Episode 290

What to Do Before Hiring Employees for Your Small Business

February 22, 2022

If you can no longer keep up with all the work in your business, it might be time to consider hiring. In this episode, Emily and Corey of the Being Boss team talk about how to hire employees when growing your business. They share the different types of employees to work with, how to prepare for your first hire, and tips for building effective employee relationships.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Baby steps are important if you’re completely new to hiring. It’s a process and a new type of relationship you need to build."
- Corey Winter

Discussed in this Episode

  • Signs that you should hire your first employee as a business owner
  • What bosses can do if they need to hire but can’t afford it yet
  • How to prepare to hire someone
  • Training, managing, and paying new employees
  • Legal things you need to consider when hiring employees
  • Different types of workers to hire and how to manage each
  • Benefits of hiring help for your business

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In this episode, the What’s Working / Kinda / Not worksheet was mentioned. Download your copy here!


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[00:00:00] Corey Winter: Hey there bosses! Corey from the Being Boss team here. I'm popping into let you know about a new way for you to stay up to date in the world as a creative entrepreneur, Brewed. Brewed is a weekly email curated by the Being Boss team. Just for you. We share articles, podcasts, and resources from around the internet on the topics of mindset, money and productivity to help you show up and do the work in your business.

[00:00:24] Learn more and sign up for free at beingboss.club/brewed. That's beingboss.club/B R E W E D.

[00:00:37] Emily Thompson: Welcome to Being Boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And in this episode, I'm joined by Corey from the Being Boss team to dive into the topic of hiring. From knowing when to hire, to identifying what kind of person to add to your team.

[00:00:57] This is part one of a two-part series with our next installment diving into the process of hiring. You can find all the tools at books and links we referenced on the show notes at wwww.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to the show and share this with a friend.

[00:01:17] Before we dive in bosses, I have a podcast for you to add to your queue. The Remarkable People podcast hosted by Guy Kawasaki. Remarkable People helps you better understand the changing world with interviews from thought leaders, legends, and iconic class like Julia Cameron author of the Artist's Way, which I recently listened to as I continue to do my own artist way practice.

[00:01:39] And it added a whole new layer of appreciation for the process after listening to Julia's interview. So when you're done with this episode, head on over and listened to the remarkable people, podcasts, wherever you get your podcasts.

[00:01:58] Hello, Corey. Welcome back to the show that you edit every single week. So good to have you here.

[00:02:05] Corey Winter: So I've noticed that Christmas has come and gone. I still don't have a name tag.

[00:02:12] Emily Thompson: Oh, I know

[00:02:16] when I thought about that, I actually really glad you bring it up because I looked at them on the internet and then I thought, okay, we're going to do this, but I want to get one for the entire team. So what I actually want to do as this all like strategize and go get matching name tag things for our desks.

[00:02:34] Is that the most ridiculous thing? Cause I legit looked at them. I knew you were going to bring this up. The next time we recorded together and I was ready for you because I want us all.

[00:02:43] Corey Winter: I mean, I still have a little like business cards. He made all of us at Indie Shopography like I still have that like on display.

[00:02:50] Emily Thompson: So you were as such as sentimental person Corey. Yeah. I love that. I love that. Next time we go to a conference, we're all have business cards again, and I really do want to get the entire team name tags. So thanks for bringing that up. And you were going to, I was ready, but today we're actually here to talk about hiring and you want to talk about hiring.

[00:03:14] You came to me and you were like, I want to do an episode on hiring. Let's do it.

[00:03:19] Corey Winter: I came up with an idea that you're actually doing? So this actually came up because I realized one day that you've hired a whole smorgasbord of different types of people to work for you from full-time employees and contractors and everything in between.

[00:03:38] So I wanted to talk about that. Like just knowing what type of worker you should hire, but also wanted to go a little bit further when you are a business owner, maybe you're starting out. You are a solopreneur starting out your business. Maybe you've been doing it for awhile and you get to a point of actually needing to hire help for the first time.

[00:03:58] And so like I have a business and I did it full-time for a couple of years. I've kind of stepped back a little bit. So it's more of a side hustle now, but I did it to the point where I was, I was just stressed out just trying to do it all by myself. And I feel like I was, I probably reached the point where I should have hired some help, but I never took the leap.

[00:04:18] And so I actually want to start this off by asking you what signs they're there to identify when it's actually time for you to hire your first employee or a contractor, or just someone to help you.

[00:04:30] Emily Thompson: Perfect. Perfect. And I love that you brought this to me because this is actually a topic that comes up with bosses all the time, actually in the Being Boss community, oftentimes in Monday meetups or whatever a boss is coming, like literally, how do I know when to hire my first employee?

[00:04:46] Like something has happened in their business that makes them think, okay, I need some help. And so there's like, you know, when am I actually ready? Whatever it may be, but also like in the C-suite and that's like, that's still open bosses who have been doing it, you know, year two, five, I don't know. And they're just wanting to sort of make that switch some like their businesses growing they're recognizing that they might need help.

[00:05:09] But this is also a topic that we talk about in the C-suite, which is my, my weekly mastermind group with six figure and up bosses. And we are constantly talking about hiring almost every single week because we rotate through hot seats between the six members every single week. Usually one of them wants to talk about hiring or, you know, looking at their next hire or they're needing to replace someone or whatever it may be.

[00:05:35] It is a constant conversation with bosses because we all have businesses. And, you know, in the very beginning, it's all. You know, who are you serving? What are you doing? You know, really defining yourself, but then almost immediately the conversation turns to what does it look like to have help? So I'm so glad you brought this to me and let's definitely dive in. So signs that you are ready to hire help.

[00:05:59] Yes, I think first and foremost, if you're thinking it, you're probably there, right? In some way you were feeling it in your business. And if you feel as if it is time to expand into some assistance with something that you're doing, I think some hardcore signs, one is that important things are not getting.

[00:06:23] And I think like once you're at this place where you're missing client deadlines, you are not doing your bookkeeping. You're missing paying your bills. You are, you're not doing things in your business that are important. It's probably time to hire help.

[00:06:35] Corey Winter: So I was probably there on day one.

[00:06:38] Emily Thompson: But there is also this like, and we're going to get to this, I think in a little bit, but, there is also this place where like, you also have to make sure that you are doing the important stuff that you're not wasting time.

