I love the poem from Maya Angelou called Every Woman Should.
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE
one friend who always makes her laugh … and one who lets her cry …
Time is a precious commodity, and part of being a business owner is knowing when it’s time to call in the troops for help. When you open up to the notion of reaching out for assistance, you are not admitting defeat or showing signs of weakness; you are using sage wisdom. Though some of us are rumored to hang a Superwoman cape in the closet every night, most of us know there are times in life that we need to just throw up our hands, scream “UNCLE!” and reach out to our Inner Circle for love, help, and guidance. The notion of continuing to struggle with a problem, project, concern or issue is kind of like the definition of insanity:
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
Instead of stubbornly pounding your head against the wall …
I. WILL. Get. This. Right. Even. If. It. KILLS. ME!
Just know it’s not a faux pas to ask for help, it is an act of supreme leadership. Passing off daunting tasks to those to who have the expertise that we lack frees us to focus on true income-producing activities like lining up speaking opportunities or new lead generation.
Types of Employees Every Small Business Owner Needs:
1. A Photographer
Yes, we know you're an Instagram and iPhone picture taking wizard, but there’s only so many selfies that the world can handle. Images rule on social media and are important in marketing and media materials as well. Keep the name of a pro photographer, who can capture professional photos to be utilized in multiple parts of your business, handy at all times. Not to mention — update your headshot, that grainy photo from the 90's just won't cut it.
2. A Creative Genius
You may think you can, “create that logo myself,” or “build a quickie sales page for this product,” but if it takes you three hours, is that really a good use of your time? Having a graphic designer in your corner that can assist with these tasks, and do so in a fraction of the time, is a smart business move. It also saves you from the embarrassment of having peers or clients say things like, “That is so sweet! How old is your child?” when viewing your business logo.
3. An IT Person
If you’ve ever been faced with the blue screen of death on your laptop, you know how frustrating it can be. Instead of spending hours combing through troubleshooting sites to “to find the cure,” having the option of handing off the task to a pro frees you up to move to other tasks that keep your small business moving forward.
4. The Maid
How many of you stress over the cleanliness of your home? ::sneaks hands up:: Would I prefer that my home not look like wolves live there? YES! Is it a smart sanity and business move to invest in someone who can make my house look wolf-free, thus freeing me up for more quality family time? YES! In the past when I’ve asked women-entrepreneurs who their “team” was comprised of, a quality maid service was always on the list. These same businesswomen also stated that even during the times when finances were tight, that dropping housecleaning services was something they would not consider.
5. A Lunch Buddy
Your lunch buddy is that friend you have on speed dial that is always thrilled to receive the, “I think I am losing my marbles. I need to have some girl-time/lunch date” phone call. This friend knows nothing about, or cares anything about, stats, algorithms, analytics or deadlines … they just know you are a FIN (Friend In Need). Your lunch buddy is a critical piece of your support system and mental health maintenance.
6. An Unpaid Mentor
Your unpaid mentor could be a relative, or even local fellow business person, who has knowledge and savvy and isn’t afraid to share. This mentor could be someone you deeply admire who is always more than willing to say, “Here, try it this way” and offer up guidance and support to your growing business with no strings attached.
7. The Paid Mentor
There are times when we need deeper knowledge. Deeper instruction and guidance. Paid mentors are the coaches we employ to help us carve out a new niche, get past “stuck” in our business or teach us tactics that will allow our business to be more profitable. A quality paid mentor/coach is often worth their weight in gold and worth every penny.
I couldn't agree more with Rebecca's suggestions. However, there are a few more types of employees that I'd like to add to the list.
8. A Virtual Assistant
Being ill or going on vacation is not conducive to being a solopreneur; these are just some of the scenarios when a virtual assistant (VA) comes in handy. All of those administrative tasks that take up so much time can easily be delegated to VA and the longer you work with one, the better they will know your business and how to help you manage it.
9. A Tribe of Mompreneurs
Here in Austin, I belong to a local business group called Business + Balance Austin, even though I don’t attend that many meetings in person, I do participate in their daily email correspondence which has proven to be invaluable. I have also made some good friends within the group and having their support and guidance is priceless!
I have also met numerous mompreneurs online via Facebook and Twitter, and I can’t tell you how much their friendship and encouragement has helped me out. Networking with liked minded individuals is productive, it gets the creative juices flowing, and it is especially important to be around people that understand what you’re going through. Because often being a mompreneur can be an emotional roller coaster and you will need that support both mentally and emotionally.
Another avenue to explore is paid mastermind groups. I've been part of a couple over the years, not only have they moved my business forward, but the friendships I've forged have been life-altering.
10. A Bookkeeper + Accountant
For most small business owners, keeping track of daily expenses and income is a headache. And don't even get me started on taxes. If crunching numbers isn't your thing — outsource this task by hiring a bookkeeper or accountant. Many firms specialize in working with small business owners, and their fees are minimal. To find a reputable bookkeeper or accountant, I recommend asking your tribe for recommendations — after all, this is your money that they'll be handling.
11. An Attorney
There are going to be legal forms, contracts, terms, and questions that you will encounter as a small business owner. Before you find yourself in hot water, be sure to find a reputable and qualified attorney that you can call on. While you can file your trademark or incorporate your business online, it's good to at least consult with an attorney to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row. Starting a relationship with a lawyer before you need one, will take a lot of undue stress off your shoulders.
Don't worry, hiring a team doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can start off by hiring independent contractors (1099) using platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Fancyhands. With independent contractors, you can ramp their hours up or down based on your needs at any given time. As your business grows, you may decide to hire full-time employees. Remember, just because you're CEO of your small business, doesn't mean you have to wear all the hats. Use this list as a guide for the type of employees that you should hire for your specific type of business.
What types of employees do you have on your team? Did we miss any important hires? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you!
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Originally published on September 11, 2014. Content updated by Holly Reisem Hanna on September 17, 2018.
Rebecca Flansburg proudly left a 30-year stint in the 9-5 world three years ago to work full-time (from home and on her own terms) as a virtual assistant, freelance writer, and blogger. Rebecca is the Cover Girl writer for HERLIFE Magazine Sacramento & Central Valley, is an avid blogger on her own veteran blog Franticmommy and is co-creator of FREElance FREEdom-a site dedicated to helping women discover life beyond the cubicle.
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