“If you want to grow your business, you have to fire, hire, and promote accordingly.”
During the past two years, the FastForwardAmy business has grown from being just me – a solopreneur, to now having a full-time team onboard.
(Thinking about it like this, I still can't quite believe it myself).
In this episode, I will give you a team update:
Who does what? Which roles do we have? What is it like; firing someone? What are the priorities when hiring someone?
In short, I will give you a full update on the current organization of my business by looking at: ****
Theme #1 Growing
About 1,5 years ago, I realized: to service more clients and make an even bigger impact; I can't continue to do everything by myself.
It was time to find people to help me grow my business. One of the first mistakes I made here was assuming that someone else would come in and help me solve all of my shit.
Spoiler alert: that never happens.
As a business owner, it's your responsibility to drive the vision, not putting it on someone else and expecting them to clean up your mess.
It's your responsibility to help your team grow, so they can grow your business and grow into more confident and expert versions of themselves.
Helping the team grow like this is probably one of the most important leadership lessons I've learned during the past few years.
A. Breakdown of our key roles
Looking at the current team, we have hired several key roles to grow the FastForwardAmy brand.
1. Programs and product department
Laura was one of my first hires. She started as our online business manager but transitioned into heading our coaching programs and product. (At the time of writing, Laura is on pregnancy leave for 6 months. We're all excited about her return!!) Sandy works primarily in the coaching department, currently heading programs and products (replacing Laura) while also being supported by other support coaches.
I used to think I was the only one who could answer questions, but I've let that mindset go: to coach at a bigger scale, we need support coaches.
Now, we work towards educating the team so they can make decisions on their own, and at the same time, we're teaching more and more people to become FastForward-certified support coaches.
TIP: Document whatever you teach your team. Create tutorials, manuals and write out the processes of how you work. It's going to make your life SO MUCH easier when onboarding new people.
2. Sales department
Caroline is our sales manager (former online business manager, after Laura), supported by Katia, who is also part of the sales team. 75% of the time, Katia focuses on one-on-one sales, and the rest of the time, she's a support coach.
3. Marketing department
The marketing team is headed by me (surprise, surprise). Marketing is a big passion of mine, and together with Robin, responsible for the podcast and the graphic side of things, and Amber, responsible for copywriting and social content, we work together to really grow our brand.
4. Other departments (admin, customer service, etc.)
Next to these full-time key roles I just mentioned, we also work with freelancers. For instance, Elise is in charge of customer service and admin. But we also work with freelance videographers, an accountant, photographers, and hair and makeup artists.
B. You can't outsource leadership
Taking a step back from these key roles and looking at one of the biggest learnings while hiring these amazing people is that you can't outsource leadership.
As a business owner and CEO, you need to step into that leadership role, set boundaries, and help your team grow.
Sometimes that also means you need to keep a little bit of distance, but not too much. You do want to be a PART of your team, but the boundaries should be clear.
I know it's a thin line, especially when running a personal brand, but finding the right balance will help you create heaps of trust with your team.
C. Hire for growth
Don't hire to optimize, hire for growth.
To grow your business, you need to get people on board that will have an exponential effect on your business.
For instance, I should have hired a dedicated salesperson A LOT sooner! I was focused on optimizing and maintaining and forgot that ‘maintaining' is the same as going backward!
TIP: Prioritize growth, prioritize the proactive stuff, and your maintenance will take care of itself.
Your priorities, KPIs, and targets should be geared towards growth and innovation.
It's like online marketing: you can't assume that what's working today, will keep on working tomorrow: you have to stay ahead of the game.
Remember to sometimes take a step back to reevaluate what's working, then cut out the redundancies and focus on the work that will impact your business and growth.
Theme #2 Firing
I LOVE my team, and I hope you get to work with an amazing team one day as well.
Part of building a team is realizing that some things just don't work out.
When you realize someone just isn't a fit, be clear and tell the person as soon as possible.
Your business isn't a charity. Let go of the person before you spend too much energy and time constantly redirecting the course. Remember this is not a personal, but a business decision.
TIP: When it's time for the difficult conversation of letting someone go, be very clear about your decision from the get-go. At the beginning of your firing-conversation, firmly state that you're not coming back on your decision, and communicate your decision with respect, transparency, and trust. Otherwise, people might try to convince you during the conversation to change your mind, and that won't happen so best to get it out of the way anyways!
It's a terrifying conversation to have, but you're a go-getter, and you want your people to be the same. You're the boss. You're in charge of the course of your business.
Theme #3 Hiring
We've already talked about hiring for growth, but I want to zoom in on a few key learnings you should take with you when hiring and building out your team.
- Don't hire for skills, but hire for character – in a sense. If someone doesn't have the skills for the job, you can teach them. Of course, hires need to have a certain foundation for doing the job, but you'll get a clear sense of this when you go through different rounds of interviews and let candidates do a business case for the job they ultimately will be doing. Try to get an insight in how people's brains work by going through different ways of testing, you could for example use the DISC-test.
- Figure out which kinds of profiles your business needs. To help you figure out which profiles you should be looking for, I recommend you write down:
- What's taking up too much of your time?
- What do you really need to outsource?
- What do you need to grow your business?
- What's lacking right now?
Focus mainly on the last two questions. Put everything on paper, write down what you really need, and make people responsible for that growth.
Team update recap
I know this was quite a lot, but it has been so much fun sharing the behind-the-scenes with you on growing the team.
To recap, there are two things I want you to take with you:
- Hire for growth and fire if it's not working out. When you're hiring someone, you may have a good feeling about the person, but always seek out references, too, to support your gut feeling. The reality is that people can make you feel good without having the skills or the character you need to get the job done.
- Communicate with respect, transparency, and trust. Whatever you need to communicate with your team, whether you need to let someone go or evaluate a performance, always communicate with respect, transparency, and trust.
PS If you're ready to really scale your business, I have created a special guide for you; the 7-Figure Organization Guide. It took me so long to figure this out on my own, and I wish I would have had a guide like this before.
With this guide in your hand, you're going to
- Streamline your organization to 10x your growth.
- Create the departments and phases your company goes through on a day-to-day basis.
- Eliminate unnecessary communication and streamline your way of working.
PSS To work with a team in an efficient way, you need to be able to delegate. And that's not the easiest skill to learn, I know! That's why I'm hosting my webinar “5 Gouden Tips Om Zelfzeker te Delegeren” (in Dutch) where I share my 5 quick fixes that are going to make delegating a lot easier! I made this specifically for the entrepreneurs who want to start outsourcing and get it right from the start, or for those who are already outsourcing and feel there are still a lot of struggles. After the webinar, you will outsource the right things, set up time-saving collaborations and be able to trust your team. Register here: https://fastforwardamy.com/delegerenwebinar