Building a Support Team

Building a Support Team
“Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” -Mattie Stepanek
Now that you know the benefits of obtaining help, it’s time to start building your support team to help boost productivity. It’s your passion, your vision of your life and your goals but you might not have the skills or even the desire to do everything. Instead, you want to build a support team that works for you and your vision.
You can effectively build a support team, in many ways. 
  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses so you know what you need help with.
  • Look at the parts of your business, personal and professional that need more help. Maybe its in the accounting area or customer service in your business is lacking. Maybe its your home that needs help, like repairing and painting.
  • Find people who believe in your vision and are professional. Search for people who are willing to contribute and commit.
  • Look for people who have the skills you need. You might need customer service people, marketers, technical designers, lawyers, managers or something else. It’s important to know what the specific roles you need filled are and the skills needed for them.
  • Seek out people that are knowledgeable in their field and don’t need much training from you. This makes assigning work easier and more effective.
Filling your support team roles can be financially impossible right now but still possible by using alternatives to hiring employees. If you are ready for employees, however, begin by building your support team with people who have broad skillsets. 
Other ways to build your support team include:
  1. Outsourcing is different from hiring someone to work solely for you. Freelance contractors own their own businesses. They frequently offer specific, specialized services. Once you hire an independent contractor, you won’t be there every step of the process as they work on your task. Instead, they take complete control over completing the task and delivering it. You only provide the info and access needed for the job.
  1. Free up your time for more productive tasks. Hire a housekeeper to come in once week or so. Hire someone to do your landscaping. If you need home repairs but are reluctant to do it yourself, hire a contractor to take over the job.
  1. Collaborate with others. Collaboration involves two or more people working together towards a shared goal. You work together to complete the project. You make decisions together and brainstorm ideas. You build a team by having others you can go to when you need help coming up with a project or how to complete a project. 
  1. Trading services/time is a way to save time and money while building your team. Let’s say you need some graphics created for your new ebook. You don’t have the time or skills to do it yourself. However, you are a great writer. You can trade your writing skills with a graphic designer who needs some web copy written. Later on, you can work with this person again on other projects. 
Building your support team isn’t just about hiring employees. It includes outsourcing to others who have the skills to do specific tasks, collaborating with others on projects, hiring someone for something specific or trading services with others.

Why Outsourcing Certain Marketing Tasks Can Be to Your Advantage

Why Outsourcing Certain Marketing Tasks Can Be to Your Advantage
No CEO or CFO does all the work in the business. For some reason, people who start a home business often seem to think they have to do everything. Sometimes it’s a control issue, but sometimes it’s just not realizing how advantageous outsourcing can be for your business. Let’s talk about the ways that outsourcing some of your marketing tasks can be an advantage for you.
You Can’t Do Everything 
You are probably very good at something, but no one person is so well rounded that they can always be everything to everyone. Consider all the skills you need in order to be successful in marketing. You need to be a good copywriter, a good graphic designer, and maybe you even need to understand the complicated landing page software you’re trying to use, and then some.
Experts Have Amazing New Tools
You are probably well versed in the tools available for your particular niche. But unless your niche is marketing, you may not have access to the best tools for marketing. Outsourcing to a company or marketing expert will usually mean you end up having access to these amazing tools that you don’t know how to use.
The Experts Use Best Practices
You don’t know what the best practices are for that type of marketing yet because you’re not the expert. But the expert knows and can guide you toward doing the best thing in any given circumstance. 
They Know More Than You
An expert knows more than you about the topic they’re an expert in. That’s why you want to hire them and work with them. A good example is using Facebook or Google Ads to promote your business. If you try to do it yourself without the right knowledge, you’ll end up wasting money. If you hire someone who already knows, you will not waste your money.
Get More Time
Everyone is born on this earth with the same 24-hour days. However, you can get more time in your day simply by outsourcing something that you don’t know how to do, don’t want to learn how to do, and don’t have time to do. 
You’ll Save Money
That might seem crazy to think about but paying an expert will save you both time and money because they know what they’re doing. If it takes them 15 minutes to do something that you would have to spend an hour learning, and then another hour attempting, that’s the time you could be spending on what you do know.
Avoid Bottlenecks
One aspect of business that often stops people, especially when they’re trying to do it all themselves, is bottlenecks. What is often the bottleneck in any organization is the leader. If you’re stubbornly holding things up because you feel you must do it yourself, it’s going to be hard to succeed. You can, but it’ll be much slower than if you got help.
Bringing smart people on to your team as contractors is an excellent way to leverage the skills and education of others. Sure, you do pay money for that, but you will save both time and money by doing it because you free up your time to do the things you are an expert at doing, which will enable you to earn more money to cover the cost of outsourcing.

Build a Business, Not Another Job

Build a Business, Not Another Job
Many people dream of working for themselves, being their own boss, and having the freedom to only take on clients and projects they love.

What they don’t realize, though, is that there is a huge difference between building a business and being self-employed.

Business owners scale their income. Self-employed people trade dollars for hours
Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills.

Discouraged yet? Don’t be. Every business owner started out self-employed. Just don’t stay there. These tips will help you build a sustainable business instead of just another job.

Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
Building a sustainable business requires that you leverage the talents and time of others. While it might seem cost-effective to simply do everything yourself—especially in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money—it’s a path to burnout and stress.

