Category Archives: Delegating

Hiring Questions?

WOW!  I am listening to you and you are stressed and frustrated with trying to hire the right people to build your company.  My clients over the last couple of months have  specifically been tackling the hiring challenge that is a requirement of growth.

“Talmar! I keep hearing that I have to get help.  That I “can’t do it alone”.  And I agree. It is time to get help but…..”

Oh, the “but”s are many. And the crazy stories you share are GREAT because I completely understand.  I have been there.

In an effort to make sure I am getting the answers that would help you, please go to this VERY short survey and let me know what YOU want to know about hiring!

It is HERE.

There is even a place for you to share YOUR hiring horror story if you are so inclined!

Thanks,

Talmar
www.TalmarItUp.com

 

 

Monday got you down? Let loose your inner Control Freak!

Monday got you down? Let loose your inner Control Freak!
By Talmar Anderson

Are you a business owner with the Monday blues?  Mr. Founder “SLASH” CEO, do you hit snooze over and over again every morning? Ms. Entrepreneur, do you flinch every time the phone rings for fear it is a complaining client?….Ummm, how do I say this nicely? It’s your own damn fault!  You started this business to build a company delivering goods or services that you believe in and feel sure you can deliver the best possible way.  You wanted to be your own boss and set your own schedule.  So why have you built this role within your own business that stresses you out, makes you want to swear (I hear some people do this under stress not just as a regular part of conversation) or hide under the covers?

Think about it. You have complete control.  You CAN do this. If you have not realized that being a business owner is the ultimate in control freak heaven, then I would ask you to revisit WHY you started your business in the first place.  I mean, surely there is someone out there offering services, if not the same then very similar to your company.  You could just go get a job with them.  I am sure they would love inspired ideas to help their companies grow.  What’s that? Oooohhhh, they don’t understand the RIGHT way to do it?  You don’t want to bend to someone else’s schedule?  Or wait…maybe it is that you wanted to be able to decide who you want to work with (and who you DON’T!). We are back to what you want.  What do you want your business day to look like?

If you are too busy reacting to your company’s needs instead of proactively scheduling time on your calendar, you ARE more likely to be frustrated, overwhelmed and run the risk of losing the passion behind your decision to go out on your own. Though this certainly occurs from time to time, it should not become “full time”. Only you can determine what your business needs.  These items still need to be performed but as the CEO you have the control to decide how to allocate resources – including staff time and budget– to have someone else handle those bits.

The truth is that there is someone out there that LOVES to do what you do not love. In fact…the very thing that makes you want to curl up and cry likely gives someone else a sense of accomplishment. And thank GOODNESS! So to love your Monday morning alarm clock again, try this.

  • Take a moment and write down a list of all the pieces you handle for your company that you would love to never (or mostly never) do again.
  • Look at the cost associated with hiring or outsourcing that piece.
  • Measure against the benefit of your freed hours and completely engaged passion
  • Delegate

Now if the Monday blues are about leaving your fabulous family, friends and weekend fun then you can do the following.

  • Take a moment and write down a list of all the pieces you handle for your company that you love and feed the joy of owning this business.
  • Look at your calendar and allocate Monday morning for performing these specific tasks
  • Delegate any items that you were regularly handling in those scheduled times

No one but you can effect change on how your business is run or how you prioritize your own day.  This is the “control” part.

One last piece that is a part of Talmar’s Truths, if making decisions and strategic planning are on your delegate list – you have two choices to start loving Mondays again.  Close your business to start looking for a job in someone else’s company or decide to call me. You know strategic plans are what Talmar It Up is all about!

No. They will NOT do it exactly like you will…but they may do it better!

No.  They will not do it exactly like you will…but they may do it better!
By Talmar Anderson

Deciding to hire and grow is a new and cumbersome chapter for any business owner.   There is a lot of hard work that goes in to creating the documentation and processes to support someone else doing ANYTHING you used to do yourself. Creating a hiring, interviewing and on-boarding process is not for the faint of heart.  Today I want to make one simple point that some of you may not really believe.  You KNOW that I love processes and systems.  However, the real key to great team work is letting them bring something to the table…Maybe just a little salt to cut your already sweet workflow.

