Kelly Zugay, Co-Founder of With Grace and Gold®
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Though With Grace and Gold just celebrated its 9-year business anniversary, it wasn’t until year 7 that we hired our first official team members. Ironically, we had spent years overwhelmed by the daily to-dos within our business, and we struggled to find an opportunity to determine which tasks could or should be delegated, to write a job description, create training materials, host an on-boarding meeting, and create systems for our desired new team members. So, for years, our cycle continued; we were too busy to hire team members, and too busy not to hire team members!
Eventually, we were able to chip away at those hiring, on-boarding, and training to-dos — and we are so grateful we did. Now, we have 3 team members working behind-the-scenes at With Grace and Gold and it has made all the difference in the world. With their help, we’ve been empowered to serve our clients and customers even better than before — and when we look back, we wish we had begun hiring team members sooner.
If you’re in a season of wishing some of your to-dos could be delegated, it’s worth considering building a supportive, productive team to help. Today, we’re sharing approaches and steps toward hiring a team for your small business.
How to Build a Supportive, Productive Team
Welcome to Episode 183 of the Brand It, Build It Podcast: How to Build a Supportive, Productive Team. Small business owners wear many hats, juggling numerous tasks to keep their businesses running smoothly. As a small business owner, you’re not only managing your products and services; you’re also managing communication, bookkeeping, marketing, and more. Hiring team members can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re feeling ill-prepared for bringing an additional team member on-board your business. But doing so can make all a meaningful difference in your productivity, effectiveness, and even your long-term growth and success. Today, we’re sharing 5 considerations, approaches, and ways to prepare for hiring team members within your business.
- Step 1: Simplify Your Offerings. Small businesses often strive to provide a wide range of products and services, so they can appeal to a wide range of customers and clients. But doing so can sometimes lead to unnecessary complexity. In Episode 008, we ask “Are you offering too many services?” and share practical ways to pare down your offerings to create simplicity and ease for your customers and clients. By simplifying your offerings, you can create a stronger foundation for your business and create clarity for any team members you do bring on. You can determine what actually needs to be done within your business, and the best use of your team members’ expertise. Creating a stronger, simpler, and more streamlined foundation for your business is a helpful approach overall, but it becomes especially helpful when considering hiring a team member.
- Step 2: Streamline Your Processes. Along these same lines, it’s essential to streamline the processes and procedures within your business. If you serve clients through a service, we recommend journeying through and thinking about each step of their experience, big and small. This can help you to determine which steps can be added, removed, or combined in order to elevate your client experience. Further, streamlining your processes gives future team members a roadmap to follow when they are given a task within that process. Streamlining your processes simplifies your business operations overall and helps to better ensure that you, your team members, and your clients are all journeying through the same great experience.
- Step 3: Leverage Technology. One of the best recommendations I have for small business owners of all kinds is to sign up for free trials of various project management systems, input your clients’ projects, and see which style of project management system aligns with how you think and how you work. Signing up for these free trials empowers you to find a tool best designed for your unique business and unique style of work — empowering you to work more accurately and more efficiently. Further, leveraging technology in the form of project management systems, client management systems, social media marketing systems, and more can equip you for success when you do hire team members. You can create user-friendly training videos and resources, demonstrating how those resources are used within your business.
- Step 4: Determine What Should Be Delegated. I believe the simplest way to determine what to-dos should be delegated is to create two columns: one column is a list of the to-dos only you are capable of completing, and the other column is a list of the to-dos you could certainly train someone to complete. In the early years of our business, I remember thinking no one else could complete the to-dos within our business but us — but the truth is, with just a little bit of training, communication, and trust, it’s likely someone can complete a wide variety of to-dos within your business. So, be sure to review and revise your list accordingly, especially if, at first glance, it feels like there is nothing in the second column! Once complete, categorize the tasks that you would like to delegate, and determine how many team members should be hired. For example, are the tasks so diverse that it’s unlikely a single team member would want to manage or know how to manage them? At With Grace and Gold, for example, we have design team members and an administrative team members, because of how our delegated tasks can be categorized.
- Step 5: Prepare Your Team Members for Success. To build a supportive, productive team, we recommend thinking about the process and journey your team members will experience, too. At With Grace and Gold, we wrote a detailed job description to attract the team members we hoped to hire — in terms of both hard and soft skills. We conducted a thorough interview process via Zoom. Then, our hired team members attended on-boarding meetings, received personal tours of all of our behind-the-scenes resources, and also received recorded video training resources within our shared project management system. To equip our team members for success, we think about and value their experience working within our business — and our goal is to create a space where our team members feel valued, creative, excited about their work, and empowered to do their work successfully and seamlessly. Similar to creating an elevated client experience, creating an elevated employee experience can make a meaningful difference in how your employees perceive their work and your business overall.
Today, we explored how to prepare for hiring team members within your small business — approaches to take, considerations to make, and ways to connect with and attract the right team members who will be supportive and productive. Thanks for tuning in!
About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay
Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, and founders. Weekly, brief, actionable episodes will equip you to build a successful, sustainable small business. Since 2014, With Grace and Gold has provided award-winning custom brand and Showit web design and completely customizable Showit website templates for small businesses worldwide.