Is it time to hire a team? Or, if you’re a lone wolf, is it time to hire your first pack member?
Despite what you might think, you can’t be the only person in your business. If you don’t care about scaling and growing the business, that’s fine. But, if you are serious about scaling your business, building a team should be a key part of your growth strategy.
So, when people ask me the question, “When should I start hiring people?” I always say this:
You should start hiring people sooner than you think and as soon as you can afford it.
But if you’re here for a more detailed answer (and I don’t blame you), keep reading (or watch the video below) to find out exactly when you should start hiring people.
The moment I realised the power of delegation
I may not have the best memory in the world. I mean, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I do remember the precise moment I discovered the power of delegation.
There I was, hanging out with a good friend of mine, chatting over a cup of coffee, and wondering where our youth went (at least, that’s what I was doing). We’re both in business so naturally, I assumed he would be just as drained and tired as I was. But I was wrong, very wrong. He wasn’t burnt out like me. He didn’t have a look of despair and anguish on his face. He looked… dare I say it, happy.
Then, he told me he had already booked his next holiday and I was sitting there thinking… weren’t you just in Prague… like, a few weeks ago? This guy went on countless holidays and was either always on a holiday or planning his next big adventure.
I finally asked him outright to share his strategy for success. He leaned in and revealed his big secret. DELEGATION. He was literally delegating everything in his business and all he did was make sure that his team was getting the things done. That was it.
At that moment, my life changed forever. Once I started to delegate tasks and roles within the business, everything changed. Nowadays, when someone asks me when they should start hiring people, I tell them sooner than you think and as soon as you can afford it. However, there are a few things you need to make sure you have before you welcome new team members.
But, before we get into all of that, does anyone else see that huge elephant in the room? No? Just me? Well, let’s address it anyway…
You are NOT superman or superwoman
Ah, the superman/superwoman complex. So many entrepreneurs and business owners can relate to this one because it’s so easy to get swept up in the superhero mindset. Thinking that nobody can do what you do as well as you is the type of thinking that will stunt the growth of your business. Actually, it’s one of the 10 Top Reasons Why Your Business Will Fail (I’ve got an entire video and blog post on this topic, so make sure you check it out!)
Doing everything in your business does not make you a superhuman. It makes you a maniac. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. You can’t possibly wear all of the hats and do all of the things at a high standard while continuing to scale and grow your business. It’s just not possible because you will burn out. You might be able to keep it up for a while but believe me when I tell you that it will all catch up on you and when that happens, you’ll be sorry you didn’t start hiring people sooner.
Doing everything in the business is not healthy for you or your business. So, here’s what I suggest… check your ego. Remind yourself that you are a businessperson, not a superhero. Building a sustainable business and achieving the freedom that you want requires a team. There’s no other way about it.
Hiring is an investment
Hiring should be viewed as an investment (and a very important investment!). By delegating, hiring, and outsourcing, you free yourself up as the CEO to grow your business.
Sure, you have a ‘genius zone’ and maybe you think nobody can do that thing as well as you can, and maybe you’re right. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find someone (or a few people) with different specialties to fill in the gaps of what needs to be done.
You can’t stay in your genius zone forever. If you bury yourself in the business, who is going to be the one to step into the shoes of the CEO to strategically scale the business? I hate to break it to you, but unless you hire someone to fill the CEO role in your business, the duties and responsibilities of the CEO fall in your lap as the business owner.
Again, it’s crucial to start hiring people as soon as you’re able to afford it. You don’t necessarily need to have a bunch of cash in the bank to start a team. If you have funding for your start-up, you might have enough to start building a team from that. Or, if you can get a loan (or borrow money) and it makes business sense to do so (I am NOT suggesting you take out a loan or borrow money if you have no way of paying it back), that could be another viable way that you can start hiring people sooner rather than later.
You’re ready to hire as soon as consistent revenue is assured
If you don’t have funding and getting a loan isn’t an option, you need to wait until you’re making consistent revenue and you’ve proven that the business works. That’s when you know you’re ready to start hiring people.
When you reach this stage, you’ll probably face the next big question…
Who do you hire first?
Finding the right people to join your team is so important. You don’t have to hire a full-time or even a part-time employee right away if you don’t want to. It might be a good idea to outsource some roles first to freelancers until it makes logical business sense to bring team members in-house and hire them full-time.
There are three times in business when hiring people makes good business sense.
You should hire out when…
- You can make money
- You can save money
- It allows you to make more money
You should consider hiring people to fill in your weaknesses. If there’s something you’re not very good at or something you hate doing, hire someone to fill those gaps.
BUT… don’t hire just anybody! Hire experts and specialists. When it comes to your team, do not cut costs. You will regret it later and remember that when it comes to hiring people, you usually ‘get what you pay for.’ I know that’s a cliché, but it’s very true.
Put the right systems and processes in place
I can’t count how many times business owners have come to me and said they hired someone who couldn’t do the job as well as they could. Then, I ask them, well what systems and processes do you have in place to make the role (or task, job, etc.) repeatable? And they shrug and look at me like I’ve just sprouted another head and I think… ah, there’s the answer.
Without having the right systems and processes in place, how can you expect someone to repeat what you’ve done when everything you’ve done remains inside your head for only you to know?
You need to have precise systems and processes that people can follow so that they can replicate what needs to be done to the required standard. Don’t assume that because you’ve told them what to do that they should automatically “get it.” It doesn’t work that way because everyone has different perspectives on how things should be done.
Avoid confusion, frustration, and disappointments by creating systems and processes. Just do it.
How to hire people
When you’re hiring someone for a particular role, write out what the required outcomes of that role should be, how you plan to measure the person’s delivery on those things, and establish the processes of how to perform well in the role.
You must also define the roles in your business. To do this properly, I recommend creating a strategy for your business that covers the next year, two years, five years, etc. Then, take a closer look at the strategy and vision you’ve created, and ask yourself what roles need to be filled to make your vision for the business happen?
Make a list of the roles and define them. If you can’t hire all of those people right now, don’t worry. You will have to wear all of those hats until you are in a position where you can afford to hire a person for each of the roles one-by-one.
There you have it. We’ve reached the end! I hope that this has helped you figure out when it’s the right time to hire people. Remember that you should really start hiring people as soon as it makes business sense and as soon as you can afford it, that’s essentially the answer to the question – when should I start hiring people?
I’ve got many more business savvy blog posts like this one, most of which are designed to help you run your business like a CEO and scale and grow your business to new heights. So, why not hang around and check out my other blog posts? Or, visit my YouTube channel, where I post the video versions of my blog posts.