Once an employee is trained, given the correct tools and understands the culture and clients you have driven for so long, there is a secret to making it work. Assign new projects by results wanted and a deadline. That is right. You NO LONGER get to tell them how high to cross the “t”.

This is a major part of that turning point for real growth.  If you are planning on / dreaming of/ envisioning more profits, more clients more products and services, then more of your time is needed.  The only way to give you more time is to take something that is currently filling up your schedule and give it to someone else.

If anyone else can be doing it, then you should not.  The business owner ideally should be doing only what no one else can do. And trust me; someone else can do truly most, if not all, of it. We are all replaceable, right?

Someone else CAN actually do what you do…they just might do it differently.  And this is the problem that gets us stuck in that micro-manager role. Differently may be of severe consequence (calling a client unreasonable) but if your hiring process vetted the employees experience and your – has included training this is HIGHLY unlikely to occur. Some would say, unreasonable, to expect.

Let’s consider what could be exciting about this delegation concept.  Likely, your strong hire will do it differently than you would and it will be….better! If you can allow your mind to consider that your way is NOT the only way.  And that someone may have a better way! Now your company can grow and at a much quicker pace.

If you are fortunate enough to have a “get it done” kind of employee, I encourage you to give them as little detail on new projects as possible. Give them enough direction to ensure your company’s quality or uniqueness but just tell them what result is ideal and when you want it in your hand.  If you can care less about how they get projects and task done you will be free to hand it off and really turn your attention to other items.  Isn’t that the point here?

Do ensure that you give employees opportunities for clarification or modification. However, build a culture of expectation that the employee should make decisions and create results through their own devices.  This ownership will create a loyalty and a confidence that will allow them to succeed at these projects as well as those in the future.

Consider these 2 truths to successful business

  • You cannot succeed trying to do it all yourself.  
  • Your way is NOT the only way.

The faster you embrace these ideas and put actions into play that support these truths the faster you will get to consider which project YOU want to put into your own calendar.

Is ANYTHING getting done? Ideas and Your Implementation Method

By Talmar Anderson
Originally published Apr. 3, 2014

Are you so busy planning that action gets away from you?  There are three ways that people approach new ideas and the implementation.  The first are those that get an idea and step directly into it.  They will start painting the walls and handing out flyers about their new as- yet-undeveloped product.  They get so wound up at the idea that they have to get out there and start “doing”.  This is the predominant amount of people. Rather than think through the whole process and make a plan for how it will be handled they set themselves up for days reacting to the items that come across their desk to deliver on the intent of the idea.  This is where I usually start talking about process and planning in an effort to get ahead of the stress and allow for growth and success. However, today we are really talking about the opposite approach. The planning that goes on.  And on.  And on…until there is another idea upon which to focus. How much of your day are you planning and how much are you really creating???

You KNEW it was going to be about measuring and reviewing, right? Are you even considering this metric? This is a real personal productivity assessment.  You need to understand your role in the company and how much of your role is about planning.  Is it 20%? Is it 1 day a week?  2 days a month? Is research and development of the strategic planning really your core responsibility, then great!  Your company’s operations are able to be managed and produced by your staff.  Even if it is their jobs to implement your plans, then you will still HAVE TO LET GO at some point.  We must start taking action to allow for the exciting opportunity to come to fruition.

Certainly there is benefit to planning.  There is benefit to action.  Too much of either can severely impeded your growth. It is very easy to get sucked into the busy work that can distract from actually delivering.  This planning and researching allows us an excuse to avoid the work.  We can reward ourselves as “progressing” with each new fact we uncover or possible market segment we define. We tell everyone how the project is taking lots of time but the figures are projecting a SUPER load of cash once it is rolled out. Then when we get to the end of the week, or the month, or the quarter we wonder why we didn’t reach our goals.

