James: James Schramko here from SuperFastBusiness.com. I have with me Kat Jarman from YourOnlineTeam.com. Welcome.
James: Kat, we’ve been talking about topics that revolve around leadership and teams. Because let’s face it, without a team, you’re only going to get to a certain size in your business. In fact, I’d almost say you probably don’t have a business until you have a team. Because that will be one indicator you would look for that symbolizes going from a job-like existence where you’re literally doing everything, to then when you’re starting to get help from other people.
Now, of course, some of us haven’t been trained too well to have a team or to lead a team, because we may have had a job ourselves and then now we started freelancing, and then we want to expand out. Or maybe we’ve got a small team, and we’re finding that the team type has changed. So one thing I’d love to discuss today is what kind of team do you need at the different stages in your business? Because I’m sure the journey is quite different from being a solopreneur with a job-like existence through to being a company CEO with an office filled with hundreds or thousands of people.
And a lot of the people who are watching this sort of video would probably be at the stage where they’ve either just got one or two people or they’re thinking of getting one or two people, going up to the sort of that five-to-a-dozen sort of size. I think that’s a zone where we see a lot of people operating in as they go from a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year up to the sort of seven-figure mark, and beyond. What changes have you seen in teams and in how they’re structured?
Kat: Yeah, so I find that a lot of us are familiar with the, you know, you get your first VA and you’re nervous because you don’t know how to outsource to them? And will they do it right, and what should I do for them? And then you do that, you overcome that hurdle, you get to the point where maybe you’ve got 3 or 4 VAs, maybe you’ve got some contractors, like some Facebook ads people and that sort of thing. And then everything starts to get busy, which is great, and you’re probably doing really well and making some good money. And then you hit the point where you can either stay where you’re at and continue pretty well.
But most of us entrepreneurs aren’t like that, we want to keep growing. So there’s a point there, where you start to become so bogged down in team-type activities that you need to take it to the next level.
And what I find is, the best way to do that is to make it so that you’re out of the day-to-day running of your business. So you’re not constantly telling the team what to do, you’re not constantly checking up on the contractors, you’re not being the project manager, you’re taking it to the next level by bringing yourself back to what you’re good at, which is usually like, the marketing-type activities for most of us. So that’s when your team needs to change dramatically. And I think it’s one of the most scariest changes for people, because usually it involves more high-level support than you’ve probably ever bought on to your business before.
James: Yeah, I think what you’re describing is so true. They’re an expert, and then they start getting some help. And the next thing you know, they’re a full-time boss, like the whole business activity revolves around managing and leadership. And now they don’t have time to be going to the thing they have an expertise for. Again, it’s kind of like when people start out and they become full-time web developers. They’re trying to put together their website.
It’s a tough phase, that first phase, because you don’t have as much income to reinvest back into teams. So I like to think of it as a trigger point, when you reach a certain point. It might be a number of people in your team, like, I think it’s quite well-known that most people can only manage a few others successfully. It could be five, plus or minus two, depending on how talented a person is. Like, more than two or three people, it starts to become a bit of a boss role, doesn’t it?
And then certainly if you have more than five or six people, if you’re the only one in charge of them, you’d have to have some good skills to do that. And not everyone is cut out for this, and especially to the point where they should be directing their time to really high-level stuff. And for a lot of entrepreneurs, that’s going to be strategic stuff.
Often it’ll be a sales role or a delivery role of a higher-expertise thing, especially if the business is quite small. But later on, navigating your business around all the obstacles out there is a full-time job.
Kat: It is, and there’s a point where it’s time to get some help from people that can make decisions as well as you can. They have a little bit of strategic thinking and experience behind them, so they can make good decisions that you don’t have to worry about, you can just be free to focus on your own skills and expertise. So it’s a really scary time.
And I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs, they’ll kind of get a little bit scared because there’s an investment involved, sometimes with high-level people. It’s scary to hand over the reins to somebody else, and worry that, are they going to do things just as well as you are? And some people pull back at that point. They’ll start paring down the team, and they’ll, you know, maybe get rid of a VA or 2 and just kind of stagnate for a while because they’re a little bit, maybe, nervous about going to the next step. But I find that getting high-level support, once you do it, you never, ever, look back. You won’t know what you did without them.
James: It sounds like a great solution. Where do you find these people? That’s the question I would get asked all the time, where do I get someone who already has some skills or the ability to think for themselves? This is the most common one. So they don’t know how to think for themselves. So, you know, where do I recruit someone like that? And really, this is the big problem that I think needs to be solved.
Kat: Yeah, and it’s not the easiest thing to do. I spend my whole life recruiting those people for my team. So there’s one place you can find them.
James: And where is that? YourOnlineteam.com?
Kat: YourOnlineTeam.com. Yeah, So if you’re trying to find them from your own team already, some people do that, they’ll promote from within their team. If you have people that have those skills, then go for it. That’s awesome.
But a lot of the time, your video editor is not going to become a good team leader or a good project manager or ops manager just because that’s not their area of expertise. So you need to start looking for people that maybe, they’re project managers in the corporate world, or maybe they’re executive assistants or high-level senior administration-type people. There’s so many of them out there. One thing that we do is find stay-at-home moms, they want to go back to work, but they don’t want to go back to corporate because they just don’t want to work 60-hour weeks.
James: Thank goodness for the internet.
Kat: Yeah, thank goodness for the internet. I know where to look for them, we’ve done a lot of work on identifying where the good people for this type of role are and we definitely, you know, can point people in the right direction if they want to ask me any questions they have in regards to finding awesome people.
James: Nice. Well, I appreciate the chat. We’ve really discovered this concept of the changing stages, from you to having a small team to needing to make that step to get someone in there who can actually organize the team and free you up to do what you’re supposed to do. That’s Kat Jarman from YourOnlineTeam.com. Thanks Kat.