Being a one-man (or woman!) business is great when you’re first starting out. However, you’re a hungry entrepreneur and want more. You’re also conflicted because you fear the pros and cons of hiring new faces. If you plan well, however, and take on the right partners, you don’t have to worry about the bumps along the road to growth. In fact, there are many proven ways to broaden your talent pool without diluting the customer experience.
Hiring a freelance staff and outsourcing time-consuming tasks can free you up to be the face of your business. Here are four people and services that can support your efforts on your terms.
Your company’s website is critical. If you are existing with nothing more than a drag-and-drop, DIY, cookie-cutter website and a few social media pages, you should know that this rarely leads to growth. When your business operates online, you need the right people behind-the-scenes.
As such, an experienced web developer can take your site to an entirely new level and will have the skills and know-how to make it attractive and functional for your customers. Before hiring someone full-time, however, Entrepreneur suggests trying them out on small projects. Also, ask plenty of questions to ensure they fully understand the scope of the work required. For example, if they will also perform daily maintenance and serve as the site administrator, make sure they are comfortable functioning as the webmaster.
Data Entry Specialist
If your idea of productivity has nothing to do with spreadsheets and databases, consider outsourcing your data-heavy duties to a specialist. An Upwork data entry specialist can populate spreadsheets, transfer paper records into an online or digital database, and more.
Depending on the size of your business, it might make sense to hire somebody on a freelance, per-project basis. For example, if you need to scan and archive a batch of historical documents or images, a freelancer can handle this task. Once you have an established relationship, this person may be available for other projects when you don’t have time to devote to data documentation. Look for someone who can type quickly and accurately, knows the devil is in the details, and isn’t afraid to scour the expanses of the web for information when you need it.
There are many technological components of your businesses that go well beyond the website. For this reason, it makes sense to prioritize IT. A dedicated IT team is often the best solution, but this can get expensive quickly, and it is difficult to ensure that every member of your team is qualified and remains up-to-date on IT best practices.
Look into outsourcing your IT needs to a managed service provider. This group will be able to implement new technology and harness the collective strengths of each individual within its organization. You will wind up paying much less than trying to piece together an IT department on your own, and you won’t have cost variables such as vacation time and taxes.
Marketing your business effectively is much more involved than printing a few brochures and business cards. In the digital age, marketing requires someone with creative, sales, and legal knowledge. A marketing manager will have all of this and more, and will also understand how to utilize business growth tools such as Google Analytics and Salesforce.
When interviewing a potential marketing manager, ask about their experience with both on- and off-line marketing. While some specialized in social media, having someone with experience putting together events, creating email campaigns, and in-store promotions will help you target and satisfy a wider demographic.
When it is time to expand your entrepreneurial endeavors, you do not have to give up control of your business. But hiring people to help, whether as employees or on contract terms, is the best way to free you up so that you can focus on the most important aspects of your operation.