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How to know when to scale your team beyond a VA

Today’s episode of the podcast is all about how to know when to grow your business to more than one team member, and what kind of roles you might want to consider having.

I’d love to know where you are at in your business right now – whether it’s just you, you have a VA or a whole team of people – please feel free to connect with me on my social media!

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

● The common mistake people make when taking on a VA
● How to know when to scale your team beyond a VA
● The kind of tasks you could outsource to a team of people

THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE

If you do something more than twice in your business, you should not be the person doing it, because it's a process and a task.

USEFUL LINKS

Join the membership and access the Dream Business Growth Path
Jen Lehner’s, Front Row CEO course
Becci McEvoy, Social Media Marketer
Phil Brett King, My Podcast Assistant
Ben Bellamy, Web Designer
Teresa Heath-Wareing Instagram
Teresa Heath-Wareing LinkedIn
Teresa Heath-Wareing Facebook
Teresa Heath-Wareing Twitter

Transcript

Hello and a super warm welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. I hope you are doing well. Firstly, I just wanna say thank you for some of the lovely messages that I have had on DMs and on social media about the change in episodes and how you're enjoying the shorter kind of bite size type episodes with just me.

So I really, really appreciate you reaching out, and now would be a really cheeky time to ask for a review. As I've told you before, The podcast because it's so consistent, it doesn't really do anything crazy amazing at any point. As in like, so when someone launches a new podcast, the, it can throw it high up in the charts cuz it had no episodes and now it has episodes, or it had no listeners and now it has listeners.

But when you are consistently churning out content and consistently showing up, it takes a lot of effort to actually get you ranking anywhere. Having reviews really, really helps. Also, if you know of someone who is in business that you think this might help, I'd really appreciate you sharing it. So just a little plea before we get started.

Okay. So let's talk about this week's episode and what we're gonna be focusing on. I've decided to focus on when you have a team member, how do you know when to grow to more than one team, team member? And how do you know who you need and what roles you need and that sort of thing? So let's just talk about sort of getting a first team member, the VA.

So normally a VA is the person that people get straight off the bat. They're the first team member they get. And one of the mistakes I find when people look for a VA is, and I remember someone once saying to me, I want them to be able to do all the website stuff. I want 'em to be able to create social media posts, do the scheduling, write some blogs, duh, duh, duh.

And it's like, gosh, this person's superhuman man. Like, seriously, how much stuff do you think they're gonna be able to do from a skill point of view? Because let's face it, we are not all brilliant to everything and neither will a VA. Now the idea of a VA is that they can do lots of different things, but you will find even with some VAs and others, some naturally are better at some things and like doing some things and some like doing something else.

I have one of my amazing students she bought on a VA and her VA's phenomenal in the sense of she creates social media posts for her and they're really beautiful and she schedules them and she writes the content and that's brilliant. However, she just fell on her feet because she found a VA who just happened to like and be good at it.

So that's not always the case. So if you haven't got a VA and you're thinking, well, what would I use them for? And I think this is. This is a common mistake that people, that people make is they think like, I've got nothing to give them. I dunno what I'll give them, but you are doing so much in your business every single day.

And there is a rule of thumb that I was once told that if you do something more than twice in your business, the same task or the same process more than twice, you should not be the person doing it because it's a process and a task, and you don't have to do that. And the idea is that you are putting more value on your time in the sense of you're doing things that only you can do and things that make you money.

So when you think to yourself, or you might be thinking to yourself, I can't afford to bring someone in. Well, how much do you charge out per hour? Or how do you make money? And therefore, should you be doing something that you could be paying someone less to do that thing? And it's not that you're giving someone the rubbish jobs.

People like these jobs. Some people thrive in these jobs. Some people want to do the things that you don't wanna do, that's what they're good at. So you're not sat there giving them all the rubbish, and you don't need to feel bad about that. You're just giving them something that they like to do. So let me start off by talking about some of the things that Johanne, who's my VA does for me now.

She's a full-time assistant for me, has been for a couple of years now, and is amazing and does lots and lots of things in my business. Now. When I bought her on full-time, the reason I bought her on full-time is cause I wanted the accessibility. I wanted someone there when I messaged them or when I emailed them, because if you're not paying someone full-time money, you can't expect that they are not sat there waiting for your email.

And now some VA some team members will be brilliant and very responsive and lots of my team members are and they're phenomenal. However, I knew I wanted to be able to say. You are working full-time for me, so I know I can email you within your hours and you will respond. I also knew that initially she would not be doing full-time hours and some weeks she still doesn't do full-time hours, and I'm okay with that.

Um, Because you've gotta build up to giving them stuff, okay? You can't just suddenly start them one day and then they're doing like loads of hours the next, because they've gotta get used to it. They've gotta know what they're doing. You've gotta hand things over. So I wanted to run through really quickly some of the things that I give Johanne to do.