[00:06:54] And then just choosing not to do important stuff. Like you have really locked in on what it is that you need to most be doing. You were doing that and still important things are not getting done. And I do want to highlight that this isn't work. So like if you're forgetting to feed your kids,

[00:07:15] probably time to think about hiring.

[00:07:16] Corey Winter: Time to little, like reminder, like daily.

[00:07:21] Emily Thompson: Do something, do unlock your door and let them in. They're going to tell you they're hungry. So in work or in life, if important things are not getting done. And at the same time you are locked in on, you are focusing on doing the most important things.

[00:07:36] And the important things are still not getting done. That's a good sign. I think another one is if you find yourself saying no to good opportunities, because you don't have the bandwidth, so maybe, maybe all the important things are getting done, but that's all that's getting done. You can't go and do the growth opportunities that are coming to you.

[00:07:54] Or just take on any more work and you're feeling bad about it. Like, if you want to say no to something or want to say yes to something, but you find yourself saying no to it because you don't have the bandwidth, probably a good sign that you to. Or, and this is one, this is, this is one of my favorites because this is one that bosses don't come to me very often discussing occasionally it does happen.

[00:08:18] And I get really excited because this is I boss move. And that is when you are preparing for growth. So maybe you don't actually need someone right now, but you know, you're going to need someone in six months or in a year because you see this opportunity on your horizon. Maybe you've been at business for a couple of years and you know, you want to go after bigger clients or you want to, you know, open another location or whatever it may be.

[00:08:47] And you want to start hiring now so that you can get people in place and ready so that you can go after that opportunity in the relatively near future. So those are my big three, my big three signs for when it is time to hire important things are not getting done, while at the same time, you are really good at getting the important things done.

[00:09:08] You're not wasting time. Two is you're saying no to things that you want to say yes to that you need to probably be saying yes to, but you don't have the bandwidth to do it or three, you want to be proactive and prepare for growth.

[00:09:23] Corey Winter: Okay. So let me ask you, I know I wasn't your first hire. I don't think.

[00:09:30] Cause like you had like a assistant person at some point before I was hired. But anyway, so using me as an example, I was the first hire for Indie Shopography I believe.

[00:09:40] Emily Thompson: Yes.

[00:09:41] Corey Winter: What led you to that point? Like what, what made you say, oh, I need to go hire some help.

[00:09:46] Emily Thompson: I was dropping balls

[00:09:52] on those times. I mean, like I was trying to juggle, I was dropping balls.

[00:09:57] Corey Winter: They weren't preparing for growth. You had experienced the growth.

[00:10:02] Emily Thompson: Yes.

[00:10:03] Yes. And I needed help. I needed help with client stuff that was piling up and I wasn't able to meet my obligations. And at the same time I knew that that growth would continue and I needed to bring someone in.

[00:10:14] So I will say most of my hiring has been reactive, not proactive. I actually, until last year, I will say that the last big hiring push that I did at Being Boss, it was, thank God I did it. I was preparing for growth. I didn't feel like I needed it in that moment, but I knew something was coming. And boy, am I glad that I did because things came right?

[00:10:39] Corey Winter: It seems like every time you hire someone. Better things happen almost immediately after like, when you hired me, it actually freed up you to focus more on doing more client work. And then that actually freed us up to hire some proper designers and things. And you actually just focused on coaching and that's when the business really blew up for Indie Shopography same thing of Being Boss.

[00:11:02] Like we were, it was a two man team for the longest time. Then you actually like hired some, some production managers and stuff and Being Boss is experiencing pretty big growth right now.

[00:11:12] Emily Thompson: Yeah. Right. And that is, that's the magic of hiring. Everyone always freaks out freaks and like, I get it. And you should, I think it is.

[00:11:21] I have likened, especially making your first hire. To the decision of making the leap in to going full-time into your business. Like it is that big of a decision, for creatives who are solo preneurs. So like I'm not diminishing this decision by any means, but I will say there is magic in it. Every time I have ever hired every boss I've ever coached and I've talked to mastermind groups, whatever, this is always a point making my first hire and every single one of them always experiences big growth after the hire.

[00:11:56] You're opening up your container and the universe just fills it every single time. And granted, I definitely seen people hire and it be wrong hires. Like some mistakes can be made along the way, but in general, if you were hiring, if you were making that move in your business, usually the support is there to absolutely support you in that decision.

[00:12:18] Corey Winter: Okay. So I'm actually glad you said mistakes because we're actually going to cover a little bit about how to avoid those mistakes. So it's actually kind of segue into the next question. What if you've identified that you need help, but maybe you can't afford it because it can be an expensive thing depending on what your business is.

[00:12:36] Emily Thompson: It is absolutely expensive. I mean, hiring and again, so many bosses that I've coached and worked with, they will tell you the most, like the biggest expense in their business is people and it should be honestly, it really, really should be. So it was not a bad thing, but it is also true. It's very expensive to, to have a team, but here's something I really truly believe.

[00:12:58] I believe that a business that needs help can afford it. You just have to manage your resources correctly. So, if you find yourself in a place where you feel like you need help and you cannot afford it, what it means is you are not managing our resources correctly. So there's a couple of things that, that you can do to do this because you know, the, the result of needing help comes from your businesses growing, right?

[00:13:25] There's more things to do. There's more customers, there's more clients, there's all of these things, which means the money should be coming in to cover the help. And maybe it won't cover a full-time employee with full benefits immediately, but you can start small. And so I think that's, that's not even a fixed too, you know, your business being able to afford it or not, but start small.

[00:13:47] Like you do not need to jump in with a part-time or even a full-time employee or full-time, or even a part-time employee. You can start off significantly smaller, but you should also make sure that you are managing your resources appropriately. The first of these is your time. Maybe you feel like you don't have time, but it's because you're not doing the things that you should be doing.

[00:14:07] Maybe you're saying yes to too many things, that aren't a good ROI for your business. Maybe you're spending too much time doing things in your business that you just don't need to be doing. Maybe you're not prioritizing the income generation actions that are on your to-do list instead you're, you know, design that next passion project, whatever it may be, a business that needs help can afford it.

