Building a great team is a game changer for an entrepreneur. Most of us end up in the Super Hero role in our companies, trying to do everything and ending up burning ourselves out or simply not accomplishing all that needs to be done in our business.
There’s a better way.
Find and hire a fantastic team.
You shouldn’t be doing graphic design unless you’re a graphic artist. You shouldn’t be putting together web pages unless you’re a web designer. Your value is elsewhere in your business … and in your life.
An exercise I got from Chris Ducker of Virtual Freedom was to take out a sheet of paper, pour yourself a glass of scotch and draw a line down the middle of that paper. [The scotch makes this exercise easier as you’re about to get raw and real with yourself and your business, but if you’d prefer a green drink, that’s fine too.] On the left side of the paper, list everything in your business that you should be doing – the things you’re great at that no one else can do (this should be a short list). On the right side of the paper, list everything in your business that you’re either not great at (graphic design comes to mind for me), simply don’t like doing (bookkeeping perhaps), and fi nally those lower level tasks that you should be delegating so you can focus on things in your business that require higher level thinking and generate more income (an example would be getting paid $100/hour to work with a client vs. spending an hour fi ling papers that you could have someone do for you for $15/hour).
Now that you have your paper, look at those items on the right-hand side and hire professionals to help you get those done. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to do it if you use the power of geoarbitrage, or merely taking advantage of the differences in the cost of living between different locations. For example, a programmer in Silicon Valley will cost you roughly $150/hour due to the demand and cost of living, whereas a programmer with similar skills might only cost you $65/ hour in Columbus Ohio, or $20/hour in India (and often much less). It’s important to factor in the opportunity cost of time wasted when selecting the wrong person as well. Sometimes the cheaper option is the more expensive one. The key here is to get the best person for the job, not just the lowest priced person. I’m also certainly not saying that all people are equal with their skills. I’ve been doing this for over a decade and have had some wins and some losses, but this is true with local employees as well. There are too many tips and tricks to be covered in this book, but if you want to learn more, pick up Chris’ book and head over to Outsourcing for Business.
Now get started building your team with these resources below.
Fiverr is a global online marketplace where you can buy services starting at $5. This is a site primarily used by freelancers who will offer a variety of services at a reasonable price. The services offered include graphic design, online marketing, writing and translation, video and animation, music and audio, programming and tech, advertising, and general business. This is an excellent resource for when basic items are needed in a short amount of time.
I use Fiverr for a variety of things for both business and guilty pleasure. It’s great for getting things done quickly. I use if for quick graphic design work, reviews, and video intros. I even once sent a friend a video message via Facebook created by a guy in nothing but a thong and fairy wings – priceless.
Note that although all gigs start at $5, many of the higher end services charge a lot more to get the service you want. Read the details in any gig and contact the seller before buying.
I even tested a gig to see how it worked on the seller side. You can see it here.
Pro Tip: You often get what you pay for, and Fiverr is no exception. You can mitigate your risk by reading the reviews and seeing what other gigs the seller has on their profile. Each person is bound to have a few disgruntled reviewers, but I only work with those sellers whose reviews are 90%+ positive, and if they are newer to Fiverr, I look at the people who are making the reviews to get an idea of what industry they’re in. I’ve seen a lot of crossover in the reviews, making me suspect that the reviews are all done by a group of friends or coworkers to make their profiles look better. Sometimes you have to roll the dice and try someone new to give them a chance – it’s only $5.
Cost: Range from $5-$500
On Elance, businesses can browse profiles, portfolios, and reviews to assemble an online workforce. You can collaborate in shared online workrooms and receive daily activity reports. You only pay for work you approve, and Elance takes care of all invoicing and taxes. Elance has programmers, mobile developers, designers, writers, and marketers available for freelance work.
Pro Tip: I find the prices on Elance to be slightly more expensive than some other services such as UpWork (they are owned by the same company at the time of this writing) and personally stick to UpWork for most of my freelancer hiring as I’ve found it to have a better interface and the same freelancers for less.
Cost: Payments can be made to the freelancer per hour or per project. UpWork receives 10% of each payment, and the freelancer earns 90%.
UpWork (formally Odesk)
UpWork allows you to tackle virtually any project on your timeline and terms. UpWork can help you accomplish any work that can be done on a computer, such as graphic design or software. UpWork’s freelancers can tackle big or small, ongoing or short, and individual or team-based projects. Create a job post that outlines what you need to be done and what skills you’re looking for and you will get qualified applicants almost immediately. We hire most of our contractors using UpWork and have found its tracking and communications tools to be extremely helpful.
In fact, the links used in this book were all gathered through our incredible support team run through UpWork.
Pro Tip: When posting a job description, be as detailed and specific as possible. Remember, although you’re hiring someone online, you are hiring a person. There are many turn-and-burn agencies that will have a hiring manager apply for every job they can find with a templated response. This doesn’t work for me as I want someone who really wants the job and has attention to detail. I, therefore, use a trick I talk about in my course on Outsourcing for Business, which is to always include a question in which the freelancer will have to answer in the first line of their bid. For example, I might ask them to tell me what was the first thing they ate in the morning and place the response on the first line of their bid – this allows me to eliminate quickly anyone that can’t follow instructions.
Cost: Payments can be made to the freelancer per hour or per project. UpWork receives 10% of each payment and the freelancer earns 90%.