Thank you Lauren for sharing this post, very well structured. I totally agree, a right team offers a broader perspective but at the same time, helps you focus on what is important and core to the business.
How Hiring Employees Can Transform Your Business
Posted on January 27, 2017
Intern Queen Inc. now has 5 employees which is incredibly hard to believe. When I first started Intern Queen full-time in 2009, I was worried about paying my own bills and never would have thought I’d enable others to pay their bills. Hiring employees was a big decision and I definitely eased into it very cautiously and slowly. In 2009 and 2010, it was really just me running the show (with the help of a few interns). In 2011, I experimented with hiring my first part-time employees having them help with anything and everything. In 2013, we finally made one of our employees full-time – a big leap. At the end of 2013, we were able to hire another full-time employee as certain revenue streams of the business were performing very well and we had solid business for the foreseeable future. In 2015, we were able to bring on two additional employees to help grow the business. Here are a few ways that hiring employees has helped transform my business:
- Clearing Plates. This year we finally hired an executive assistant to help clear some of the “added tasks” off of our plates. Myself and two of my executives were still handling a few tasks that needed to be handled but weren’t exactly in our job descriptions. Hiring an executive assistant to take these “extra” tasks off our plates has freed up our time to focus on sales and generating more eyeballs on our website.
- Bringing the Business to Life. Before 2011, I was just a girl with my computer sitting at a table. Today, I’m still a girl with my computer but we have an entire team. When I wake up in the morning (on PST) our east coast team is already at it. In a way it makes the business feel more real – more legit. It’s nice to have a team environment and feel the hustle happening.
- When you are playing every role in an organization (as I was for many years) you get so wrapped up in your day-to-day that you aren’t always looking at everything with a fresh perspective. I go out of my way to involve every team member in as many brainstorming sessions as possible. I encourage employees to think “outside of their jobs” and contribute ideas that can help affect the entire team in a positive way. So many of our new ideas have come from team brainstorm sessions and several of my employees speaking up.
- Spending Time On Actual Expertise. I mentioned earlier that having employees has helped clear my plate and the plates of my executives. As a CEO, I always struggle with how to best spend my time. At the end of the day – the answer is the same – I should spend my time doing what only I can do. At this point, that is selling the heck out of my brand and the community I’ve created. Having employees that handle different aspects of the business helps me focus on what ultimately generates revenue at the end of the day.
- When I have a rough meeting, or call, or just a bad day – I find myself often venting to my employees. It’s nice to have a support system of ambitious people who are all striving to reach the same goal. Of course, I can vent to friends and family but they don’t have the time and energy invested into my business like the employees do.
- Helps Structure Policies. Over the holidays, I put together an employee handbook, employee training guide, and I’m still working on several more helpful tools for our employees. Once I hired employees, I realized I needed policies in place for certain things. I started getting questions like, “Which holidays are we closed for?” or “How many vacation days do I get?” or “What’s the process like for this/that?” Putting together these tools helps form the foundation of the business. Because I’ve spent the time putting these tools together now, it will be much easier as our team continues to expand.
- Helps Structure Company Processes. I’ll use our executive assistant as an example here. This was a role we’ve never hired for in the past. We had a general training guide but it didn’t outline her specific tasks/roles/assignments. We dealt with a lot of communication issues the first few weeks because we didn’t have a clear checklist of what her job entailed and how to double check that all of her work was done properly. Watching this happen was a big eye opener and definitely made me realize the importance of having full training guides and job descriptions for every single employee. After finally putting together some checklists for her and clearly explaining everything, she has the hang of everything – and is fabulous!
- Makes You Understand What Works and What Doesn’t. One of our employees has been with me for three years now! She’s been through several roles in the business and I’ve learned so much overseeing the process. For example, at first we hired her and had her just sort of helping with everything. We then realized that having two people running around doing everything just created an even more chaotic environment. After about one year, we realized that wasn’t going to work. After much trial and error, we’ve realized that for our business it’s best to keep everyone very focused on their specific position and job. I wouldn’t have learned this without bringing on employees.
For more of my thoughts on business and entrepreneurship, read more of my entrepreneur posts HERE.