[00:14:30] And if you feel like you need help, but it's because you're not doing a good job in your business to make the business afford the help and fix your time management first. Second piece of this is money. Obviously you feel like you can't afford it. You're feeling like there's not enough money there. You can do things to make sure you are properly managing your money, check your recurring expenses, go ahead and cancel all of those things that you're not actually using anymore.

[00:14:56] Check your buying habits. Are you writing too many mils off or, you know, filling up your gas tank or whatever it may be. Are you, are you, inappropriately allotting money in your business to other things that you should be saving or otherwise considering as, money to invest in to a person to assist you in your business?

[00:15:17] So I think one check your resources, time and money in particular, to make sure that you are actually allotting everything and it's a proper place so that you are optimizing your business's ability to financially support adding another person to your team. The next piece of this is, if you can raise your prices, I feel like

[00:15:45] Corey Winter: And you can. As long as you're worth it.

[00:15:48] Emily Thompson: That's exactly why I said, if you can't one of the things that I've seen through all in I'm guilty of this, raise your prices bosses, you're worth more, et cetera. It's like a lot of people out there are charging a lot of money for shit. And so like, I check your offering your product, whatever, make sure the value is there and make sure it is priced appropriately.

[00:16:15] And if that means you need to raise your prices, do it because again, the problem may not be your mismanagement of money or your mismanagement of time, or like you could really be ready for it. You just aren't charging enough for your services or your products to actually afford you any additional help.

[00:16:34] So check your prices. And then otherwise look at like small ways to buy back your time so that you can use your time and energy to generate more revenue for your business so that you can afford it. One way is to automate more. Maybe you're doing things that the computer can do for you. Right? Check out Zapier. Love Zapier.

[00:16:55] We automate all kinds of things around here. Maybe you can hire little help or help in like small places in your life and work. One of the things I did several years ago that I feel like saved my sanity and this was even pre pandemic, was getting my groceries delivered. Right. There are apps that make this so easy.

[00:17:15] And I save so much time that I can then go do other things. Maybe it is someone to come into your home and help you clean or hiring someone to, to cook a couple meals every week or whatever it may be. There are things that you can do in your life to buy back a little bit of your time as well.

[00:17:34] You can also do it in your business. Maybe you get a VA to, you know, do your invoicing or to, you know, schedule your social media posts or whatever it may be. Or a bookkeeper. That's one that get a bookkeeper is one that most bosses have a really hard time hiring, but everyone sings their praises once they actually make that investment into their business.

[00:17:59] [00:18:00] So there are little ways that you can buy back your time as well. But then I also even want to like back up, I probably should have said this actually two backups, one to the very beginning and say, I'm not a professional at this by any means. I do it a lot, but I'm not a lawyer. And like, we're probably going to get into some things in a minute where check with your state, check with your lawyer, check with your accountant, all of these things when it comes to hiring in your business, but then another little disclaimer, not a disclaimer, but another little note on this question in particular is that if you feel like you can't afford it, prove your feelings with math.

[00:18:37] Oftentimes bosses feel like they can't afford things because of a myriad of money stories. Do your bookkeeping and make sure that you actually cannot afford it before you feel that way, because sometimes you actually can. You just feel differently.

[00:18:55] Corey Winter: Yeah.

[00:18:55] My first and really only hire in my business was a David to do my bookkeeping.

[00:19:03] Emily Thompson: Everybody needs a David, nobody needs.

[00:19:05] Corey Winter: You said that people often believe it's like the hardest person to hire, like the bookkeeper. Like they don't want that. I'm just like, that was the easiest thing for me. Like I did not want to do my bookkeeping, like numbers make no sense to me that they would help.

[00:19:19] Emily Thompson: One of the things that I see in the Being Boss community all the time. I know this is like sort of a, a product of all of these bosses in this space. Sort of having these conversations is so many bosses are hiring bookkeepers and everyone is like, this is the smartest thing I ever did. It's like, there is a big block around that and it's like a double-block right block

[00:19:37] number one is getting someone in your business to do something, which is a block for creatives and solo preneurs itself. But block number two with money, right there is this money block of it. You don't want someone to see how you're spending your money or where you're going or how much you're making in all of these things.

[00:19:52] But like literally it's their job. They don't care. They're just there to do your books. They're not judging

[00:19:56] Corey Winter: putting on I, what kind of bookkeeper you hire? Like David, when he saw me spending money in a certain area, he was like, Hey, how can you cut this cost down? Or how can you stop? Well, that is just the bookkeeper.

[00:20:11] Maybe even just an accountant can, can help you rearrange where you're putting your money to where it actually makes more sense.

[00:20:19] Emily Thompson: For sure. And you're going to have, like, there are bookkeepers who just, who don't care, they'll do the math and send you the forms and call it a day. And there are some who will give you a bit of support in, you know, reflecting back to you, the things that they're seeing and, and offer advice and assistance as they go.

[00:20:34] So yes, to bookkeeper, literally, unless you are a boss who is a bookkeeper, none of us are here to do our bookkeeping right. Hand it off. It's fine.

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[00:22:36] Corey Winter: So we have decided that it is time to hire. We have reached that point in our business where we're like, okay, I need some help. So let's prepare for the hire. And specifically, I want to start with just how to make sure your business is ready. And I actually want to start with the financial aspect of this cause like, we were just kind of talking about that and I'm going to start with this because I'm actually thinking of something that Mike Michalowicz said, during our Being Boss conference a couple of years ago, he's been, he's an author.

[00:23:05] He's been on the podcast a couple of times. And he's the author of Profit First and all that good stuff. And he's a boss with money. And so I remember something he said at the Being Boss conference. I think it was actually maybe at one of the panel sessions or something, or maybe with a Q and a session where a boss asked him, how he prepares to hire a new employee.

[00:23:27] And he says the biggest thing that he does is before he even hires someone, he actually puts aside. Every month for what he would be hiring that person for. He just puts aside in a separate bank account and he basically pays that non-existent employee for, I think he said like a year before he actually makes the hire and just, he says, the reason he does that is because if he can do that for a year and then after that year, he's still financially fine things like, oh, okay.

[00:23:55] Yeah, I can afford it. And the bonus of that is that once the is actually time to make the hire, he has a year's worth of that employee's payment already set aside. So all of that in mind, how would you prepare financially your business to hire someone?

[00:24:11] Emily Thompson: I mean, if you wait a year, it's too late.

