Building a Team + Systems & Operations

Wowee have you come a long way since Day 1!

Of course it might not be Day 28, the journey may have taken a little longer and now you’re making consistent sales and the business is growing you’ve come back to this post to see what to do next.

Or perhaps you have worked methodically through each day and you’ve taken off so super fast you need help, now!

Either way, it is inevitable in any business, big or small, that you will need to build a team.

You are not an Island my friend and if you want to be able to spend some of your time doing other things you love to do then you’re going to need to give some tasks to other more than capable hands.

This doesn’t have to be a big team, in fact you may only ever end up hiring one other person, only you will know who you need and where you’ll need them.

So start with the end in mind!

1. Make a big list of low value tasks / tasks you don’t enjoy doing

Low value tasks are the admin type tasks that aren’t direct money spinners. You could argue that all jobs contribute to the money making part and of course they do, but adding images to pictures on placeit.net as an example is not a high value task.

Laying out blog posts, filling in product descriptions, organizing shipping, customer service, amending discount codes in emails etc etc. These are all jobs that can be handled by a perfectly capable VA of which there are many available.

Be sure to include jobs you dislike. If you hate to write content, find a writer, if you hate to post on social media, find a social media manager, if you hate FB Ads, find an FB Ads Specialist.

Some roles may cost you more than others and you might have to just suck up some of the stuff you don’t enjoy until you can afford someone, but at this stage just make the list.

2. Create an organizational chart

With your list in hand create yourself a little organizational chart of who you need to do what.

Don’t spend hours on draw.io or something similar (although it is a nifty little app).

Just get a pen & paper out and draw out all the different roles you would ideally love to employ to help you run your empire!

Then head off to Upwork.com or Onlinejobs.ph and see what these type of jobs are being paid so you can put a rough salary budget next to each role.

This is going to help you calculate at what stage you can afford to hire the team members you want.

3. Write out job descriptions

Next, one by one write a basic job description.

Unless you’re at the stage of employing the whole team right now, this is more for you than anyone else at the moment.

This is so you can be clear on precisely how you want to grow your business and who will do what.

This will give you so much clarity, you’ll be super self aware of when it is you absolutely need to hire the role in question. When you realize all your time is being taken up doing the tasks you have clearly identified in the job description, you’ll know it’s time to recruit!

It will also make the hiring phase less overwhelming as you’ll already know exactly the type of person you’re looking for.

Here’s an example job description I used for a VA position.

Fully committed, extraordinarily hard working and dynamic Virtual Assistant Required

I’m looking for someone with EXCELLENT English written skills to work alongside me as my Virtual Assistant.

WARNING – This job is NOT for the faint hearted.

You will work hard and be asked to complete some written tasks before even getting to interview stage, so only apply if you’re prepared to jump hoops to get an interview.

For the right person this is a fantastic and long term opportunity.

I want someone who can make decisions based on their own judgement, is easy to work with and who is absolutely excellent at customer service.

You will also be the type of person who’s willing to give anything a go and has the ability to learn and act fast.

Position Summary

Your jobs will include;

Responding to emails
Assisting customers on the helpdesk
Responding to blog & social media comments
Running social media ad campaigns
Laying out blog posts
Transcribing voice recordings for blog posts etc
Research projects
Tagging & Uploading Podcasts
Creating email campaigns in Infusionsoft
Working with pages / docs to help create ebooks & PDF’s etc
and lots more varied jobs

Anything you don’t currently know will be taught.

The most important thing is that you’re hard working, committed, willing to learn, flexible, and excited to be a part of a growing and dynamic online company.

Required Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, preferably in marketing, communications, journalism, English, public relations, advertising or related field.
One year of professional virtual assistant experience with web content maintenance, email management, helpdesk support & marketing responsibilities.
Exceptional grammar, spelling and proofreading skills.
Demonstrated ability to combine strategic thinking with creative and effective tactical execution in communicating what is at times complex information.
Excellent organizational, interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills with strong attention to detail.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience working with Paid Media i.e. FB Ads etc
Experience working with WordPress (non technical)
Experience working with Infusionsoft

Skills Required

Excellent Fluent English Written & Communication skills
Customer Service
Social Media communication

As soon as you apply I will send out a video and PDF with instructions for the tasks you must complete to get to interview stage.

