“How did you find somebody that great?”
That’s a question I hear almost every time someone sees me working with my team. It’s often accompanied by another question: how do I know if I’m ready now to hire somebody?
Hiring someone is an amazing step to take in the life of your business, but it can be both daunting and exciting. Fortunately, I’ve got you covered – I’ll be detailing why, when and how you want to hire someone, and how to train them correctly to create a truly amazing team.
The Perks of Hiring Someone
“I can’t afford to hire anybody.” I hear that almost every time I coach another e-commerce business owner about how to overcome a plateau. When I hear someone say that they don’t think they can’t hire someone for $10 per hour, my first reaction is that you might need to start looking at what you’re sourcing, making sure you have the right margins and tracking your return on investment.
Instead of focusing on the cost of paying someone, focus on how hiring someone is ultimately going to get you to where you want to go – not hinder you. Instead of peeling labels off boxes and putting new labels on, your time will be focused on more profitable matters, such as discovering quality items that sell quickly and improving your listings.
Hiring spurs growth, plain and simple. You exchange a set amount of money to earn more time, something that’s always in short supply. You’ll have more time with your family and more energy to put into new areas of your business.
When It’s Time to Hire Someone
Understanding your value is crucial before you hire someone. It’s easy to think, “I’m not going to pay someone $25 to pack boxes.” Really, though, if you can generate more than $25 per hour by not having to pack boxes yourself, you’re still coming out on top. If you know that when you put your time into sourcing you can generate $100 per hour, then it’s worth not having to pack boxes.
Once you’re closer to understanding the value of your time, then you can start looking at aspects of your business and looking at what you can outsource or automate. Paying $10 per month for a program that saves me 10 hours per week is well worth every penny. Employees, software and contractors should all save you more money than they cost the business.
After you’ve outsourced everything you can to contractors, or found automated solutions to processes, you’ll likely have remaining tasks that will fall upon an employee. You’ll need someone to pack boxes, put labels on them, and other similar tasks. That’s when it’s time to hire someone.
Training Up Your Employees
Don’t hire someone and expect them to do everything right the first time. Take time to train, one step at a time. This process begins before you even make your job listing by writing out the tasks and procedures you’ll be looking for in a new employee. Then, create a job listing.
One hiring trick I love is adding something like, “Only applications with your favorite color in the first line of your cover letter will be considered.” I need people who are detail oriented, so I can instantly eliminate anyone who doesn’t follow that instruction.
Training begins by laying out clear expectations. I also like to tell employees that they can make as much money as they want (even for an hourly job packing boxes). I explain to them that if they want a raise or a bonus, they need to help bring in more money than I’m paying them. Next, I teach them one process until they’ve mastered it, such as peeling off labels from boxes.
As new hires become valuable employees, empower them to take charge. Encourage them to work freely (within your own policies) and come to you with any ideas for improving their workflow.
Book a Vacation!
Once you’ve hired a few employees and trained them up, take a three-week trip! The intention is that leaving your business for this amount of time will force you to delegate important tasks. When you return, you can examine the results to determine if you even want to take those tasks back.
Hiring is an opportunity to finally have the freedom in your business that prompted you to get started in the first place. Understand your value, hire the right people and train them up – then enjoy focusing on aspects of your business you love.