[00:24:13] Corey Winter: Yeah, granted. He's Mike Michalowicz, he has tons of people working for I'm sure.

[00:24:18] Emily Thompson: For sure. For sure. And there is like an advantage to having that large enough team that, and I love that. And financially, I think you start with your own threshold for real. Right. Like some bosses are going to want to do that. And if so, I love that for you. Some of them are going to like jump in, like just like face first off a building and hope someone catches them at the bottom.

[00:24:43] And if you're comfortable with that and like, you know, I don't, but there's also like a gamble with someone else's like financial stability that you're making. Whenever you make a hire, especially if it's a full-time employee.

[00:24:55] Corey Winter: You don't want to hire someone and then get two months into it and like, oh, sorry, I can't afford you.

[00:24:58] Emily Thompson: I actually can't afford you. Right. That's not boss by any means, but there is, there are things that you can do. I love this idea, but I love the idea of also just starting it. The moment you decide, you need to hire someone, because in my experience, it's going to take you probably a month or two to even have that person on your payroll.

[00:25:19] Once you decide you're going to hire someone, you're going to have to create a job description. You're going to have to put it out there. You're going to have to schedule interviews. You're gonna have to do the interviews and probably a second interview, and then you're going to hire them. And then they're going to have a start date.

[00:25:33] And then it's two months later and you could have been saving for two months for this hire. Right? So that is a good idea. But. Also the process of hiring does take a while. And so if, if you can start it, then I feel like you've, you've gotten it going. Also, if you are just naturally not spending all of your money in your business, you're already kind of doing this right.

[00:25:59] You're already kind of saving for an employee. So if you are making $10,000 in your mind in your business every month, and you're only spending $8,000, and you're already putting aside $2,000 every month for some sort of investment back into your business, right? And so, again, even naturally, you may already be doing that.

[00:26:19] And I do think you, you should, at the very least be in a place in your business where you are doing that or. There's nothing. There's nothing wrong with though. This is not ideal, but there is nothing wrong with taking a pay cut as the boss of your business to make the financial jump into hiring a person.

[00:26:41] Again, think of it as buying back your time. Ideally, obviously you don't want to take a pay cut to do this, but if you go into it with a plan, I've certainly done this before thinking great. Let's say I pay myself $5,000 a month, you know, every month, but for the next three months, I'm going to pay myself $4,000 a month.

[00:26:59] So I can put an extra thousand dollars into hiring a person who's going to help me make 5,000 more dollars a month. And I'll just pay myself back in six months, whenever it's back in the bank or whatever it may be. There are some things that you can do like that obviously do all those things responsibly.

[00:27:16] But that is something that you absolutely can do. So. Figure out your threshold makeup plan and otherwise make sure the financial wellness of your business is really buttoned up, that you're not, you know, bleeding money or, you know, not getting paid by your clients or whatever it may be because making a hire, I think the biggest responsibility that you are taking on is the financial responsibility or the financial livelihood of another human being.

[00:27:48] This is a very important part. Make sure your financials are buttoned up.

[00:27:51] Corey Winter: Yep. Okay. So let's talk about logistically preparing for the hire. So what things aside from money do you need to have in place before you actually make the hires? I'm talking like, like a list of, of responsibilities and I don't know, just anything logistically, how do you prepare your business?

[00:28:08] Emily Thompson: Sure. So a couple of things, and again, this is where some of that like legal accounting. Assistance should come into. I would talk to someone, especially if you're making your first full-time hire, just to make sure you have everything super buttoned up. And I'm also going to reference probably mostly here, like a traditional employee.

[00:28:30] So full-time, or part-time not necessarily contract, or intern, but, well, actually this kind of applies to intern. So number one is a job description, right? You gotta know what you want them to do. What are they going to, like, who are you looking for? Who are they? What are their skill sets? What are their job roles and duties?

[00:28:47] How are they going to fit into your business? Know who it is that you want, in, in your business, you also need to know, how you want to work with them. Right. So contractor just go hire someone who's already their own boss, but they're, you're going to hire them to do what they do best for you as well as like 20 other people.

[00:29:06] Right. Or do you want to have someone in house? So maybe, you know, it's different than a contract designer or an employee designer. Full-time part-time what working relationship do you want with the person? Also, how are you going to onboard them? Like, you need to understand what you need to get from them once you decide to make that hire, what sort of info do you need from them?

[00:29:28] Do you need their social security number, their date of birth? Like you need these things, but you also need to know to ask for these things whenever they, whenever they come on. And in order for you to do things like pay their employee taxes to go do all the payroll things like you need to have these things in place so that you can onboard them.

[00:29:48] And I don't want to say most importantly, cause literally all of those things are incredibly important, but just as importantly is a training plan. If you know, what is it going to do? You need to create a plan for how you're going to train them. And I think we'll talk about that a little more in a moment, but you need to be able to

[00:30:04] both like onboard them legally as an employee, but also onboard them, like practically as a person who's going to be helping you in there in your business.

[00:30:14] Corey Winter: Cool. Yeah, that does feel like the most important part, but obviously everything's important. I'm going to like, there's one example. I'm not going to say who it was, but I was hired as a contractor, for this online business, to manage their, well, what I thought was like managing their, their website and like maintenance and stuff.

[00:30:33] And the person that was hiring me, he was like, Hey, we want you to just come in and do this. And then I was like, okay, cool. That sounds great. I was hired. And then when I actually got into the job, it was like, they were expecting like, Three times the amount of time that I thought I was signing up for. And like, they had all these other responsibilities that the did not mention in the hiring process.

[00:30:52] So I was just like, this is not what I signed up for. I didn't stick with that one very long, but, yeah, so they didn't have a training plan in place. They didn't have a list of responsibilities in place. It was, it was a mess. So yes, that is very important.

[00:31:04] Emily Thompson: Yeah. I mean, you could read the difference between success and failure in your new hire, like all those things, but like really that training piece, both of the job description or scope of work, if you're thinking about hiring a contractor, right.

[00:31:16] Both that piece. And then that training piece, making sure they're onboarded, they get all the logins that they need. Like all of those things, those two pieces will make or break immediately, the success of a new hire. Yeah.

[00:31:28] Corey Winter: All right. So let's talk about legally and you did, you know, you're not alone.

