How to hire well and build a team that you and your clients will love
The last couple of years has been…a lot. Many of us have grown our businesses through lockdowns, with no or little childcare. We’ve worked when and however we can to keep things going. Are we just used to it now? Maybe, and that’s a really important question to check in with – are we working flat out because that’s what we’ve learned to do? Should we consider our businesses post-Covid and embrace the fact that hiring freelance teams makes more sense now and is the key to growing a sustainable business in 2022?
Are you ready to hire a freelance team?
If workloads and outsourcing have been on your mind, it’s probably worth checking in to see if you’re ready to work with a freelance team. There are a few signs you’re at the right stage to grow:
- You realise you utter the words, ‘there aren’t enough hours in the day’, so often your family wait for you to say it every day.
- Every time you sit down to do ‘a quick bit of admin’ you wonder why the clock has jumped forward four hours.
- You start to begrudge non-client work like sending invoices to get paid (How ridiculous is that?! Yet we’ve all been there…).
- You have this inner knowledge that your business could be so much bigger and better if you didn’t have to spend time scheduling social media posts, firing off invoices and managing your calendar.
If you’ve realised you’re spending more time running your business than working for your clients, it’s time to do something about it. To put it bluntly, every moment you spend on work you could be outsourcing is costing you money. Worse than that, it’s actively stopping your business from growing.
Whether you’ve arrived at this point reluctantly (many of us are perfectionists that believe we can do it all ourselves!), or you’re waving your arms in celebration of hitting that team growth milestone, knowing how to build a team you love that nurtures good business development is really important.
Things to consider when looking to grow a freelance team:
Why are your freelancers in business? Do you have the same business ideals and similar beliefs that underpin how you work? Answering these questions usually mean you can surround yourself with a team you really get on with, and while specific skills and expertise might seem more important, it makes everyone’s time so much more enjoyable when you know you bounce off each other in the right ways and look forward to catching up.
A freelance operations team should have the availability, passions and roadmap that matches what you need to grow your business.
Have you mapped out your business plans for the next 6 -12 months? If you know that your marketing is going to expand in the near future to include a bigger drive in email marketing, for example, it’s a great idea to acknowledge this now, so the right team can grow with your plans.
If you’re thinking something along the lines of, ‘I’m overloaded right now, how should I know what my business will look like in 12 months?!’, I’ve got you. Starting with a BFF (Business Freedom Formula) could be a great place to begin your operations planning and implementation. Working with me in these sessions will bring the concepts of a freelance operations team into your strategy, and map out how and in which areas your business is growing.
Did you know a lot of virtual assistants specialise in different areas of business? One of my VAs, Natalie is a pro in email marketing. Annabel, on the other hand, is a certified Dubsado specialist (a whizzy CRM that we use and setup for lots of clients because we love it so much!).
My team goes way beyond virtual assistants though. We have brilliant Online Business Managers for when you need to uplevel your outsourcing. I provide businesses like yours with whole freelance operations teams, meaning you can handover everything from the shortest social media caption to the biggest strategy plans – it’s all part of my work as a certified Director of Operations (DOO) and Business Operations Strategist. If you’re wondering what some of these roles involve, you can read my last blog here).
Things you don’t need to worry about when hiring freelance teams
The Assistant Quarters is based in the UK, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. So much of my freelance work is done at times that suit me. As a mum, this means I’ll often grab moments at unsociable hours. 9-5, who? And that often goes for my Agency team too. (Of course, it should go without saying that when you need us for time-specific tasks we’ll be there.)
In-person meetings (in fact, most meetings full stop)
It’s been hard to keep up with whether in-person meetings are allowed or not some months! What I do know is that the precious time spent traveling to and from meetings is rarely worth it when we have Teams and Zoom to hand. In fact, my team go a lot further than that and regularly hang out with clients on Voxer, and with each other on Slack. We don’t need to be in the room to get stuff done, and neither do you.
‘Not another Zoom, please!’
I hear you! We all hit a point of Zoom fatigue, but utilising your DOO or OBM to lead meetings for you will help keep your teams on track without pinning you to your camera more than you’d like.
Before you ask if I’ve ever worked with clients in your industry, consider why you’re asking that. Do you really want someone who knows your business inside out, or would it be more beneficial to have experts in the areas you need help with?
Arguably you do need a mix of both. So this last one is a bit of a red herring!
Our clients are mostly coaches and consultants for example. If a construction company got in touch with us and they needed help to handle client enquiries then they need expert inbox managers and project managers first and foremost. We have those very people in the team! We can apply the principles to achieve their desired outcome (and our experience) no matter what the industry. BUT, the sweet spot happens when they couple that with experience in a client’s industry.
However, people come to me because they’re stuck. A lot of the time this is down to a lack of time to do big picture work. Often it’s because they aren’t clear on the vision for their business, and don’t have a strategy or roadmap to help them get there.
Equally, progress is often slowed due to a skills gap in their own abilities or that of their team. The trick is working out who you need to hire and when, so that your investment in your team, gives you the best possible ROI in your business.
My team have all been handpicked for their own USPs, so you can trust me to fill the gaps in your business that will give you the very best return.
How to find great people for your team
The number one way that clients find us is via referral & recommendation, followed closely by Google search. If you know you’re going to be hiring in 2022 then I always recommend that you start by asking your network for recommendations too. Whether that be by putting a shout out in a Business Facebook group, or putting a plea out on LinkedIn. There are of course websites like Fiverr, Upwork and PeoplePerHour but they can be hit and miss and I’ve heard of some horror stories! There will of course be exceptions to the rule, so these platforms are worth a try if you’re struggling to get recommendations – just make sure people have plenty of good review and ask for examples of their work. Don’t base your decision to hire on price alone – as often times you, get what you pay for.
As a Certified DOO, I love helping clients to hire new team members. It’s just one of the ways that I work with clients 1:1 after developing their business strategy as part of my BFF Sessions. From writing job descriptions, application forms or interview questions, through to shortlisting of candidates so that clients only speak to the 2-3 best applicants. It’s always a real buzz when I find the perfect person for a client’s team.
‘But what about…?’
Was this blog helpful in mapping out the next steps to help grow you business by hiring freelance teams? I have no doubt you’ll still have a ton of questions, but that’s why I’m here – you don’t have to work it all out by yourself!
Why not book a quick introductory call with me today and we’ll chat through where you’re at now, what you’re struggling with and what the best options for your business operations are.
Book a call or chat to me using firstname.lastname@example.org