As a solopreneur, you have likely gotten used to doing everything on your own. But, as your business grows, there will come a time when you have to add team members to maintain your momentum. But, when is it time to consider hiring role-based support?
When it comes to ongoing, recurring tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, you will likely look to hiring a role-based team member to support you. A very common early hire in this type of role is a virtual assistant.
If you are primarily used to working with project-based team members, adjusting to working with someone in a role-based position can take a bit of getting used to. (I’ve talked a bit about how to work with a project-based person before here so be sure to check that out!)
However, by keeping in mind how best to work with this type of team member, you can build a successful and symbiotic business relationship.
[bctt tweet=”Role-based team members can provide you a successful and symbiotic business relationship.” username=”freshtakepro”]
One of the most important aspects to establish is a clear task management system.
Since you will likely be assigning tasks regularly to this person, you need to make sure there’s a simple way to both assign and keep track of tasks.
There’s a huge variety in options here but what’s important is that you find what works for you. I’d recommend checking out platforms like Trello or Teamwork Projects to start. They both have free options with a pretty low learning curve so they’re great to get started with.
However you decide to manage tasks, the goal is to ensure both you and your team member know what is assigned and when it is due. You also want to ensure there’s an easy way to ask questions back and forth (that preferably don’t involve endless email chains) as tasks are completed.
[bctt tweet=”Using a project management system helps you and your team avoid time-sucking ‘back-and-forth’.” username=”freshtakepro”]
Once you’ve established how you will assign and manage tasks, the next thing to consider is reasonable turnaround times.
Generally speaking, a role-based team member is in your business at least several times a week if not daily. This means you may be able to expect faster turnaround times than with a project-based person. However, you still need to be realistic that this person is not (usually) an employee and they still need time to get things done.
So, lay out the normal tasks you need done and decide with them what expectations there should be about completing tasks. It also helps here to build in a buffer time for back and forth on items, especially at the beginning of the relationship. While a blog post may only take 30 minutes to prep for publishing, if there are missing pieces of content or editing required, it could take at least 24-48 hours before it’s actually ready to publish. This means that you should plan appropriately for getting everything to your team member so it can be finished before the actual date you want it to go live.
As you begin working together, it is also important to pay attention to their work style and how they like to be managed.
This can also be very dependent on their experience level but you want to ensure you’re setting them up for success as much as you can. If they prefer a more detail-oriented management from you vs a more hand off approach, you may need to take that into consideration as time goes by.
[bctt tweet=”Get more from your role-based team member by paying attention to their work style and how they like to be managed.” username=”freshtakepro”]
This doesn’t mean you have to bend to their every whim but consider what they prefer when deciding how to assign tasks or check in pending items. And just as importantly, ask that they do the same. For instance, if you prefer they acknowledge tasks as soon as they review them so you know they’ve been seen and are in progress, let them know that! There are many small adjustments you can both make to work styles that will dramatically improve your working relationship.
Finally, remember you are not an island and feeling supported goes both ways.
Feeling supported in your business is priceless – it truly makes the difference between pushing through tough times and giving up. But, it goes both ways. Role-based team members can only provide you with the full support you need if you in turn support them. Be sure you prep them for success, appreciate their presence, and value their contribution to your business. Trust me, it will pay off in more ways than you could ever possibly imagine. 🙂