[00:31:32] Emily Thompson: No, not at all, not even a little bit, but

[00:31:34] Corey Winter: so we do recommend when you get to this part, maybe go talk to your lawyer about how do you do all this correctly, but let's just go through things that you typically cover in your businesses when you're hiring someone. So legally, what do you do to prepare?

[00:31:48] Emily Thompson: Sure.

[00:31:48] So, I mean, always a contract. If it's, if you're working with a contractor, you would think that that's sort of a given, but sometimes you're just like, Hey, you know, can you do any website? Yeah, sure. It's this much great. Okay. And then new website, you don't have a contract, something goes wrong and everybody's screwed.

[00:32:02] You don't, you don't want that. So contract, especially for contractors, you can also do employee contracts as well, where you're just clearly stating, all of the things that an employee gets out of the employment and that they, should expect from you, all of those things. So you can do employee contracts as well.

[00:32:19] Sometimes a non-disclosure agreement. Sometimes, and I've seen really recently with all these like big companies coming out that are doing awful things, I've seen some quotes, some comments like, you know, why would any employer ever make their employees sign a non-disclosure and guys, there's lots of really good reasons that you could, or you could need to have your employees sign a non-disclosure let's say you're a therapist and you work with, people who need therapy.

[00:32:48] Your employees should probably sign a non-disclosure that keeps your employees from going off and paddling on about your therapy clients or whatever it may be. Or, you know, if you're working with private projects just during the time of them being created, you, your employees, maybe shouldn't go out and talk about this private, you know, collaboration that you're doing with this big brand or whatever it may be.

[00:33:13] Corey Winter: Very specific example, very timely. Considering when we're recording this, a couple of days ago, news broke that Microsoft was buying Activision blizzard for $70 billion. Ooh, literally no one like this story did not leak like Microsoft actually announced it as breaking news. No one knew about it ahead of time.

[00:33:33] And it's likely because everyone involved in this deal signed nondisclosure agreements. They were not allowed to talk about it publicly. And that's why it was getting right.

[00:33:43] Emily Thompson: So non-disclosures are not about like keeping these hidden and keeping people quiet. I mean, they can be used for that and that's gross.

[00:33:50] But very practically and very. Good leak. They are used to, you know, protect the operations of a business to protect the clients that you're working with. And I mean, back when we were doing websites, you know, our entire team was looking at the inner workings of people's like revenue models and those things.

[00:34:07] And if we were then, you know, going out and telling competitors, you know, this company is, is making this much money on this, you know, a product line like that's gross, but a non-disclosure is going to keep anyone from, from leaking that sort of information or otherwise just keeping info safe. I also, again, check with your lawyer around this, but I remember with all the GDPR or like the email lists, safety situations, one of the things that came up with that was that you needed all of your employees to sign non-disclosure agreements so that your employees would not steal your email list and go sell it to someone.

[00:34:41] Yeah, right. So like, there are things like that to non-disclosure agree I'm for them. And again, I've been seeing a lot of backlash for NDAs because they can be used to keep people quiet when gross things are happening, but for even just regular business, that's not doing gross shit. They can be very powerful and incredibly important.

[00:34:58] Contractors and employees too. So NDAs sometime non-competes depending on the industry and what's happening within them. So just, you know, keeping a contractor from working with someone who does the same thing as you, or an employee from, you know, going off and taking trade secrets to do it for someone else.

[00:35:18] And these can be, you know, for a certain amount of time, Or in perpetuity, I don't actually think in perpetuity for non-competes is a real thing, but whatever. So non-competes, and then otherwise just for legally knowing your requirements. So if you hire a full-time employee, do you have to offer them health care?

[00:35:36] That's usually, yes. And again, I don't know, like state situations, and I know obviously that's just for the most part, a USA thing, cause the rest of the world gets it. But know what you are legally required to offer your employees, so that you are meeting your requirements.

[00:35:54] Corey Winter: All right. The last little subtopic of preparing for the hire.

[00:35:59] [00:36:00] And this is going to be a sticking point for a lot of people.

[00:36:03] Emily Thompson: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, can I go back to legally also in your, wherever you are, know how it is that you could fire someone? Right? Because some states are an at-will like you can fire them for whatever. Some you have to have like documentations and a damn good reason.

[00:36:20] And like, and or just wherever you are, that's also a really important one. And otherwise just, that's just a short list. I'm probably missing things, be sure to consult with a lawyer through that. Okay. Continue. Thank you.

[00:36:32] Corey Winter: No, it's fine. So sticking point for a lot of bosses is actually just letting go of control of everything.

[00:36:40] Emily Thompson: Isn't that the truth?

[00:36:42] Corey Winter: Honestly, that's probably, well, I can guarantee this, but my sticking point was I did not want anyone else do anything else because I, I just figured they were going to mess it up. So might as well just do it myself. So how do you let go? How do you, how do you delegate?

[00:36:57] Emily Thompson: Practice. It is just practice.

[00:37:00] It's, it's hard. It really is hard. It's a, it's a mindset shift. That's where it really begins. Because again, you just said like, you're the only one who can do it. Right, right. I can think of one mastermind group I had in particular, a boss was in there talking about how she, literally, the words were coming out of her mouth.

[00:37:20] Like I want to hire, but no one's going to do it right. Knowing can do it the way I do it and all, and we're all just looking at her going, oh honey,

[00:37:28] like, you're right. You're right. And you still have to let it go. Right. You still have to learn to delegate and teach and manage and clearly communicate and all of these things. So you get there, you absolutely get there. Or you're the type of person who never does. And you're one of those people who, you know, is one of those TV shows.

[00:37:46] Who's just like a nightmare boss or your business never grows beyond what you were simply able to do. And there's nothing wrong with that too. Like if that's, if you know, you're the person who's never going to be able to delegate, and you've created a business for yourself that allows you to do everything in just the way you want to do it.

[00:38:03] I love that for you. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you have bigger goals for your business, learning to delegate is absolutely part of it. And it's just, it's a process. It's a process and it's a practice and I've had employees for, you know, 10 plus years. I still have a hard time delegating some things.

[00:38:22] I'm consistently better than I have ever been, but like, it is just, it's a process. There's a couple of skillsets though, that you should invest in learning. One is to clearly communicate, right? Just to incredibly clearly communicate what it is that you want from a person there's nothing worse than being like, Hey, will you like go write this email?

