We see you hustling, dreamer. You’ve been working day in and day out for months trying to keep up with the demands of your thriving biz. While some people are perfectly content with flying solo, you’re not. You’re ready to reach your business’s full potential. You’re ready to level up and transition from solopreneur to an entrepreneur.
If you’ve never managed people before, the thought of hiring can be scary. But here’s the deal: you can make a living all by yourself, but you can’t build a business by yourself. As a business owner, you are your company’s most valuable [and expensive] resource, and to scale, you have to stop wearing so many hats. Transitioning away from a “me” mentality to a “we” mentality is tough for many business owners, but releasing control is necessary to allocate your time into opportunities that will grow your biz.
Remember, you have to be actively working ON your business for it to grow, but if you’re stuck IN your business, it never will.
When you’re first starting, it’s important to create systems that set your business up for success. That way, if you ever want to grow and expand your team, you’ll be able to do so effortlessly. We suggest working in creative sprints [only working with one or two clients per week MAX.] to avoid feeling overwhelmed with client work. We teach our creative sprint method in Designer Training 1.0.
Once your systems and processes are in place, start recording them and add them into your ClickUp Workspace or Trello board for your future hires. It takes SO much time to onboard, so this will save you so much more time in the future!
We also suggest batching your tasks to increase productivity! For example, we onboard any new clients on Monday, take all creative calls and meetings on Wednesday, and create all our social media content for the following week on Friday. We talk more about time batching here, but we promise it’s a game-changer for time management.
When your workload starts to feel overwhelming, that’s when you should begin finding people who can make your life easier. We suggest making a list of all the things YOU [as the biz owner] must focus on to keep growing your biz. Think about the money makers that you can’t hand over to someone else. For all the other things, hire!
We suggest outsourcing your admin tasks to a Virtual Assistant or an intern. Have them watch all of your processes and system videos that you already have ready to go. [We told you they would come in handy!]
Next, think about hiring freelancers outside of the business so you can stay focused on what you do best [making $$$.] For example, we outsource Pinterest marketing, photo/video content, social media marketing, and work with copywriting experts to help us in other business areas that we no longer have time for.
When you think of an agency, you probably see it very traditionally, but you can create an agency model that works for YOU! When Alex transitioned High Moon to an agency, she created a system where she could continue to be the visionary behind all the client work. Alex teaches her new-age style agency model in Designer Training 2.0.
As the agency owner, your role will now shift, so you will continue to release control of different aspects of your biz. Don’t be afraid, give yourself grace and let other people help you — promise it’s the best possible thing!
When you’re continuously getting booked up in advance and feeling overwhelmed [even with a VA/intern/freelancer], it’s time to make your first full-time hire and begin building your agency!
When hiring, start slow. Hire one full-time person at a time until they reach 100% capacity, then hire your next. When thinking about who to hire, focus on finding people who have skills that you may lack. For example, Becca, our Executive Assistant/Biz Manager, is super organized and detail-oriented, while Alex is more visionary. Becca can grab Alex’s visions that are [oops] all over the place and organize them with all the details that Alex misses.
You also want to find people who have skills that will strengthen an area of your business. Our most recent full-time hire, Natalie, excels in fostering relationships and is 100% dedicated to managing our client roster as a Project Manager.
We love finding contractors who can work with us a couple of days a week on a project-to-project basis. For example, our Support Designers Charlie and Maddy help us with creative design work, and our developers Katie and Fi, assist with website builds. This allows us to take on additional client work each week and push creative boundaries.
Throughout the hiring process, we suggest making all your back-end stuff super organized; that way, it’s easy when onboarding new members to your team. Our team uses ClickUp because it’s super user-friendly and makes team collaboration a breeze. You can read all about why we transitioned our internal communications from Trello to ClickUp here.
Lastly, never forget to treat your team and clients. It’s your duty as the agency owner to curate an amazing experience for your clients, but as you grow your team, it’s just as important to create an amazing work environment for them too. For example, we are currently planning a retreat to Joshua Tree for everyone on the HMS team. Should we share more about it? 🙂