Setting aside pre-determined planning time will ensure that you are still creating in your business.  If you preset the days and hours you will work on strategic planning you can be assured to notice when the actual deliverables of your company start to suffer.  Are you filling in your extra time with going to check out another possible venue for your next launch party?  Are able to spend 4 hours instead of the 2 hours calendared for researching competitors for your new product? PANIC!  Seriously, you originally expected to have the “extra” times filled with other functions for your business.   What is being neglected by you allowing yourself to keep going down the “planning” path?  Within this planning path there certainly is no risk of failure but neither is their risk of success.

For each new idea or product make the initial effort of giving it your scheduled time.  Progressing and growing new ideas is a major function in any business.  Don’t pretend it can magically be fit in around all of the other responsibilities currently filling your days. Now also plan for a roll out date and minimum required developed process to allow you to ACT! You can start earlier if your minimums are met and you have the momentum.  You can take the time to research more as your roll out date is still 3 weeks.  It depends upon on your comfort and your implementation method.  Setting this all in your calendar lets you notice when items are off course. Ideally this happens before your profits are affected.

You can act without planning. You can plan without acting.  But to grow your business you must make a plan AND take action. Then repeat. Then repeat again. And again….

Who’s driving this thing????

By Talmar Anderson

Originally published Feb. 28, 2013

There needs to be a driver for this journey you are on building your business.  Believe it or not, it does not necessarily need to be you.  Some owners are more like the fuel…they come up with exciting options and opportunities to grow the business and get the engine revving.  Some owners are like the map, forward looking and pointing to all the places they can see the company reaching.  Some owners are like the gunk in your oil, slowing down progress by focusing on the minutiae.

A driver will focus people in a meeting to the agenda but also track new ideas for future follow up.  A driver will detail how exactly a company will deliver the new product by drafting procedures and assigning responsibility to action items.  A driver will continue searching for new tools and possible contacts to further the company’s agenda when stuck.

If you are an owner that is not a driver, recognize it and start looking for the driver for you.  If you are smaller and not ready for an operations type ( COO, Director or Office Manager) consider working with consultants.  Maybe it is topic specific (I stall on my marketing efforts without my marketing team driving me to keep it up!). Maybe you need a staff person that will keep you focused.  Maybe they need to sort out the details.  But the key to a good driver is not just paying attention to all the details but keeping the foot to the gas.

We must keep progressing to grow and succeed.

Hiring part timers and interns to make it easier on yourself? Not your best decision.

By Talmar Anderson
Originally published Jan. 23, 2014

The “people” part of a business often times is the most challenging.  It is a delicate balance of aligning the business motivations with each individual employee’s motivations.  No easy or obvious task.  I hear it all the time. I am looking for information on hiring.  I need help managing my staff.  Where can I get guidance on how to motivate my employees?  To avoid all the work involved and put this part of running a business off, some business owners will hire just “interns” or part time employees.  The common thought being that this will be easier and less work because they are not “real” employees or are not part of the permanent organizational design. And THAT is when you are creating more work for yourself.

Deciding you need someone to come in and “help” is a pivotal point in any business.  It is great to be letting go of EVERY detail.  It confirms that your business will be growing larger than the “solopreneuer” concept.  Do you start by delegating what you don’t like?  Do you begin with the tasks that are the most time consuming? More than likely, you think you just need someone to come in a few hours a week and just jump in.  You can imagine the relief now….digging out from under the stacks of papers…..time to actually sit still and eat lunch…time to get out and meet new clients…or time under a palm tree. But, ugggh, bringing on an employee is s lot of work.  I barely have enough time on my calendar now!  Isn’t that the issue?

If you are like most business owners, you are thinking an intern is easier…right?  They save you money AND they will just be grateful to get experience, like grabbing my coffee and color coding my file folders.  Welllll….. not exactly. Hiring interns needs to really be about furthering the education and experience of the student FIRST and helping your business second.  But that is not the point.

Maybe you will hire a part time employee because you don’t need tons of help yet.  You’ll make sure to hire a “self-starter” so they can walk in and create results that benefit you! They won’t constantly stop you for questions or direction.  Certainly they will always show up on time and when it is most helpful to you. At the very least, they will give you a good 30-40 minutes of unsupervised work each day for the first few weeks. (YOU are correct to read this entire paragraph with a tone of sarcasm). But, that is still not the point.