[00:38:44] And then they come back and they didn't eat. They didn't, I mean, they wrote an email, but they didn't like hit anything that you wanted them to hit, but you didn't communicate it to them or whatever it

[00:38:53] Corey Winter: may be. And exclamation point after it, there were no periods.

[00:38:58] Emily Thompson: Right? I mean, that's just an email that I wrote it.

[00:39:03] So I write emails. I have to go back and replace exclamation marks or periods, or, or whatever it may be. You have to learn to clearly communicate. And that is a skill that it takes time to learn. Another thing that you can and should do is create and record systems and standards of operations, right?

[00:39:21] So I'm creating videos of how it is you load up your newsletter. So a new hire can just watch your video and sort of replicate the thing, making sure that you have sort of standards of communication. So, you know, in Being Boss, we do just sort of off the cuff communication and slack, but we're doing tasking in Asana.

[00:39:40] So there are some standards of how it is that we get things done. And then just practicing, practicing that. And there's also a really big mindset shift into this managerial position. That's really, really hard for bosses. Because whenever you hire someone, especially if it's an employee. But even in some context, you know, a contractor, like you still have to show up for this other person in some way or another, your role changes in your business.

[00:40:10] You then become a communicator to someone like within your business, not just a customer or client. To some extent you probably are going to have to manage that person to make sure that you have tasks for them every day, which is where some other sort of processes and procedures are really handy because they'll do some, like longer-term communicating of those to do's for.

[00:40:33] So you do sort of have to like learn to wear this other hat that I know a lot of creatives really struggle with. I hate managing more than anything. Like it is my least everything. And I've had to work for years to build processes and systems and ways of communicating so that my I'm managing as little as possible.

[00:40:53] And also focusing on hiring people who are self managers, right. Because that's a, that sort of is, goes into finding the right person is making sure someone, you know, is gonna work the way you want them to, if you want to like, you know, if you want to hire a pencil pusher, right. Someone who's going to come in and you're going to be like, you know, move this up there and then that over there, and then make this, this bag and whatever it may be, then, you know, hire someone who takes a lot of direction and know that you're going to be giving a lot of direction.

[00:41:22] So there is a mindset shift as well, and they are, and then no matter what it is that you do there is this sort of requirement of trusting the people who work for. Period. If you struggle with trusting people, I always say owning a business is like the greatest sort of spiritual practice you ever dive in on you, we're going to face your demons and you were going to have to overcome them to reach your version of success.

[00:41:46] If these things are in line with that version for yourself, so you have to trust them and you just have to settle in with this fact that they are absolutely going to mess up. Absolutely going to, and you're going to have to like clean up messes and instruct and be there and hold space and like correct things and all of those things, but like, That's what this level of boss requires.

[00:42:09] Corey Winter: You mess up too, you know, it's not, it's not the people that you're hiring that mess up like you as the boss, you're messing up too. So why are you holding your employees to a higher standard, right.

[00:42:21] Emily Thompson: Abs so lutely. Absolutely. Like they're humans and they're going to, and if you just go into it with that, knowing of like, you're hiring other humans, they're kind of, they're not going to do things as well as you, at least not the banning, but they can absolutely get there.

[00:42:35] Absolutely get there. But it is also a process. I've also just generally found that like for like hiring an employee, but even to some extent, some contractors, like I rarely see like a full potential of like ROI basically of hiring someone for six months. In general, unless I am hiring someone who is an effing pro like a next level boss, who's going to come into my business as a contractor usually.

[00:43:07] But not necessarily. But they're just gonna come in and they're going to do their thing and they're going to walk out like there, there is this like learning curve of coming into your business, learning how it is that you do things, how it is that you communicate and all of those things. So there is this sort of like time period of messing up and learning and doing all the things.

[00:43:26] And then one of my favorite ways to sort of let go and let people do their job is to leave and just go on vacation. The last time I did a big hiring round. Yeah. Last time I did a big hiring round. I scheduled out training and then I scheduled myself a vacation because I was going to train them.

[00:43:44] And then I was going to leave because I knew I would show up and train them. If I knew I was leaving. And I knew that they would show up to be trained if they knew I was leaving and then I was going to leave. And then that was like the ultimate test of did we do it? Things messed up. And I came back and I knew where I had missed my mark, right.

[00:44:02] Or where I hadn't clearly communicated something or there were holes in the training or whatever. And I was able to show up and fix it in a way that I probably wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. Like if I hadn't just left. Leave and let them do their job.

[00:44:17] Corey Winter: Right. So two things before we move on one, I want to go back to the messing up thing and like bosses do it too, because I'm going to tell a funny story that I don't think you've actually mentioned publicly gone.

[00:44:27] Emily Thompson: Oh my God, Corey! What shit. Are you about to spill on me? Yeah, just kidding. I'm excited here because there's some fun.

[00:44:34] Corey Winter: Last year when we were planning to take our community from a paid membership, free membership, Emily actually send out the announcement email, like what was it? Two weeks early? It was, it was like a good portion, like too early.

[00:44:51] And none of us were prepared for this.

[00:44:53] Emily Thompson: Nope, actually lies y'all were y'all were actually complete. So here, a full story we took the community live in August of 2021. We took the community tier from paid to free and we've been talking at, we, it had been on the project calendar for a while. We'd been working on it.

[00:45:13] Like all of the, all of the things were in place. The last thing to be done was for me to take the marketing emails and plug them into the computer. It plugged them into the email service provider. And as I'm doing it, literally, this is like the worst nightmare. Instead of hitting schedule email on the one that says "And its Free!"

[00:45:39] I hit send now.

[00:45:42] Corey Winter: And there was no other button.

[00:45:44] Emily Thompson: And there was no undo button. And I immediately got into slack and was like, y'all guess what I just did. And immediately bosses are joining the community and everyone's so excited and all the things were in place. It was totally fine, but I messed up. [00:46:00]

[00:46:01] Corey Winter: Anyway, the story is just to mess up to employees.

[00:46:07] You're going to mess up. People mess up. It's fine. The second thing is that. Baby steps are awesome. When hiring someone, if maybe you're not familiar with hiring people, like when you hired me, I was just hired to like, answer client emails and answer basic technical questions for them. And then I've worked myself up to button pushing, like fixing contact forms for the clients and doing simple stuff.

