Are you thinking about hiring a team for your business or do you already have a team and want to delegate some higher level responsibilities? If so, this episode is for you! Today we’re talking through 4 hiring myths that are hurting your businesses growth. As a service provider, your time, energy and finances are limited! Let’s make sure you’re taking action on activities that will move your business forward, not backwards!
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Hey everyone, Nicole here. And welcome back to the show. I’m excited to chat with you today about some hiring myths that are out there. That I’ve heard from agency owners and service providers that are looking to grow teams that I think can really be hurting your business. And here’s why as a service provider, who is great at what you do. Offer excellent client results. You probably have more clients wanting to work with you. Time is limited.
One of the biggest things I hear from service providers is that they feel overwhelmed, overworked, and like they’re about to burn out and then. They think about how they want to grow their business. And the idea of creating an agency pops up and that feels even more overwhelming.
Right because things aren’t working now. And how on earth are they possibly going to get the time to be able to. Reconfigure their business and hire the right people and all of these things. So I want to make sure that whether you are already an agency owner and having, and have team members, or whether you’re a service provider, who’s thinking about starting an agency.
I want to make sure that you’re making the best use of the precious time. That you have the precious energy that you have, and also the funding that you have and making sure that you are using that strategically and not making some of these mistakes. And these are mistakes that I have made.
There are mistakes that clients have made there’s mistakes that other businesses have made, whether they are an agency model or a different type of model consulting. Coaching. Product-based businesses. And so I share this with you, not to shame you. But to be just really truthful in sharing this experience so that you are able to recognize if it is popping up for you and have some tools on what to do instead.
So the first myth that I hear from people who have sometimes heard it from other people like consultants or coaches that they’ve hired is that they need to hire. A mini M E a mini me. So maybe you are the only one providing services to your clients right now, or you have delegated to a team, but you haven’t delegated specific areas that you feel like are impossible to delegate. This could be strategy for your clients. It could be approvals for your team members.
Anytime you feel like there isn’t an area of your business that you can truly delegate to a team? A lot of times I hear well. I just haven’t found someone like me. I haven’t found someone who delivers the work that I do that has the work ethic that I have that has the experience level that I have. And when I hear this.
There’s a little red flag that pops up and it’s not that this isn’t important, right? We want to obviously make sure that your clients are continuing to get the level of support that they’re used to, that they get even better support than they’re used to. But the way the way in which you go about doing this is different than you just hiring a mini you.
And here is why. If you are currently right now, the bottleneck in your business and you are. You know, burnt out and overwhelmed, hiring another person, just like you can create a few different problems. One, you may be just passing along. That workload to somebody else who then will become the bottleneck and who will become overwhelmed and burnt out.
Okay. Also there may be, and there likely is things that you need to reconfigure in your business before you hire someone else in to support you. So maybe right now you’re doing the roles of three different people. And so instead of just hiring one person to do all of those roles and be completely overwhelmed, maybe.
It’s about restructuring the way that you are not just not just the roles that you’re performing, but also maybe even your delivery process, the systems inside of your business, your offerings need to be tweaked a bit. This is what I call your agency foundations. And it’s really important if you are the bottleneck right now in your business, that you go back and take a look at the foundational aspects of your business, to make sure that they are updated.
Before you start hiring in more people, another issue with hiring a mini you is that. You’re really not fully taking advantage of what a team can offer you. So there is something that’s really special about having other people on your team that have different experiences that have different levels of expertise and just different.
Expertise in general, to be able to add that. To the experience that you already have, and if you are have your blinders on and are just looking straight forward and just looking to hire someone, who’s exactly like you, you are missing out. On the diversity that a team can offer, not just you, but also your clients.
And so there’s a few problems with hiring someone like you, right. One as a structural thing. That even if you hire someone just like you, you’re probably going to run into some of the same issues because your structure needs to shift as you grow. And then also the component of, you know, ha like why are you even having a team in the first place?
Right. It’s to be able to have, you know, different people and different experiences and different ideas, right. All contributing to your business. Because, you know, three miles, four miles, five miles, 20 mines are better than one. Okay, but it all starts with how you’re structuring your foundations to make sure that you are hiring the right.
People and they’re being supported. Fully by working with ideal clients by having scalable offers in place by having those updated delivery processes. And then also the financial element as well, which I’ve talked about before, when it comes to your agency foundations. Okay. So that is a myth. We do not want to hire a mini you.
As wonderful as you may be. Like, we want you to be able to contribute to your team because you are you, and we want to be able to hire other people to contribute to your team because they are who they are. Okay. So the second myth. That I hear is that you need to completely stop selling. When you were hiring a team to deliver client work. Okay. So let me know if this rings true for you.
You are. Getting to reach your capacity. Maybe you’re even past capacity, this point in your side of your business and you know, that you need support. And so in order to be able to take a minute and actually restructure your team, you need to completely stop selling because you can’t possibly take on more clients.
As you are trying to spend time. Hiring and a team and making sure they’re set up for success now.
