As a location-independent business owner, I thrive in an online environment so my team has to be virtual as well! I get questions all the time about staffing and what kind of people you should hire to help you run your online business.
I’ve just gone through a process of adding new staff members and upleveling my team here at Happy Black Woman, so I wanted to share some ideas and resources you can use as you begin to hire your own support staff. Click here to learn more about our incredible team!
When I first started my nonprofit consulting business part-time back in 2008, I didn’t see the need to have anyone helping me. And I definitely wasn’t keen on the idea of paying someone to perform tasks I could do myself.
But as I learned more about what it really takes to run a business, it became painfully apparent that I could not grow without having some additional help with scheduling client appointments, organizing my speaking engagements, helping me implement marketing strategies, customer service, etc.
I started off with grad student interns who worked 5-10 hours a week and then I moved up to virtual assistants with more advanced skills. I found my first interns through my own network of colleagues by simply posting an ad on my blog. It worked out great!
Years later, at this stage of my business, I have identified my “dream team” organizational chart of four core team members, plus a handful of what I would consider “as-needed” contractors and freelancers.
Core team members:
- Executive Assistant (this position is currently vacant – check out the role description here!)
- Operations Manager
- Program Manager
- Event Manager
“As-needed” contractors and freelancers:
- Web Designer
- Graphic Designer
- Image Consultant
Now, you may be thinking – how do I even begin to decide which positions I need in my online business? When is it time for an intern or a virtual assistant or more of an operations/online business manager? How much should I plan to pay them? And how do I even find them?!
Here are some ideas to help you get clarity and move forward.
How to Decide Who You Need on Your Virtual Team
What I recommend is that you sit down and ask yourself the following three questions:
- What tasks do I need done for my business on a daily basis? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? These tasks will help you create role descriptions and give you an idea of how many hours of help you need each month as you build your team.
- What are the specific tasks, projects and areas that I don’t enjoy doing and am not very good at? These answers will give you clues as to where you may want to hire someone to help you. For instance, scheduling appointments makes me want to pull my hair out, so I will always need support with that aspect of my business.
- What is my monthly budget for hiring staff? There is a pretty wide range for virtual team members that varies based on what kind of skills they have and experience level. And, what country they live in! I’ve seen fees from $4-$10/hour for virtual assistants in India to $10-$15/hour for interns in the United States. In terms of operations/online business managers, I’ve seen fees from $20-$85/hour. Once you know your monthly budget for hiring, you can more easily find what you’re looking for!
Where to Find Virtual Team Members
I recommend that you begin your search by posting an ad on the following websites:
Last but not least, don’t forget your own network. Make sure you ask for direct referrals from your colleagues – other business owners who have a team in place already. They may know someone who is a perfect fit!
I hope these ideas get you thinking about creating or upleveling your virtual team. What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s absolutely critical to get the support you need to manifest the vision you have for your business.
Leave me a comment: What strategies have you used so far to find great people to help you?