[00:46:32] And eventually I was making entire sales pages and then eventually entire websites, like it was like a year long process. Like I was basically in training for like a year. But I ended up working out for sure.

[00:46:44] Emily Thompson: For sure it is a process. It is a process. I mean, it's a relationship, right? That you are beginning with a person where you're meeting because you have a common need and like, or like a skillset matches a need.

[00:46:56] Right. But like you also you'll get to know them. You'll see where their strings are. You'll see how they most receive communication. That's a really big one that comes to communicating clearly is like how, not only how do you communicate clearly, but how do you communicate clearly to this person?

[00:47:13] Because everyone sort of receives communications differently. And then seeing where they're going to be, you know, really great at something. One of the things I've always sort of, that I always keep in mind with, with the people who work for me is like, what do you want to do? Like, what do you, what do you feel like you are most competent in?

[00:47:30] And so it really allows for, you know, for us, it's been almost 10 years of like, sort of molding your work in a way that like, you most enjoy doing it. You're still here doing it for better or worse. I'm just kidding. I'm sick, like throwing shade at me in an interview. And, and just, it makes you're building a relationship you're building and it doesn't start perfect.

[00:47:57] Right. I don't like, I don't, I don't think, I believe in love at first sight in general, which is very anti-romantic of me. But. With employees with anyone that you're getting, even contractors, these well have long-term relationships that you want to build with someone they take time, you'll figure it out.

[00:48:16] Okay.

[00:48:17] Corey Winter: So let's talk. So we we've, we've prepared for the higher. Yeah. Now let's actually decide what type of worker we're hiring. Cause there are several options and which option you go with, you know, dictates how you work with them, what you're responsible for, et cetera. So there's, full-time employees, part-time employees, contractors, interns, who knows what else?

[00:48:42] And so I want to ask this question because. With me working for you, I've basically like filled all of these types and all of them, like I was, sorry. I was basically an intern essentially is what it was. I eventually worked up to like part-time contractor. And I don't remember exactly when I became an employee.

[00:49:00] But I was part-time employee for awhile. And then I think maybe eventually I got to full-time employee at some point, started getting benefits thing. I'm now I'm back down to part-time employees. So how do you decide what type of work you're in and you have a whole gamut of people working for you at Almanac and Being Boss that are, I think we might have a couple of other employees that Being Boss some contractors, probably the same thing that we're an Almanac.

[00:49:30] So how do you decide what you're hiring?

[00:49:32] Emily Thompson: I'm doing it weird. And I think I am actually, I think I've actually tapped into how companies are, should hire in the future. Like, and I've seen this happen a little bit in other companies. Do I think about, you know, some friends that I've had who were at FreshBooks, for example, who have interesting working relationships, with that company or, or really just what I found really works for me, I think is probably more of what everyone should be adopting, especially as people are quitting their jobs and they want to try freelance or, you know, try to start their business or may decide they want to do part-time plus something and that, or whatever it may be.

[00:50:12] Not everyone is just out there looking for full-time employment anymore. Right. And so I think if you go into your business, just looking for full-time employees, you are going to miss some gems in the world who maybe have a side hustle or have a part-time job that they really love, but they're just looking for part-time work and could do full-time work in part-time time because they're so badass at what they do or whatever it may be.

[00:50:35] That the thing that I've done is really just open up to the right person and working with him in whatever capacity they most desire. And that has come from a lot of trial and error around looking for a contractor and only finding people who are looking for employment, or only one an employee, but like then potentially missing out on this really bad ass contractor or whatever it may be.

[00:50:59] So what I instead focus on is the role and the skillset. Like, I want you to come do these things because you are, you have these skills. And then I really just like, how do you want to work with me? Like contractor, employer, or employee? Like, what does this look like? And I sort of let them more or less drive that boat, because everyone is different these days.

[00:51:21] And I think that hiring specifically with, with like availability in line or like sort of tax requirement's, I don't even know like really how you would sort of differentiate. Those are like what you call this. But I let people drive the boat. And I've done that for the past several hires that I've made.

[00:51:43] I will also say this is significantly easier for me to do at Being Boss as it is in Almanac. It was Almanac is a physical again. I can't, I'm not going to hire like a full time. Really much of anything at Almanac right now, there are a couple like things, but like not everything. Most of it is part-time, but if someone came in and they just wanted a contract and it was appropriate because there are rules between contractors and employees.

[00:52:10] Corey Winter: Yeah. Like with contractors, you, you can't actually dictate their hours.

[00:52:15] Emily Thompson: Correct.

[00:52:15] Corey Winter: And stuff like that. But like, you can't, you can't tell them where to work.

[00:52:20] Emily Thompson: Indeed. Yeah. Well, and that's even funny, right? I know of an old person who was retired, who has worked for a government funded agency, worked for them for like 40 years, went to work nine to five every day to that location and was a contractor.

[00:52:40] He had no other job, like, so like there, there are some ways around this. I do like mostly I want to do right by people. And I usually do that in the way that like, I let them drive the boat again. An all Mac is a little bit different, but I really have the availability to do that Being Boss. So because of.

[00:52:57] I have a full-time employee. I have two part-time employees. I have a couple of contractors and we move people around. Like if they end up getting another opportunity or, or want more or whatever, it may be, I have the flexibility to do that. And because of that, I'm not boxing anyone in to a situation they don't enjoy.

[00:53:14] And they're able to show up in a way that just really feels good to them, whatever it is that they most value, whether it's flexibility or healthcare, right. Whatever it may be, I can offer it in whatever context, obviously within reason. And that does work a little better at Being Boss as it as an Almanac, Almanac does have tighter requirements.

[00:53:35] And that for the most part require me to employ people. And either part-time or full-time depending on what's happening. So there is a difference full-time employees, you are responsible for them. Like you are in like on a whole level that is just now I think really being broken open in terms of what that actually means with all of the strikes and, sort of coming out of big companies and how does it, they're treating their full-time employees for me, like my full-time employees are the people that I am taking care of whenever I'm making decisions in my business.

[00:54:08] I am thinking about them just as much as I am thinking about me. And you know, especially going through the pandemic that has been very top of mind of like making sure that I'm just, I'm making decisions for my full-time employees because they are my responsibility. And then there's also a lot of benefits that, that go in that as well.

