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How to grow your business

Want to expand your business? It’s not as complicated as you think says our columnist, bestselling author and businesswoman, Sháá Wasmund MBE

by Psychologies

First things first, taking your business to the next level does not mean you have to get an office or lots of staff. It means you need to mix things up and spread your wings a little. Even the biggest introvert will start to get tired of their own company at some point, but with so many options available for full-time or part-time co-working spaces, taking on the overheads of a ‘proper’ office should be last on your list.

0Instead, research your local area for co-working spaces and private members’ clubs. Make sure to check them out at different times, so you can get a feel for how busy they are and what types of businesses use them.

Get the hiring ball rolling

I’m often asked, ‘When should I hire my first person?’ So much of this depends on your own circumstances, but one thing I’ve found to be true is you should typically hire six months before you usually do. That means the moment you start thinking about it is probably when you should do it.

I would recommend not making any full-time placements unless you need to. Look at what you can outsource; in the UK or abroad. What skill set do you need? Make sure you are really clear before you even begin looking for someone. Start small. Hire them part-time; twice a week, and build from there.

Play to your strengths

Think you need a young millennial? Not necessarily. Often someone on a maternity break or at home with kids at school will have the hands-on experience you need at a price you can afford. And, remember, it’s not just about their skill set. They need to ‘fit’, too. Take a few personality tests like Myers Briggs and Strengths Finder to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, so that you can hire in people to fill the gaps. This lets you do the work you love, and playing your ‘A’ game will always deliver the best financial results.

To make hiring someone easier, create a ‘playbook’ instruction manual for every process in your business, so they can hit the ground running. One of the biggest reasons we put off hiring is we think it will take longer than doing it ourselves. Playbook it once and benefit forever. The best way to find the ideal person is to ask for recommendations; you want someone who’s going to have a good mindset, as well as the right skill set. And make sure you set realistic targets from the start.

With all the different apps out there, it’s easier to work with a remote team than ever before. I use Basecamp 3 to manage our projects, Zoom to handle our video team calls, Google Docs for all our documents, Evernote for note-taking and Dropbox for storage. Hiring in help is easier than you think.

Sháá Wasmund is author of Stop Talking, Start Doing (John Wiley & Sons, £9.99) and Do Less, Get More (Penguin, £12.99). Join Sháá’s Facebook group, The Freedom Collective, at shaa.com/freedomcollective

Photograph: Louise Haywood-Schiefer for Psychologies

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