I actually agree that you need some time and space to be able to focus in on your operations. And if you just continue to sell and sell and sell and take more and more and more clients. It’s probably not going to work very well, right? Because there’s probably some core elements that you need to shift. However, I don’t necessarily think that that means that you have to stop selling. Maybe you stop selling for a month while you figure out what your offers need to be changed. To be able to be more scalable, what the price points needs to be.
I don’t even know if it needs to be a full month. It might be just like a few weeks. This is something that we actually go through. True. The first thing that I go through with all of my clients, I’m inside of my accelerator program, that’s what that whole program is about, is really making sure that you have your foundation set up so that you can go sell and that it’s going to work with team support. But even if you sign up for a longer term program of mine, like agency, it’s still as the first thing that we go through because it almost if imagine a triangle.
So the foundations are the bottom piece of the triangle. And then we have, the next layer of that, which is team, and then the next layer, which is management and the next level, which is growth. And so team is not going to work. If the foundations are in place, right management, isn’t going to work if you don’t have team members in place.
Right. So all of these things build upon each other. And so that’s why, having those foundational elements which includes your financials. So what your packages are, what you’re selling them. For, and what you’re paying out for team is so important before. You go to sell additional services and then also to hire more team members. Okay. But you don’t necessarily need to stop selling.
This is then. So this is the problem. If you completely stopped selling for a long period of time, is that you end up. Getting a team to be able to deliver all of the services, but then you have capacity and you don’t have the clients that can fill that capacity. So now you have a lot of team expense and you don’t have the revenue coming in to cover it.
Okay. However, you know, the flip side of that is that if you just keep selling and selling and selling, then you’re going to have, you’re never going to have that time and attention that you can really pour into the team and the structure and the operations to make it work for, to have team support.
So you might be thinking, well, Nicole, then what. What the heck do I do right? We have to find. Middle ground. This is what I recommend. Take let’s just call it a week or two. If you were at the camp at the point where you’ve totally reached capacity to. Push off any sales calls that are coming in for two weeks. Okay. You can even have a nice, you can still have the scheduler on your website.
You can still be booking sales calls, but just give it two weeks and you can even have an email go out to people who are booking saying, we’re currently booking sales calls two weeks out. Letting them know that it’s not necessarily an admin mistake, right. That you have no calls on your calendar, but that you’re intentionally booking sales calls to week two weeks out and take.
Some time to figure out, you know, your offers, the price point, your ideal clients, who you want to be selling to. And these are not things that you just address when you first start your business. There are things that you need to continually address as your business grows, to make sure that it’s supporting you over the next three to six months. For example, I mentor an agency owner who has been in business now for almost 20 years and she, every year is still.
Having her team go through an ideal client exercise based on the experiences that they’re having. To make sure that they’re working with ideal clients and to learn how are our clients shifting and evolving and changing so that we can continue to update our marketing efforts to attract. Those more ideal clients, right. And it’s based on information that they continue to learn as they are in business. So this is not something just for business owners when they first get started. It’s something that you continue to do every year.
Once you do that once you really get clear on what those like really solid foundations, and it may take longer than two weeks, it really depends on where you are in your business. Sometimes it can take 30 to 60 days, but usually by the 30 day, mark, you will have a solid. Foundation to be able to at least go out and sell. Okay. So then you can have these sales conversations.
But let’s say you don’t necessarily have the team right away to deliver. So what you can do is you can have continue having sales conversations, but instead of taking that client on immediately, Say, I’m currently enrolling one month out or two months out. Okay. So you get that client book, you get the deposit and then you can spend the next 30 to 60 to 90 days, however long you book out to be able to get that team support in place, to be able to serve that client. Okay. So that is a strategy that I teach inside of my programs. And it’s something that’s really helpful for folks, right?
Because we do want to continue that sales process. We don’t want that momentum to really fall off, but we also want to give you some space to. To be able to really have those operations in order to be able to deliver for the clients that you’re selling to. The next myth that I hear is that you don’t, that you need to have all of your standard operating procedures created before hiring.
Okay, so let’s take a step back and talk about what our standard operating procedures. So this standard operating procedures are really, it’s a process that you go through when you do anything inside of your business. Okay. This is from onboarding a new client, right? That step-by-step process all the way to your initial kickoff call. What do you cover in that kickoff call? How does it work?
Where do you sign in to actually delivering your service? Let’s say you’re a copywriter and each of the packages have different compose. Components to them, how you actually go about delivering each of those services. Where you put files, what the timeframes are. How you access systems how you deliver for clients, whether you send them files through email, what the email includes, all of that is included in your SOP. Now, obviously there’s different phases and layers of this. You could go. So in depth, on standard operating procedures, that you really never stopped creating a standard operating procedures.
And it’s important to prioritize here. And that’s why I do not believe that you have to have all of your SOP is created. SOP is it’s short for standard operating procedures. Before hiring, because it’s probably going to prevent you from hiring and getting any support at all, because you can really go down a rabbit hole when it comes to creating processes. So what I recommend the next time you go to hire is having an onboarding plan. And this is a resource that I have all of my clients create.
Before they hire their new team member or during the hiring process. So what an onboarding plan is it basically is taking a look at the next 90 days. And going week by week to see okay. How will this new team member being be transitioned into the full role and all of the responsibilities that are included in that role?