So she does things like, she posts all the video replays. So when we do any training in the club, when I do a coaching call, when I do a mindset call, she will then post that backup in the club so people can go and watch the replay. She creates things like the Zoom events. She creates things like ad events.

So once I work out, when I'm doing things in the month for the club, I will literally give her the dates and she goes and does all the admin around that. She preps my emails. And you know what I worked out today? Oh man, I'm so bad. I've not sent an email for a couple of weeks. That is so unlike me. I dunno what's going on.

So I've literally just written at the top of my piece of paper where I've written notes for this podcast episode. Emails in big capital. Letters and I'm like drawing lines around the word as I speak because a bit later on I've got co-working with my exec club and that's what I will be doing in my co-working is writing some flipping emails.

But she will, I will write them and she will then schedule them and get 'em ready to go. She does things like, she used to do the interview process for the podcast, so when I had interviews she would do the replying and that sort of thing. She would put, she puts the podcast live, so she dissolve that admin side behind that.

She uploads the podcast to the website and to captivate she posts in the group for me. So for instance, if we've got, like this afternoon, I'm doing a mindset session in the group. So she schedules the post to remind everybody. There's a mindset session. She does things like downloads, invoices for me that I then have to upload to my invoice thing.

And she schedules loads of stuff for me. So there are loads and loads of things she does and more than what I've just given you on that list. But like I said, it wasn't like she started day one and I gave it her all on day two. So there are millions of things you could hand over. You've just got to give yourself a chance to think about it.

And then also, Know that you are going to have to spend some time doing it, but honestly the time spent will come back tenfold cuz I know that's often the excuse. Well, I would hand it over, but I could do it just as quick. Yeah you can. And sometimes you can do it better. Like no one will do your business better than you do a hundred percent.

However, you can only do so much and having all these things to hand over has freed me up. Immensely. So when do you know that you need someone else and when should you start to look at taking someone else on other than just your VA? Now obviously you've got the options to up the hours to your VA, so they could be doing more hours for you a month.

And again, like I said, they don't have to be full-time. Johanne was, she wasn't my first team member, so I was ready at that point in order to pay a full-time. So in my experience, you normally have a situation where the VA either moves up in their skillset and in their hourly pricing and whether they increase that hourly pricing for you or not.

But I know this has happened to one of my Exec Club members recently where her VA has more moved more to an OBM role, and therefore whether that person decided to increase the monthly payment or the hourly payment, I should say, is kind of by the buy. The key thing is they might not wanna be doing the things that they are doing.

So if they are moving up and going to know what I can serve you better, doing the more strategic stuff. Doing the more planning things, then one, they might not wanna do some of the more admin tasks, and two, you might not wanna pay them at that rate to do those admin tasks because it doesn't necessarily take someone of that level to do some of those admin tasks.

So like I said, you've either got. That they've moved up and they're increased in their prices and therefore actually there are things that you could take off them in order to give someone on a more admin level and they come in at a more strategic level, or they really like the level that they're at and they don't wanna do the strategic stuff and they don't wanna move up.

And actually, this was a conversation I had with Johanne when I. When the lovely Becci used to work with me, went to Australia and is having a lovely time cuz we are still very dear friends. When she went to Australia and I wanted to replace her. I had a conversation with Johanne, I said, do you wanna step up and do this kind of work now?

And she said no. And I was more than happy with that and she was more than happy with that. So it meant that she wanted to stay where she was, but I needed some additional help in a more strategic point of view. And therefore I bought in Angel, who is my online business manager. So now I have my, I have Angel's online business manager and Johanne as my VA. Angel is not full-time far from it.

She's X amount of hours a week and Johan is full-time. But often what happens is, and also one of my prerequisites for bringing an Angel was that she had to be able to manage Johanne. Now, it's not that I don't speak to her or deal with her, I do all the time. However, what will often happen is me and Angel will have a call where I will physically talk with her cuz that's the way that I communicate the best.

And then Angel will make a plan and then pass the bits that she needs to and can over to Johanne cuz she has the capacity. But then Angel can take the time and explain to Johanne what we need. And she's the one who makes sure it's being done correctly. So like I said, that's often what comes next, but. There might be other areas that you wanna bring people in and they might be very specialist areas.

And the reason I say this is because. Often these people who do specialist things are better than you at it because that's what they do for a job. And even though they might cost more per hour than a VA, the fact is they're probably gonna do it faster and they're probably gonna do it better because this is what they do all the time.

