts fit together, you’ve got a recipe for chaos. So appoint someone (even if that’s just you) to coordinate everyone else.
A Business Manager or Project Manager is like the choreographer in a ballet or the director of a play. They are there to coordinate all the different roles and components so that nobody misses their cue. People make their entrances at the right time, the scenery is shifted smoothly and the story flows like magic.
So it is with a Business or Project Manager: they make sure the copywriter’s deadline gives the person who creates the slides enough time to do so before the release date, while simultaneously making sure a transcriptionist has been hired for the webinar, the web designer has the landing pages already set up and there is a clear schedule for promotional interviews and guest spots.
2. Create and use a company manual In the same vein, put all these protocols and procedures in a Company Manual. You keep the Master Copy and hand out only those sections relevant to each employee or contractor.
3. Make sure the entire team knows how your business works No, this doesn’t mean letting them see your bank account: it means ensuring they know how they fit together with the other cogs in your well-oiled wheel. Employees or contractors who are aware that any failure to produce on their part will stop the flow or prevent others from doing their piece are less likely to be casual about deadlines and delivery.
4. Define project specifications clearly Never commit the cardinal sins of expecting your contractor or employee to read your mind, or vaguely hoping they will tell you what to do.
If you don’t know what you want to be done, how and when, you may not be ready to outsource.
Be sure also to let your contractors or employees know how to contact you if they have questions– in fact, encourage them to ask if anything is unclear.
Make sure you provide any research data you wish them to use, a deadline date, the campaign or project name and tracking, billing or sales codes they need to use.
5. Use internships to create Dream Team members One way to ensure your business contractors or employees run your business exactly the way you want them to? Create an internship program, train them yourself– and pick the cream of the crop.
If you go this route, however, you need to know that there are legal as well as ethical obligations to your interns. Your program has to have a structure, with measurable goals for the intern, and it has to be created for their benefit– you can’t just use them as unpaid slave labors (not that you’d want to, of course). And in many cases, interns are entitled to minimum wage, if they are not simply shadowing people but performing actual work.
It’s up to you to do due diligence if you want to create an internship program. Just remember that if you want your interns simply to do tasks for free, period, that is not an internship– and you won’t create a Dream Team that way!
6. Create a “jobs” or “careers” page on your website The best way to attract the right candidates? Post your job hire needs!
Detail the following:
- Who you are looking for
- What position you want her to fill
- What experience and skills you need her to have
- What you need in hours, skills and commitment
- How to apply
- What to expect
And any other data that you think will attract the perfect candidate.
Also, let viewers know how often you update the website– and be sure to let people know the position has been filled. Don’t succumb to the temptation to leave it “open” in the hope of “collecting” a likely selection of resumes. References and reputation go both ways, and you won’t impress the best candidates by pulling the “oops, sorry, should have taken that down weeks ago,” act.
7. Use the “right” communication channels There are multiple ways to communicate virtually, so make sure you choose the methods that are the most natural and comfortable for you and your team.
When hiring contractors or employees, check to see how comfortable and proficient they are with the following communication systems:
- Instant Messaging
- Project management online system (e.g. Basecamp)
Ask their preferences– and make sure part of your protocol manual specifies expected means (and time frames) of communications.
8. Enable, don’t dictate Team members who do their best work are those who are allowed to exercise their competence in the most comfortable manner. Team members who do the poorest work are those who are micro-controlled.
Micro-controlling belittles mistrusts, criticizes and ultimately instills resentment. It also deflates morale and takes creativity out of your projects– and team members.
This doesn’t mean everyone can do their own thing in their own time frame, completely ignoring your guidelines. Set clear parameters and once you are sure everyone is on the same page and aware of deadline and check-in protocols, that’s when you should leave them to it.
In fact, the only person you should ever micro-control is you.
9. Break up each project into smaller elements Rather than having your virtual assistant (a) write your eBook (b) do all the graphics (c) format it (d) upload it and (e) set up your payment system –oh, and code the landing page– outsource each segment to a specialist contractor in that area.
That way, if they suddenly experience a catastrophic illness or disaster, you aren’t up to the creek with your entire project in limbo. Just as contractors shouldn’t (and usually don’t) put all their eggs in one basket by having only one client, so should you not rely on one single contractor or employee for every phase of project development.
(Moral: It’s easier to find someone to code a single web page than find someone to suddenly take over an entire project.)
10. Get together! Nothing helps bind a team more than getting to know each other.
This doesn’t mean all flying to one location, to meet weekly on your doorstep. Nor does it mean socializing after hours and getting involved in each other’s dramas.
It does mean:
- Being able to put a face to a name
- Being able to put a voice to words
- Knowing what each other specializes in
- Getting familiar with each other’s style
At the very least, if you use a system like Basecamp, ask that everyone uploads headshots to their Profiles.
One way to “get together” when you all work in different cities (or countries) online: have a weekly “meeting” via GoToMeeting. If you live-stream them, they will be automatically recorded for future reference.
11. Be an example If you want your team to be well-organized, excited, enthusiastic, competent, positive, professional and creative, do your best to live and exhibit those qualities in your everyday life, as well as in your business. A team with shared goals and values functions most highly.
12. Make sure you are ready for your Dream Team! Nothing is worse than hiring a top-level project manager– then discovering you’re simply not ready, and you are wasting time you’ve booked with them. Even if you’ve paid them for a “package”, you (a) are wasting your hard-earned money and (b) looking off like a dreamer and a, well, let’s be blunt– a flake.
Don’t hire someone at the executive level, used to fast-paced turnaround and a heavy array of resources at their fingertips if all you need them to do is upload your articles to directories. Get someone with specialized skills, of course– but whose overall business pacing and size matches or just slightly exceeds your own.
Discuss your level of experience frankly during the hiring interview, let them know what you are looking for them to provide– and pay careful attention to their answers.
Make sure you are ready for your Dream Team, and they will be more than ready to help you grow your business. Good luck!