So let’s say you are hiring an account manager for your business who is going to be. The point of contact for your clients and also for your team members too. Now let’s say you have 20 clients right now. On the first day, that account manager is not going to be coming in and completely taking over client communication and team management.
For all of your clients, it’s just not realistic. So what we want to do is we want to break out what those weeks look like in terms of how they are going to be taking ownership over the role and then running it past them and then checking in frequently. So that you’re both on the same page. Okay. So we want to make sure that eventually they are fully taking over their role and they’re doing it within a timeframe.
That makes it financially beneficial to you, right? Because that’s the whole point of investing in a team is to get that return. So we don’t want it to take six months. But we also want to make sure that we’re not overwhelming them from the start. And the beautiful thing about having this onboarding plan is that then you have a plan for when you need to have certain processes done inside of your business.
For example, if you have an account manager that’s coming in and first taking over email communication, but you’ll still be working with them to manage the team. Then it’s important that the first thing that you create are processes around email communication, right? You don’t necessarily have to have all of the team SOP in place.
So this is really helpful in creating a plan for you to make creating your standard operating procedures possible. Okay. So we’ve been through. The first myth, which is hiring a mini you, we have been through a sta. That you do not need to stop selling while you hire a team. Maybe there’s a pause, but it is important to keep selling.
We talked about not needing to have all of your SOP is created before hiring. So the fourth and final myth that we’re going to talk about today. Is that you need to train. Your team members, you need to always train all of your team members. Now. I am not saying that you just hire a team member in and assign them to a client and say good luck. Right? We definitely want to make sure that you have the right standard operating procedures in place at the right time, and that you provide them with guidelines to do their job. So decision making guidelines for them to be able to do their job.
It’s also important for you to provide them. With your, depending on the role. Your intellectual property. So this will be how you make decisions. And let’s say you are hiring a strategist for your company. So you’ll want to make sure that the S even if the person that you hire has a ton of strategy experience, the way that you do strategy for your particular clients is going to be different than the way the other companies do.
So it’s important that you document. How you uniquely create those strategies and how you think differently. And of course you want to lean on their experience and expertise, but you also want to make sure and give them those guidelines for how you deliver that strategy so that they stay focused and they provide something that is on brand for both you and your company and how you deliver, but then also for the client as well.
So the big myth, when it comes to training your team is it’s really around hiring someone who doesn’t have a whole lot of experience and what you are asking them to do and believing that you will be able to train them to do that job. Now, when it comes to. Simple tasks. I think that this can be possible, but we do want to be careful with training because when you train somebody on your team,
That technically is part of a employee classification versus a contractor classification. So we want to make sure that if you’re hiring a contractor you’re technically hiring in someone who already has the experience to be able to help you in your business and the way that they do their work, not necessarily coming into your business and doing, and being trained by you and doing things exactly as you want them to do.
That’s. More of an employee classification. Now I am not an ex. At HR expert. So definitely make sure to research that more. If you’re looking to hire someone. But it is, it’s important to know that because I think sometimes. You know, people are like, oh yeah, I’ll just hire, a VA at a lower hourly rate and I’ll train them to do all of these things. And it can be problematic when it comes to the classification, but it can also be problematic when it comes to your time and financials. So this was one of the roadblocks that I had to get over when I first started hiring and team members for my own business.
So when I used to work in corporate, we would hire in team members and the training. They really new team members might not fully be up to speed for like six months to a year. And then a lot of times they weren’t ready to really take on additional responsibilities for maybe two or three years.
And so. You know, it was very confusing then for me to come into my own business and hire and team members that I felt like, well, maybe they’re not doing quite what the job is right now, but it’s okay. Because, oftentimes it can take a year to two years, to three years for this really to work. But the difference is that corporation had the funds to be able to invest in team members that would take.
That long to come up to speed, whereas small businesses. I at least I definitely did not. And a lot of small businesses don’t. And so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to hire in somebody who has, this high level experience, and also, will completely maybe even as like better at.
Like your craft than you are. And has a really high rate. But there is a balance, right? And finding somebody who is going to be a good fit, where you will be able to see that return on investment within the timeframe that you need to. And this, I want to go back to the foundational aspect of your business, right? The bottom of that triangle.
The financial piece of that is a big piece of this. Where you can really, when you match a financial strategy with your delegation strategy. A lot, like that is really where the money is literally. But also figuratively too. We want to be able to see, okay, how much money do I have to be able to bring on this team member and within how, like how quickly do I need them to be able to provide a return for my business to be able to make this work financially.
To hat to say that’s going to happen. Within the first week, I think is extremely aggressive and probably not possible. But definitely within the first, like a month to two to three months, depending on what the role is, that is definitely possible. So we just want to make sure that’s built into your financial strategy.
Okay, everyone. We talked about the formats. We talked about what to do instead, I am excited for you to be able to take this knowledge into your business and to be able to, Really recognize if you see yourself wasting some time or thinking that something’s impossible because of some of these myths that you’ve heard and really being able to take this knowledge, implementing it in your business and seeing what happens. I will see you here next week.