The hiring needs of a solo entrepreneur differ from those of a growing business or startup. Hassan Osman, author of bestselling book Influencing Virtual Teams, emphasized the difference in a recent podcast interview by Open World Magazine.
Image by Olga Berrios
Hiring Needs of Solopreneurs: Projects
Even this early in the game, solo entrepreneurs can hire help. According to Hassan, solopreneurs often have tasks that start out as temporary projects; these projects often aren’t the main focus of the business. If you’re a solopreneur, you’ll have a handful of one-off projects, like editing a book or designing a book cover. But you’ll also have small projects with tasks that can be scaled later on and turned into regular functions, like processing payroll or organizing survey data.
“These tasks are often the biggest timesucks, so this kind of work is best delegated to others,” Hassan says in the podcast interview.
Where do you get help?
Solopreneurs have the option to hire contractors. “Many new businesses shift toward the outsourcing model,” according to Hassan. Outsourcing allows solopreneurs to hire help only when needed. If you’re outsourcing, you can use every hiring experience to build your network and learn good business practices.
How do you make this system work?
Hassan gives the following tips for solopreneurs, particularly those who outsource:
Systematize your processes.
You should start putting a reasonable system in place, so your goals are more measurable, and you can maintain a certain degree of control over your people and your processes.
Engage with the people you work with.
Lack of communication, according to Hassan, is the primary reason work relationships fail. The key to persuading people to do their job is knowing their motivating factors, and learning these factors require genuine engagement. Simple words of encouragement and a virtual pat on the back can be good foundation to building trust.
Hiring Needs of Growing Businesses: Roles
The bigger the business, the bigger the tasks required to run it. By the time your company’s done with its baby steps, you’ll have more established processes that will require your business to begin scaling. By this time you might have to delegate some core functions, like developing the very software you’re offering.
Where to Get Help
At this stage, even the outsourcing model needs reconsidering. “Outsource tasks, not creative control,” says Hassan. “Customers want something authentic.”
So for your business to preserve authenticity while it’s growing, roles are best kept in-house, but it is entirely possible for in-house roles to be staffed virtually. Hassan Osman recommends remote staffing as an option. This model allows you to leverage talent from different parts of the world while keeping control of your competencies. For example, you can have a dedicated team of digital marketers, working for you exclusively from a different country.
How do you make this system work?
For owners of growing businesses, Hassan recommends that you:
Reset your mindset.
When you’re an expert at something like your business, it’s easy to assume that other people have almost if not the same level of knowledge you have. "The knowledge you have in your head curses you from communicating it properly to the other party," says Hassan as he describes what he calls The Curse of Knowledge.
“What does the person who I'm trying to interact with know? What does he not know?” These are questions Hassan recommends asking yourself for whenever you describe your business or any of its processes.
Err on the side of over-communicating.
Hassan advises, “spell everything out, especially if you are remote staffing, as you cannot pick up on body language or facial expressions.” Whether you’re writing job descriptions or process documentations, be as detailed as you can.
Ever experienced your hiring needs changing as your business grew? What kind of changes happened and how did you deal with them? Tell us about it!
Latest posts by Bolton Remote (see all)
- 4 Steps to Solidify Company Culture this 2017 - January 25, 2017
- 4 Ways to Add Culture Fit to Your Hiring Method - December 28, 2016
- How to Test for 4 Qualities Every Great Programmer Must Have - May 24, 2016