Dominic Wells of Onfolio.Co recently wrote a blog post talking about how and when to hire your own team and they brought up some really good points.
At first it may seem odd that they’re writing about something that would go against their business model. But the great thing about this post is it shows how the system they implemented in hiring a team can help if you want to grow other aspects in your business. What I like about their approach is that it’s methodical and really straightforward. It makes sense to create a system early on, to prepare your business for growth.
How do you create a system for hiring and growing your team, and by extension, your business? First, you have to lay the groundwork with documentation. We’re not just talking about establishing company policies. With outsourcing, documentation also means training and onboarding. This means writing down and recording all the training materials you need. With onboarding, it means creating a system that gets your virtual assistant up to speed as soon as possible. This would include orientation, training, and regular feedback.
“At the time, it was a chore and creating all this documentation just for 1 or 2 people felt slightly frustrating. Future Dom and Alejandro are very much grateful for putting the time in though, because now our growing team can learn on the job a lot more efficiently.”
We’ve talked to business owners who get frustrated over the amount of work that’s needed when we share with them how we outsource.
Here at Onlinejobs.ph, what we recommend is that business owners first outsource the tasks they can teach. And to teach someone, you have to have training materials. You have to give feedback and communicate with your VA daily. The intention here is you keep doing this to the point that your VA is confident to do these tasks on her own. Once she’s mastered one task, you can teach another one, then another one, and another one.
The issue they have with this system is it gives them more work at the beginning. They would rather hire someone who can do a task they don’t know how to do or can’t do themselves, and poof! Instant productivity!
But when you look at it closely, how has this system made you more productivity. You handed a job over to someone where you have no control and no knowledge of. Plus, you gave yourself the added responsibility of managing them. That’s all on top of the work you’re still doing yourself.
With our system, yes, documenting the training is tedious. But as Dom and Alejandro testifies, it’s extra work they’re glad they did because it freed up so much time down the line. They have a system they know teaches their VA exactly what they want. They know the quality of work they’re expecting. And if they hire more VAs, they don’t even have to do the training themselves. They can delegate it to their own VAs.
So, when do you start hiring?
Alejandro Meyerhans shared this on a FB group and their blog post on when they decided to start hiring:
“The general rule of thumb is to stop doing $10/hour jobs”.
When we first start building our business, we operate on the mindset of saving as much money as you can. Why hire a freelancer to do this for $5/hr when you can save money to do it yourself? And at first glance, it makes sense because it won’t costs the business money if you do the job yourself.
But that’s exactly the problem. Yes, you saved the business $5 per hour. But you cost that same business jobs that you could be earning your business $100/hr or more.
If you do the math, you’re really losing $95/hr. You’re not saving anything.
At some point, you got to get out of the mindset of saving money and going into the mindset of making money.
This is where outsourcing comes into the process of business growth
Getting more from outsourcing than just savings
If you see outsourcing simply as a band aid solution to a resource problem, you’re not utilizing it to its full potential.
When you scale up to the point where you’re outsourcing entire processes instead of just random tasks, that’s when you start making serious money with your outsourced team. And it all starts by approaching outsourcing in a systematic way.
Preparing for outsourcing forces you into a system mindset. You create contingencies because there are so many perceived points of failure when you’re not in the same physical space as your employees.
Because if you’re hiring someone from across the world, you can’t afford simple mistakes or delays. Things have to work as soon as possible.
This also helps even when you hire locally. Because hiring more people requires you to have a system that would allow the business to run even without you there watching over every moving part.
This has to be done. As your business grows, there are aspects that you have to let go completely if you want to look at the bigger picture.
Is it really worth the extra effort?
I know you’re probably asking, isn’t the point of outsourcing is that I don’t have to do all this work? Why do I have to invest in training? Why do I have to invest in onboarding? Why do I have to create a system to scale up my business through outsourcing? Why not hire someone to do it for me?
Let me ask you this. If you weren’t outsourcing, if you were just hiring locally, would you be asking the same questions? Would you depend on someone else to create the entire process for you? I doubt it.
Even if you don’t plan to integrate virtual assistants into your business, even if you only plan to bring in the occasional freelancer, this system would still work for you. Because when you’re hiring freelancers, integration and turnover is always going to be an issue. You can’t afford the whole “getting to know you” dance every time you get a contractor. They need to be onboarded right away and having a system fixes that problem.
Once they have an outsourcing system in place, they no longer a question of how you’re going to scale up your business. It becomes a question of how fast can you scale their business.
If you want to read more about how they did it, you can read his post here.
Once you have your on-boarding process up, you can start scaling up your business by hiring your own virtual assistant. Sign up for a free Onlinejobs.ph employer account and you can start hiring your first VA in minutes!
About Julia Jasmine M. Sta Romana
Julia has been working for OnlineJobs.ph since 2012, first as a writer and now as its social media manager and content development specialist. She also founded the Davao Virtual Assistants Association, the biggest VA association in Davao City
She’s a full-time wife and mom and volunteers her time as an internet rights advocate.
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