In our online business world, we’re quick to cling to things that seem like a quick fix. From “how to have your first 6 figure launch with these 3 easy steps” and “how to make $10k before lunch today” – we find something we think can solve all our problems and run with it.
Over the past year, hiring a team has become a very trendy topic – much to my dismay. And this is one of the areas I help people with in business! So why am I upset about it? Because it’s become a scary epidemic, bad for both business owners and the folks they’re hiring.
Many business owners aren’t ready for the level of responsibility it takes to lead and manage a team. Many don’t understand that hiring a team is a big commitment – not just a trendy business tactic to get more sales, reach a larger audience, or grow their list.
I’m on a mission to bust some of the most common hiring myths, so you can avoid ending up in a situation that you might not be quite ready for yet – or ever! Let’s get down to business.
Myth #1: Hiring a team is a sign of a successful business.
Hiring a team is not a sign of success.
Let me repeat that…Hiring a team is NOT a sign of success.
It’s easy to look around and see successful businesses with huge teams and think “I must need a team in order to be successful, too.”
This is where the saying, “keep your eyes on your own paper” comes in handy.
You don’t know that business’s story. You don’t know their goals. You don’t know their operations. You don’t know anything about the inner workings of their business.
Do yourself a solid and don’t make critical decisions about your business based on limited or potentially irrelevant information about other businesses.
You may not be ready for a team in your business right now. You might just need some new systems or processes to streamline your operations in order to get to the next level.
Hiring a team will not help you solve all of your business woes if you’re not ready to be a leader. And no, hiring a team is not a sign of success.
Myth #2: The bigger my team, the more legit my business looks to clients.
Nope. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Your clients don’t care how many team members you have. The size of your team doesn’t make your business look any more or less legit. Size really doesn’t matter (at least in this case).
Your knowledge, your expertise, the experience you create for your clients, the products or services you offer – these are all ways you look legit to your clients and gain credibility.
If you have a big team, but the wheels are falling off your business because communication is lacking, follow through sucks, and service levels are less than stellar, they aren’t going to care how big your team is. But they are going to be looking to you to fix those problems – and fast.
Myth #3: The more team members I have, the more productive our team will be.
As Sheldon Cooper would say, “that’s a bunch of hokum!”
Studies have shown that the opposite is actually true. Smaller teams are more productive.
Articles on these studies, like this one in Forbes and this one in the Harvard Business Review, talk about the fact that the larger a team is, the more complex it becomes and the less effective they are.
The reasons why make a lot of sense. The larger the team, the more chances for breakdowns in communication, having more people to filter things through, and just more chaos in general. It’s why large companies can be frustrating to work in…red tape and layers of bureaucracy.
And you know what? Large teams are more challenging to lead. Large teams take up more of your time and focus. They require you to be even more present – not step back and let go.
Unless you’re a seasoned pro at leading large teams, I wouldn’t recommend starting off with a team of 10. Start with just one person and see how that goes first.
As you get your feet under you, then add additional team members. But know that with each new team member you add, the entire dynamic of the team and your business will change. It will often feel like you’re starting over again. And you kind of are!
Myth #4: Hiring a virtual team will be easier to lead and manage.
Yeah…no. That’s definitely not true – at all.
Managing a team is challenging under normal (read: in-person) circumstances. Managing a virtual team presents a whole different set of opportunities and challenges.
I’ve been told things like,
- “I actually forget about my virtual team members sometimes.” (yikes!)
- “I’m not sure how to make sure everyone is in the loop.”
- “Sometimes I feel really disconnected from parts of my business because everyone is virtual and I don’t always know what they’re working on.”
- “I struggle to make sure my team members feel like they’re actually part of a team. How do I keep them engaged and connected?”
- “How do I make sure my virtual team is doing what they’re supposed to?”
Now, I don’t share these statements to scare you (not completely, anyway), but to help you see the challenges that online business owners face when managing virtual teams.
A virtual team is not easier to lead and manage. In many ways, it’s far more challenging.
You may face challenges like, inconsistent communication, keeping everyone on the same page, knowing when one of your team members is struggling, and trying to make sure everyone feels valued and heard.
To effectively lead and manage your virtual team, you need to have solid plans in place before you ever put the call out for help. A great way to do this is to talk to others who have led virtual teams before. Ask them what has worked, and what hasn’t, and what they would do differently if they could start over. You may even want to consider hiring someone for an in-person position, rather than virtually. Yes, online entrepreneurs can do that, too!
I hope you’ve found these myth-busting tips and insights helpful if you’re thinking about hiring a team. The best piece of advice I can give you is to focus on your goals and the vision you have for your business. If hiring a team of people isn’t part of that, it’s totally and completely okay. Everyone doesn’t have to hire a team! But if you do see yourself hiring a team in the future, please take the time to develop a plan and strategy for how you’ll do so. The key to success is being proactive, because once you hire your team, they’re your responsibility and it’s hard to go back and start over!
Grab your free worksheet, “4 Simple Steps for Who to Hire 1st & How Much to Budget.” Hire the right team member for your business, the first time!
BY: Ashley Cox