So the other people in my world, who I now have is I have Becci, a different Becci, Becci McEvoy, who does my social media. She also does the show notes to the podcast. So she's listening to this so she will tag herself in into the show notes. So she does all my socials and she does the show notes. Now the reason she does the show notes is cuz she's good at writing and because so much of my socials come from my podcast, so she helps create all the socials with me and she schedules them, but she doesn't, and I'm sure she wouldn't mind me telling this, but she doesn't necessarily personally schedule all my posts cuz she doesn't need to do that, that doesn't need her skill level to do that.

So she will have someone in her team to help schedule all the various bits. Becci's skill and Becci you know, zone of genius is coming up with content ideas, creating the content, writing the content, and helping me plan out what we're gonna talk about. Her. You know, I'm sure she's perfectly capable and has the zone of genius to schedule stuff, but she doesn't have to.

And from my point of view, and I think this is probably a good thing to say to you guys that are freelancers that worry, well, should I give my work to someone else? My point of view and has always been the point of view, I don't care who does it. Like, I really don't, as long as I have that point of contact and they are responsible, that's all I care about.

So Becci is responsible for the social side and the, the show notes. I, I know she does the show notes, but if something was to go wrong, then I go back to Becci and I have that discussion with her. Whether she did it or not is, is not really a concern of mine. It's just the case of she's my point of contact.

So if you're a freelancer and you're like, well, I could really do with someone to do that scheduling, or I could do with someone to write those blogs, or I could do with someone to do something else, but I don't wanna, cause I feel bad cause I'm charging for the service, you are still responsible for that service.

You are still reporting to your client. If your team member does something that is not great, you are still responsible and you've gotta fix it. But don't think that you have to do everything so, So, like I said, one another area which I outsourced was obviously show notes cause I hate writing and the socials because Becci is way better at me in terms of being creative and coming up with ideas.

The other thing that I outsource is Phil who edits this podcast and even though Phil will be listening to this, is he edits this. I will get Becci to tag Phil in. Again, Phil edits the podcast cuz he's way better than me and way quicker than me. And I don't need to do it. No one has sat there going, Teresa, I really wanna see your skills and how good you are editing.

It doesn't have to be me. And even though the podcast is one of the most expensive things I do from a content point of view, it's worth it in my eyes. And actually, it's not that extortionate. Do you know what if I was to actually do all my own podcast stuff. I probably wouldn't produce a podcast a week.

I can tell you that for nothing. And then the other area I've got, and I've had other areas, but this is where I am today, is website. So I have Ben who does my website stuff and does my landing page stuff and does elements of active campaigns. So when we want to take a payment, he will connect the website to Active Campaign.

Now, I didn't always have these people obviously. When I started the podcast I edited it. I don't think I ever did the show notes to be fair. And I used to pay an obscene amount of money cause I used to get like a full on copywriting agency to write the show notes. I dunno what I was thinking. And I really didn't need someone who writes copy for a living and website copy and sales page copy to write show notes because basically it's.

I, I'm saying this, I'm where Becci's listening to this and she's like, it's not just something, there is skill in it Becci and I appreciate you greatly, but I used to pay a huge amount of money for copywriters. I feel like I dug myself into a whole now and Becci's going to write something horrible in the show notes, which I don't look at because I trust her implicitly.

So yeah. So. That's the kind of people that you might be looking at next. So like I said, with your, with your VA that'll go one of two ways potentially. Either they love what they're doing, but you need someone in a more strategic level, or they love the strategic level and therefore it doesn't make sense for you to pay them at that level or for them to do the more basic work.

And therefore you might wanna give the admin work to someone else and bring someone in under them, and then it's those specialist areas. So is it that if you are producing something and you hate it, but you know it's working really well, what points can you give out? And like I said, anything that has a process, anything that has a process that you are basically doing the same thing over and over does not need to be you.

And you, I've talked about my podcast process before and I've explained, you know, how many people touch the process and that all I have to do is this bit. And that is music to my ears. And like I said, in terms of growing, that's the way you are going to grow. You know, you can't do everything unless you are just going to increase your hourly rate that you charge people and you don't have any admin.

Then I. I really struggled to see how people can grow without getting some additional help, without getting some support. So if you are new to this getting help journey and you want some support in terms of how do you find people? What do you do? I am going to get Becci to tag my lovely friend Jen Lehnar and her course in it is an affiliate link.

But basically this is how I learned to bring on my team. Jen is amazing. I'm not an affiliate for many things or certainly courses I'm not, but Jen's is phenomenal and Jen is phenomenal. So I will tag that in. So if you are looking at getting a team member, or you have a team member and actually, you know, you got them by Fluke and you wanna know how to do it and I set things up properly, then Jen is wonderful.

Do go check her out. But like I said, you know, comes a point where you are gonna need to grow and expand and bring other people into your world and be more specific about who does what. So I really hope that helps. Let me know what you think. Like I said, if you have time to go do me a review, I would appreciate that greatly, and I will see you next week.