Intern, part time or full time…the hiring and on boarding process must be the same if you intend to actually benefit. Development of processes for job descriptions, interviewing, checking references, training, scheduling, managing, being available for questions and regular one on one meetings will all be part of bringing ANY person into your organization successfully. This certainly does not lighten your load for quite some time down that calendar.  So if the POINT is to alleviate your to-do list, then this is not necessarily the answer.  I highly recommend that out sourcing is the first step for the solopreneuer’s first foray into delegating.  An expert in any area you are trying to take off your desk will actually come ready to tackle the problems, trained and eager to please.  It is their business reputation at stake!

When outsourcing, you still want to base your decision on what to outsource based on your stress level or time consumption. But an expert will know what questions to ask you to specifically effect change in your time and management right away.  They will have processes and decision points already developed to motivate movement where you may be getting stuck.

If the point is to get YOU help and create time on your schedule for other tasks and planning, outsourcing over hiring an intern or part time employee may be the answer.  HOWEVER, if growth is the point, then we need to make time on your schedule to develop all the processes listed above. Or you can pick up my book, Rev Up Your Growth, about the decision to grow, the processes and organization that can build your foundation for success. The book is not available until end of July 2014 but you can reach out if you need me sooner!

If you are a business owner then…You ARE an HR manager too!

By Talmar Anderson
Originally published Sept. 5, 2013

With growth and success, hiring and employee management is one of the long processes that can get an owner stuck. This can show under many guises.  Taking a lot of time that may be replicated over and over with growing frustrations as the “right” person does not seem to work out.  Trying to understand how an employee got to the point of saying no on your behalf to a client’s request for more work.  Then there is the really scary one, an employee that misuses monies from the business.  YIKES!  It absolutely can happen to us.

You want to trust and lean on others because you would not consider doing less for another.  I understand, but we need to talk. Your business will be better served if you acknowledge that not everyone has YOUR company’s best interests top of mind.  With some oversight, we can mitigate risk.  I know it may be your least favorite part but managing your employees and vendors is on YOU, the business owner.

You can put in place a team that will help take a lot of the management off of your to do list but YOU will still need to meet with the managers consistently. You will need to ensure everyone is proceeding, not just in line with the company’s vision, but in line with YOUR best interests. It must be an on-going conversation.

Once hired, there is training but you truly cannot just “let them go”.  I tell clients that a new hire taking over tasks that were previously accomplished by them can only reasonably be expected to alleviate 60 – 80% of the time from that reassignment in the employee’s first year.  Someone’s motivations are never fully transparent. However,  employees that regularly report WITH an opportunity to ask questions for clarification or direction will constantly be reminded it is not about what is easiest or better for them but what is better for the company (company = you).

Does it have to be you?  If you really can’t stand the idea of consistently checking in with each employee or worrying about the details, then you need a team to lean on.  You can bring on a partner who handles the administration and operations.  You might be giving up a piece of the pie but the work definitely will land squarely in their lap and you will KNOW their best interests align with yours. You can hire a consultant as a part time COO (operations) (full disclosure: this is the largest growing segment of Talmar It Up).  Consultants can come in to set up or clean up procedures, help you hire and train and then handle the regular oversight once it is running (monthly or quarterly).

These two options are great for the business owners with highly specialized expertise or a high demand for being involved in the deliverable.   The continued need for a contact that can focus workflow and ensure that the business’s operational issues are being “handled” can drain these individuals.  Focusing these needs on someone else can save time, energy and really relieve some stress.  However, partner or vendor, the business owner still needs to meet with each annually, at minimum, for a clear discussion that includes expectations, successes, challenges AND finances.

If you are a “do it yourself”er be sure to schedule and KEEP management appointments with each of your hires.  It will mean less time with the deliverables side of your business, but hopefully you are hiring for that too! These meetings should be to ensure that the quality that is important to your brand and clients is being honored and delivered upon. By the way, you will also find a direct correlation to your profitability. Certainly you are building a team that you trust and lean on in the good and the bad.  Please just remember, at the end of the day their incentive is to build a life for themselves that meets their needs first, your company’s needs second.  Always.