By Darnyelle A. Jervey, CEO of Incredible One Enterprises
Forget what you’ve heard; there’s no such thing as a self-made millionaire. Sure, it sounds nice, but think about it. If you could become a millionaire all by yourself, wouldn’t everybody be one?
So don’t believe the hype. And let’s be clear. At some point in time on your entrepreneurial journey, you’re going to have to engage the talents of someone else to help you to build or expand your brand and business.
There’s really no way around it. However, if you’re new to entrepreneurship, spend the first year in your business performing every task that needs to be done, with the possible exception of legal matters unless, of course, you’re an attorney. That way, when you hire someone you can gauge the success of their results against those of your own and validate the contribution they are making to your company. In the first year, you will be building your operations manual so you have a clearly defined and documented procedure for every job that needs to be performed in your company.
If you really want to build, sustain and grow your business, there are positions you’re going to need to fill to put together your dream team. The following are those positions, listed in no particular order. (Determine when you should fill a position based on your individual needs. Remember the goal is to ensure that eventually you work solely in your area of talent or brilliance and everything else gets delegated.)
Executive Assistant. This will be your “go-to” person. They will manage your calendar, keep you focused and on task, and will be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Marketing Assistant. This is the person who will perform marketing related tasks for you. Likely, they will manage your social media and online presence for you.
Personal Assistant. Eventually, going to the post office and dry cleaners will get old and when it does, you’ll want to have a PA on hand to perform those daily chores for you.
Accountant. While you want someone to make sure you are fiscally responsible, allow no one to sign your checks or have access to your money but you.
Attorney. You need an attorney to review your contracts and ensure you’re on the right side of the law. If you’re just starting out, consider Legal Shield as an option to help you with your business-related legal matters. For dollars a day, you can have access to counsel when you need it. (Author is not receiving compensation to recommend Legal Shield.)
Mentor/Business Coach. You will need someone to mentor you who has been there, done that and gotten the t-shirt. Coaches and mentors can also drive strategy for your business to help you continue to grow. While fewer and fewer people coach for free, coaches and mentors are well worth the investment.
Business Development Specialist. You need someone who will drum up business, especially if you are not good at sales. Word of mouth is only going to get you so far. At some point, you’re going to need a robust marketing strategy and when you create it, someone is going to have to be on the team to implement it.
Customer Service Manager. If you want to keep the customers you get, you’ll want someone who can serve as liaison for you.
Supportive Friend. You definitely need your best friend to be there for you. In the early years when I was without an assistant, one of my friends would come and be my assistant for the day. My clients didn’t know that I had to fire my assistant, my friends just stepped in and helped. Good friends who believe in you are a key part of the business building process.
An Incredible “S.N.A.T.C.H.E.R.” This one is here just for fun. You know those people who have been Sent to Negate All Talent and Confidence That Has been Earmarked and Reserved for your Success. In other words, a naysayer. You do need that one person who is negative and tries to block every goal you have. That person will keep you on your toes.
A Client. You want a client on your team, especially if you’re going the Board of Advisors route, to give you perspective and help you to improve your product and service offerings, and levels of service.
Spiritual Advisor. Having a spiritual advisor on your team is essential. For some people this will seem out of place but being able to stay grounded and focused on sharing your gifts and talents with others during this divine business building journey is essential. In good times and bad, your spiritual advisor will keep you focused and moving in the right direction toward authentic alignment.
Whether these team members are staff or volunteer is really between you and them, but keep in mind you get what you pay for. Deciding if they are 1099s or employees will vary based on your needs and how frequently they support you. Be sure to consult your accountant regarding how to bring them on board.