What is the best way to build my team?
Hello all! I am starting a web marketing agency. I am wondering about building a team: do I outsource? Do I contract out? I can't afford to hire anyone full time yet. I believe having someone locally in the bay area would be best, but that comes with a high hourly rate.
One addition to Mike thoughtful responce.
You can hire people, especially those who want additional income, on comission basis.
So you are not paying if business is not coming.
My thought is you hire people who have the skills you lack so you bring synergy rather than repitition.
Associate with someone interested in business building, in business strategies and business alliances. We all as part of small businesses need to connect with those we can team up with for bigger and potential projects. You don't need to hire anyone, you need to introduce yourself, connect with people which visions could be similars to yours, and team up with proactive professionals in order to bid bigger or target more effectively.
In my previous life, I sold a SVP on the idea of having a Marketing and Solutions department, but only having conveninced one direct report manager to be part of my team. I got the yes. So my next step was to think about the top five things I needed to achieve to be successful. Worte the job descriptions to best achieve that goal. With the job description in hand the only thing left is to find the person with the Emotional IQ best suited to work with me (and the eventual team of over 150). That was then. Now you have the world of crowfunding, micro-funding, etc...So you have many vechiles to get to the funding challenge, in non-traditional ways. So create the job description and go after the talent you believe you need to be successful.
In the short term, you might consider outsourcing to other parts of the country or overseas where rates are cheaper. There are plenty of good developers in other parts of the world. You can also try 99designs or Elance. The results vary, but if you manage the design well, this can be an effective route.
It's your job to build your team - not a contractor or consultant. Here are some steps to effective team-building:
- Share your vision and values
- Have clear team roles and procedures
- Conduct productive and interactive meetings
- Confront and resolve conflicts swiftly
- Perform regular team self-assessment
- Celebrate team accomplishments
By the way, you need to be an effective communicator and leader.
That's an easy one Ella. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Program based on best selling author Patrick Lencioni's best selling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Here's a link to the brochure: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzOUV7-yE_uBODFuQWVqeWphS2czelkyZWhhekcyY3VXOHVr/view?usp=sharing
If you'd like to talk further or receive more info, just let me know. Hope this is helpful.
Smart question, Ella, you have a terrific mindset. Most small biz owners don't realize that outsourcing is the fastest way to grow their biz quickly, and frankly, better.
First, think about why you want to outsource. What benefits will it bring you and your biz? Knowing your big why will help you stay motivated as you grow into this leadership role and hit the inevitable bump in the road. Will you earn more? Reach more prospects? Have time for family? Whatever it is write it down.
Second, get clear on why someone local is your preference? Do you plan to meet in person? Are you concerned about communication? You might find that your belief changes which would widen the pool of talent available to you. (By the way, I'm your neighbor in Oakland- feel free to reach out to me)
Third, figure out who belongs your #dreamvirtualteam. Here's the team I suggest my clients start with:
Social Media Management
Microjob sites like Fiverr, Upwork (formerly Elance and Odesk), Clarity.fm and Rocket Lawyer are convenient and offer good pricing for these types of services. For instance, a lawyer on Fiverr created customized terms of service for me for $10.
One of the most common questions I get is: when should I start outsourcing? I say right now! One small, low risk project can ease you into outsourcing and build up your confidence being 'the boss'.
It's time to outsource when the consequences of waiting, procrasinating or denying outweigh your fears. Nice thing is, it's like eating potato chips. After you have one great outsourcing experience, where you get a great result without doing the work yourself, you'll want another and another.
Mike gave some great advise, the one thing I would add to what he has said is that as you scale up, be aware that efficiency drops for a while You know how much you can do and what you can accomplish and when some people scale up, there is a tendency to over estimate how much can be done and by when. This really hits hard too if you didn't allow for enough time in whatever contracts you might get. Then you end up paying whomever you contract or your hourly worker more than yourself, as you will have to make up for the lost time.
As far as scaling up contracting out can be a good first step as you can set a contract up just like your own work, a price for the product. This will allow you to have a clear estimate of expense instead of an hourly rate. If the person you are contracting with cannot make the deadlines, you are not out the extra money. I have contracted with many people to build and as long as the contract agreement has been clear I have had no issues.
Hi Ella. In our experience, building a pool of contractors has been our best strategy to tackle more jobs and grow. You should have enough options in your geo to be able to select several key contractors at your rate, not theirs. If you need them to be within close proximity, you may find candidates on LinkedIn, setting up ads on Craigslist, adding a Career section to your website, or on the many outsourcing platforms out there. Alternatively, if you don't need your vendors to be close by (if they can do remore work), you may use the same portals but expand your search to nearshore or offshore solutions. My industries, which are corporate communication and video production, allow for remote collaboration, and we've been very successful scaling our workforce this way. Happy to share more insights - feel free to reach out to me.
Hello Ella, I believe that having a team completely local and sitting in the same room and working is the best option. But that is not usually the case and in today's business setting, one must be comfortable working with clients and vendors who are not local.
Video conferencing and high speed internet has enabled a lot of companies to operate with low overheads and still maintain business relationships.
In your case, I would suggest building a strong network of vendors that you can work to start off with. Work closely with them and build trust. Understand your clients' needs and ensure that you track sales, marketing and project management efforts closely.