Instead, separate your tasks into those that you love and are especially suited for (such as marketing) and those you dislike and aren’t good at. Then make a solid plan to get those that you aren’t good at off your list of things to do. If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource it all right now, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month.

Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the Time
The trouble with working at home is that you live at work. And that means that there’s no clear line in the sand between your workday and your home life.

Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment—often to the detriment of your family relationships.

You can help avoid this by:
  • Setting—and maintaining—clear work hours
  • Having an office with a door you can close when you’re done
  • Scheduling time for family and other activities
  • Taking time for yourself
Vacations and Downtime Are Important
Don’t create a business that requires you to be “in the office” every day. At the start, you may need to be available more, but you should definitely be planning for the day when you can be “off the grid” for extended periods of time.

  • Have trusted contractors who can handle things when you’re not available
  • Leverage automation tools such as autoresponders and autowebinar systems
  • Create repeatable systemms so you’re not always re-inventing the wheel
While you might not be able to hit the road with no internet access for weeks at a time, at the very least you should be able to reduce your workload to a daily check-in.

Sound impossible? It’s not. With some forethought and planning, you can create a team—and the systems they need—to successfully run your business without becoming overwhelmed and overworked.

How to Have a Stress-Free Business Launch

How to Have a Stress-Free Business Launch
Let’s face it, the last thing you want to do is to add more stress to your life. Isn’t that why you decided to build your own business in the first place? 

But if you’re trading all that in for a different kind of stress, what have you really gained? Before you kiss your cubicle goodbye, be sure you first build a solid foundation—and we don’t just mean business-wise.

Build a Financial Safety Net
Nothing stresses us out quite like worrying about money. Whether you’re concerned about those college tuition bills you’ll be facing in a few years, or worse, not sure how you’re going to make the rent, it’s easy to lose your business mojo. As a new business owner, you certainly don’t want money trouble casting a shadow over your entrepreneurial dream.
Before you turn in your resignation, set aside some cash in case of a rainy day. Aim for at least three months of living expenses, but more is definitely better. Hopefully you won’t need it, but having some cash on hand will definitely relieve the pressure of having a new business that’s not earning its keep—yet.

Make Sure Your Family is on Board
Money troubles are bad, but there may be one thing that’s worse: an unsupportive (or downright hostile) spouse. And as any entrepreneur will tell you, not everyone understands the drive to be a business owner. In fact, most people find it pretty scary to step away from that regular paycheck to chase after a dream.

If that sounds like your husband (or wife) don’t take it personally. They’re not making a statement about your ability. More than likely, they’re just worried about what the future holds. Do your best to understand where they’re coming from, and be sure to clearly explain your ideas, why you are confident it will work, and how you plan to cover the startup expenses and manage the risk.

If he or she is still not on board, consider starting slow, with a part-time business while still working your day job. That will give you the opportunity to prove your idea is workable, and might just help your spouse get as excited about it as you are.

Take Time for YOU
No matter what’s going on with your money, your spouse or your business, you need to be sure to schedule some “you” time. No one can work all the time, regardless of how driven you are. And no one can stay healthy while maintaining a nonstop schedule. Go for a walk, hit the gym, get a pedicure, or just binge on your favorite brainless television show. The point is simply to take time away from your desk to rest and rejuvenate. Without it, you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed and stressed, even if you truly love your new business.

5 Ways to Get More Done in Less Time

5 Ways to Get More Done in Less Time
Ever feel like you’re working as hard as you can, but still falling behind? Everyone knows that time management skills are the key to staying organized and productive. But, the truth is that there are always new and better ways to get things done. The following five tips will help you get more done in less time, so you have more hours left over at the end of the day (or week) to do whatever it is you want to do!

1) Do it now
If you can do something in two minutes or less, do it now! This simple hack has helped me quickly get small tasks out of the way to focus on more important things. For example, if there's a pile of papers on my desk, I'll start by dealing with the ones nearest to me that are easy to do. Once they're done, I move onto another pile, starting from the other side of my desk and working my way back toward where I started. That way, all piles will eventually be dealt with, and one doesn't have to look at them anymore!
2) Prioritize
When you have a lot on your plate, it can be tough to know where to start. That's why it's important to prioritize your tasks. Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to sit down and list what needs to be done. Then, start with the most important task and work your way down. You'll be surprised at how much you can get done when you focus on one thing at a time!
3) Plan your day
  • Start by creating a list of everything you need or want to accomplish in a day. 
  • Once you have your list, prioritize the items by order of importance. 
  • Take care of the most important tasks and work your way down the list. 
  • If you find yourself with some extra time, use it to tackle smaller tasks or take a break.
4) Limit distractions
One of the best ways to be productive is to limit distractions. This means turning off your phone, closing social media tabs, and doing anything else that might pull your attention away from what you're trying to do. When you're focused, you can get more done in less time.

5) Delegate tasks
One of the best ways to get more done in less time is to delegate tasks. This means giving tasks to others or hiring someone to do them for you. Delegating can be tough if you're used to doing everything yourself, but it's worth it in the long run. Here are a few tips for delegating effectively 1) Determine what tasks you should not do at all and outsource those; 2) Create clear, detailed instructions for the person taking over your task; 3) Set specific deadlines and timelines so that your new assistant knows when they need to complete their task; 4) Make sure that they know what your expectations are and provide feedback often.

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