How to Hire Team Members
We've asked experts in our in community - women we admire and who have so much knowledge to share - to contribute to our blog series titled Ask A Creative Founder.
This month's question is all about team members: Do you have a team? What do they do? What did you hire out first and why? What tips do you have for hiring team members?
Hiring help for your business can be a daunting task for creative business owners. Read some of the advice given by Creative Founders in our community and see how getting help can make your business grow!
Tell us about your team, Jackie: I have a team of both in-house members and vendors. I definitely consider my vendors my “team”, as I carefully selected them before giving them my business. I have one studio manager who comes to my studio and helps me manage everything with both Sincerely, Jackie and The Everyday Mother. For Sincerely, Jackie she does all of my assembly, packaging, and shipping. For The Everyday Mother, she’s my total right-hand lady. She helps with everything from handling orders, to emailing printers, to helping track profits, leads, inquiries, emails, etc. In addition to my studio manager, I have a team of vendors including all of my printers, my accountant, lawyer,
I first decided to hire out a few years ago when I got sick and landed myself in the ER during busy season. I was running myself into the ground trying to do it all, and I think the combination of stress and exhaustion left me open to getting really sick. I realized I couldn’t do it alone and began looking for somebody to hire. After bringing somebody on, business grew and I realized I could never, and never wanted to, work alone again. Since then, I’ve made community a huge part of my business structure, doing everything from creating a strategic Brand Ambassador program for The Everyday Mother, to opening up the Sincerely, Jackie studio as a studio share space for other creative.
Tell us about your team, Kelly: I have a small team. I have an Etsy Shop & Office Manager who oversees the Etsy shop and the day to day administrative tasks of the office so I can focus on growth and creating new products and designs. She is actually my best friend in real life and even though everyone says never to hire friends, I knew it was the best fit since I trust her and helping her support her family makes me so happy. I am very right brained and she is very left brained so we balance each other very well. I seriously don’t know how I ever did it all by myself! My biggest advice in hiring someone is to hire someone you can trust and who is willing to learn. You can teach someone your business, but you cannot teach them kindness, compassion, or work ethic.
Tell us about your team, Kelsey: I have a part-time virtual assistant, and that’s it! I had one of and on for about a year, then she moved on to other kinds of work. But I knew I needed someone on a more consistent basis, if I could just give up some control + let them help me more :) I was getting in the way of my own growth! I found a fellow StatAcad alum from my class who was getting into VA work, and she has been the perfect fit! I trusted her already, knew her design skills, she was familiar with my business having taken one of my courses already, so it all worked out perfectly. Having Jessica on my team has been such a weight off my shoulder, I’m so grateful for her help! I definitely think it’s important to have team members who you trust to work on their own + figure things out when they get stuck on something, and whose personality + lifestyle just mesh well with yours! We’re both single moms, so we totally understand the schedule conflicts that can bring up, and we’re able to easily cut each other slack when we need to. Also, open communication is super important! Ask them what YOU can do to help them do their job better.
Tell us about your team, Valerie: Right now Lily & Val is at 14 full-time and part-time team members and it feels surreal to type that! We also work with independent contractors (like a bookkeeper!) Our first hire was for a customer service/shop assistant position. When thinking of hiring team members, consider the tasks that MUST be done by you. For me, that was designing and drawing. For everything else - answering customer emails, shipping the products, etc. it did not have to be me. It can be hard at first to relinquish control, but the growth that your business will experience when you have more time to do business building activities, is so worth it.
Thanks so much for sharing more about your teams and your tips on how to hire them. In the next installment of the Ask a Creative Founder series, we'll talk to our creative founders about their brand and how they infuse it in all that they do! In the meantime, keep up with all of our creative founders through the links above.