[00:54:27] Part time, still my responsibility, but a little less. So, and that has pros and cons as well. I get less of their time. But I have to worry about like, I have to worry about them a little less, I guess, because they're there because they are taking care of themselves. And other ways, contractors, they come and go for specific projects for the most part.

[00:54:52] And like, I even more so they're taking care of themselves. They have made the choice to be a contractor because they are the boss of themselves. Right. And then interns, interns comes up a lot, especially in the community. Cause it's like, oh, free labor or cheap labor. You should definitely pay your interns.

[00:55:09] Y'all but

[00:55:10] Corey Winter: I feel like we had interns at Indie Shopography, but they were currently enrolled students at the college

[00:55:19] Emily Thompson: and I paid them.

[00:55:20] Corey Winter: But like, it was, it was people that were just looking for experience in their line of work before they got out of college, which is actually how I came to find any shop and myself

[00:55:30] Emily Thompson: it's that.

[00:55:31] But even more specifically, you are teaching an intern. Right. So an intern's not going to come in with a lot of value for your company. The value for you is this more like, you know, sort of a HETI, giving back to the community and the industry situation, right? Where you are actually responsible for teaching the intern, something, they are coming for you to you for that experience and learning.

[00:55:57] And you're not going to get a ton of value out of it, except for some good fields. Right. Which, which for a lot of people, like is really important giving back to the community or the industry in that way. I've loved doing interns. And it's something that like I consider every time I do a hire, I'm thinking, is this appropriate for an intern?

[00:56:19] I definitely see the potential for doing some more, you know, when I can work with people again, because I do think an intern. I think it's just, maybe it is really hands-on like, I want to be in person with a person in order to do an intern because you are responsible for teaching them. And that's not something that a lot of people think of whenever they think intern, they think free, cheap labor.

[00:56:40] Right. But really pay that labor and know that you're paying to actually teach them, teach them something. You're not going to get a ton of value out of it in terms of ROI for your business. So I started working with people in this way, or like letting people choose sort of how it is. They want to work with me on like, sort of out of necessity.

[00:57:00] Like I was tired of trying to find full-timers and only getting good contractors. I was tired of like, looking for part-time and only getting good contractors or looking for contractors, but finding someone who was a part-time or full-time potential that really wanted to hire on. So like, I did it out of necessity of like fine.

[00:57:18] I'll just hire people they way they want to be hired, but I've also found. Some really great benefits for my business and doing this whenever I release the need to control how it is that I work with people and just let people come to me to, you know, do things in this business in the way they most want to, because they're driven to and because their skillset matches what it is that I want to do.

[00:57:43] I found two things. One, the team Being Boss, pretty bad ass, right? Like everyone is here really feeling what they're doing. And part of that is because I haven't boxed them in, right. Like they're not a full-time employee when they really want to go like work part-time with someone else, but they have to show up here 40 hours a week or whatever it may be.

[00:58:05] So like really good team morale, I think comes out of these sort of working engagements. And two, I am really maximizing my team budget. Right. I don't have full-timers on, who could just come in contract working 10 hours a week, but I'm paying them for 35 or 40. So I've been able to really maximize my budget for my team as well, because I'm not forcing everyone to work full time or forcing everyone to come in with their, like, you know, $150 per hour per hour contractor fees or whatever it may be.

[00:58:40] I let people come in. What their skill sets to work in the capacity that they want. And I think it has literally created a truly strong team. We can ask David if he likes paying everyone differently, payroll, a nightmare.[00:59:00]

[00:59:00] Right. But also it's kind of like, you know, paying any other bills. Like I'm not mad because I have to pay for my phone and my utilities in two different places.

[00:59:07] Corey Winter: Well, and I'm going to actually, I don't know if they're sponsoring this episode or not, but Gusto actually makes it super easy to pay contractors and employees at the same time, but differently.

[00:59:17] Emily Thompson: Right. We should get Gusto back in this one because legit, it does make it, and a lot of these onboarding processes as well. So, so yeah, that is something like I've, I've definitely seen a, some benefits in this company. From allowing people to come to me, to work with me in the capacity that they most desire, both like energetically within the team and also, financially within the business.

[00:59:51] Corey Winter: Well, so we've talked about preparing yourself to actually hire someone. And then what type of people you should hire. We actually planned to [01:00:00] talk about logistics of actually hiring someone in this episode, but this ended up being a really meaty topic. So we're actually going to make the logistics of the hiring process, a part two to this episode, coming out soon.

[01:00:12] So be on the lookout for that.

[01:00:13] Emily Thompson: Yeah, I think next week you, and you'll make a deal. It'd be great. Good job Corey.

[01:00:18] Corey Winter: All right. Any final thoughts before we wrap this up?

[01:00:21] Emily Thompson: Any final thoughts and we will get into like the hiring process. So maybe I shouldn't go there. Yeah. I think mostly choosing to hire. Is a huge mindset shift for a boss.

[01:00:38] You are changing your role. You are adding a lot of produce to your list. Just like the process of making it look like getting ready for a hire. It is a lot, but as someone who is like been there, done that, right? I've been through all the mindset stuff. I have like put all the things in place, all the things like once you get on the other side of it, it is worth it.

[01:00:57] And you are more of a boss. You literally become a boss, like, like right, the way the rest of the world defines a boss. But legit legit, you upgrade yourself as a boss when you do this and you also incredibly increased the capacity of your business and what it is that you're able to do in the future.

[01:01:18] Once you build out the hiring process for your first hire, you can replicate it for your second, third, fourth, and fifth hire. And so the first task is to like start overcoming that mindset. Two as a start putting the things in place to make that first hire. And once you get to that, go to part two of this episode, we'll talk about the actual hiring process.

[01:01:47] As a business owner, you likely have a website and as a website owner, you likely want more Google traffic, but SEO or search engine optimization is likely not at the top of your long list of do's, but I'm telling you right now that it should be a priority for each and every one of us. And with the help of Ahrefs webmaster tools at getting your website found, just got a lot faster and easier.

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[01:02:32] It will do a full audit for you and keep working for you for free. Visit ahrefs.com/AWT. For this free tool. That's ahrefs.com/awt. A H R E F S.com/A W T. Or find a link in our show notes and help your website be a better asset for your business. Now until next time, do the work, be boss[01:03:00] .