Please respond telling me why you’re a great fit for the role.

Thank you!

Jo 🙂

Read my full post on How to Hire an Awesome VA, which includes the PDF I use to pre select VA’s prior to interview.

4. Gradually begin to hire as your business grows

You’ll know who you need and when from your list, your chart and your job descriptions.

You’ll have even system and role laid out with who you want to do what, so the hiring becomes the easy part! (She says optimistically!)

It’s a fine balance however. Hire too early and you’ll eat up all your cashflow making it tougher to reinvest in the business which means you’ll slow growth.

Hire too late and you’ll be burning the candle at both ends, unable to meet the demands of your business, potentially letting customers down and slowing down growth.

So my recommendation is as soon as possible…

5. ASAP – Hire an awesome VA or an Ops Manager.

So this will be open for debate depending on who you are and what your goals are.

My recommendation is that you want to work very hard to hire an exceptional VA who will over time turn into your Operations Manager, or just outright hire an Ops Manager if you have the budget.

The reason being, you could go very quickly from spending all your time running all of the operations of the business to simply spending all of your time managing the team who are running all the operations of the business.

You save no time, simply moving from Operator to Manager, rather than owner.

Now that might be fine for you, at least for a time and if that’s the case, great!

But if your objective is to reduce the time you spend in the business and give yourself more time freedom to pursue other hobbies or spend time with family, travel, start another business etc, then the quicker you can not only hand over the operations but the management of the operations, the better!

Start with the end in mind, hire that VA / Ops Manager as soon as you can and you’ll be on a winning journey my friend!

Systems & Operations

Booooorrrrrrriiiiinnnngggg!

I know, I know!

Ugh. This is the part I dislike intensely about business.

Outsource, outsource, outsource that is my motto!

But unfortunately, this is also the part which ensures the business runs like a well oiled machine and will save you hours & hours and $$$ in the future!

1. Get a VA or even a fixed term contractor to start creating workflows for every task;

Sourcing products, working with suppliers, adding products to site, promo material, creating ad videos, emails, social media, repurposing content, customer service etc.

They don’t need to be huge complicated corporate operations manuals that are super wordy for wordy’s sake. (Way too many fat cats with too much time and money on their hands).

A one page workflow with bullet points & pictures explaining how each process works, so that as you hire people, or people leave and others step in, it’s super easy to train them up and they can step into any role!

Better yet….

2. Create a video training hub!

If you’re not into documents and work flows, create a private playlist on YouTube and get someone to record all the different processes, so a new employee can simply watch a video and get to work!

3. Get an accountant

I make it an absolute rule never to give advice about company structures, taxes etc.

That is because I am not legally qualified and everyone’s situation is different.

I’m sorry but I have no idea how Kenyan law works or how the state vs federal taxes work in your part of the world or whether you should have an LLC or an LTD or be a sole trader.

It totally depends on who you are, where you live, what your objective is, what the company and tax laws of that country are etc.

So please don’t ask me… ask an accountant! (Get the impression I’ve been asked a few times!)

That’s what an accountant does. They are legally qualified and have the experience and know how to give you personal guidance on the absolute best company structure for you, your business and your tax situation.

So get an accountant.

4. Start thinking about a Lawyer

It would also be a good idea to make contact with the local solicitors / lawyers firms in your area and check what kind of insurances you need, plus just to have someone on hand in case you need them for anything in the future. (You do not need to retain their services, simply have connected, so you know who to call).

5. Get the correct insurances.

Let’s say you’re selling candles and one happens to explode and burn someone’s hand, you want to be covered for that.

Make sense?

Ensure you have all the correct insurances in place for your type of business which a lawyer can help you with.

Summary

This is a pretty brief overview of systems & operations, but that is because primarily I want to work with you to get your business up, running and making sales. I am not an operational details person, nor do I pretend to be, so find the relevant lawyers, accountants, human resources info, insurance agents and all that jazz to help you with all the details of running the legal & operational side of the business.

However, if there is an absolute glaring issue I have missed that you’d like me to cover do let me know! At the very least I can point you in the right direction.