What’s the first role you hire for?

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Making your very first hire is a huge decision, and it’s not one you should take lightly. This is not the time for a one-size-fits-all solution! Rather, it’s time to take a look at not only your business but your entire life and decide where the biggest difference can be made with a hire. In this episode, we’ll dive into how to do that, the tricks and gotchas that people get caught up on, and things to keep in mind along the way.

Here’s a glance at this episode…

  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:32 – What’s the first role you hire for?
  • 00:48 – The Right Answer
  • 00:58 – For Online Service Providers
  • 01:26 – My official recommendation!
  • 01:40 – The TRICK to doing time studies
  • 02:37 – A surprising place you might need to hire for
  • 03:15 – Quick review of how to do this
  • 03:55 – How to review your data and find the **real** answer
  • 04:40 – One little HUGE caveat!!
  • 06:02 – Conclusion


The transcript is below if you would prefer to read this yourself instead of watching the video!


Hey, I’m Sandra B, your Sidekick COO! I help Overworked, overwhelmed Nope!

Hey, I’m Sandra B, your…

Hey, I’m Sandra B, you’re…Why can’t I say that now?

Hey, I’m Sandra B, your Sidekick Coo. I help overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hated entrepreneurs like you become CEOs of your very own sustainably scalable and powerfully profitable business through proven business tips, practical processes, and a touch of tough love, heavy on the love.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe. Let’s go!

So, if you don’t have anyone on your team right now, what is the first role you should hire for? And should you be looking to hire multiple subcontractors or would you be looking to hire an employee?

Alright, so I’m gonna say that there is no right answer to this. There is just a right answer for you. It really depends on your business.

So I’m gonna talk about the businesses that I tend to work with, which are online service providers. They tend to need a VA first or tend to need some sort of assistant. Quite often they need somebody to come in and manage their schedule, do all their planning for them, send out contracts and track invoices and do all of that administrative-e kind of stuff. That’s quite typically where most online service providers start in regards to building a team. But that is not where all of them start.

What I would recommend as a business owner is to do a time study. So basically, you’re gonna track for two weeks from the moment that you wake up to the moment that you go to bed, you’re gonna track every 15 minutes what it is you’ve done. Now I’ve been helping business owners with this for a long, long, long, long time.

For over a decade I’ve been helping business owners figure out where their time is going and we’ve always done time studies, but when I was originally doing them, I used to only do them really for the time that people were in the office. Until I met Alex Charfen, and he recommended doing it from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed because as we all know, as entrepreneurs and as business owners, we are likely not holding two strict hours. We’re probably doing work from home. We’re probably doing work while we’re waiting for our kid who’s at karate.  We’re probably working on our phones.  We’re probably doing work in bed because we had a brilliant idea and we just have to write that blog post real quick.

Because of the fact that there is no set schedule, doing a time study from the moment you get up in the morning to the moment you go to bed is holistic of your life, and it’s gonna give you a better view as to what’s actually going on and the benefit is that you might find that maybe the first place that you need to hire help isn’t in your business. I have spoken with people who, after going through their time study and really looking at where they’re spending their time, it turned out that getting some help in their life, in their personal life with cooking or cleaning or grocery shopping or meal planning or anything like that, that was really where they would’ve had the biggest bang for their buck. So we recommended that.

Now that’s not super common that that happens, but it does happen.

So very much worth looking at your time from the whole day, your whole waking life. So every 15 minutes you’re gonna write down what it is that you’ve just done. You’re not gonna go into huge detail, but in detail enough that you understand if you are working on social media, you wanna know were you creating graphics or were you creating content like writing or a mixture of the two, or were you planning, doing the strategy bit or were you just loading stuff. Or were you scrolling the endless scroll and not actually doing any work? Or were you actually going out and engaging with people?

So all of those things are kind of different. Even though most of them would be just clumped under one social media person. Sometimes you might get people for different roles. So it’s always good to kind of know where the time is going. Then at the end of those two weeks, you’re just gonna kind of group things together and you’ll be able to see from there. All of the tasks you’ll be able to see. Okay, so I put a lot of time towards admin, or I put a lot of time towards what I would consider content development, or I put a lot of time in sales or whatever it is. So you’ll be able to really see from there where the biggest impact would be to get help.

Again, if you’re an online service provider, likely that is going to be that first administrative assistant person, but possibly not. It really depends on how much admin you have in your business.

So, in regards to what is the first role you should hire for?  I don’t know, you need to look at where your time is going and you need to decide from there. One caveat to the time study approach is that it’s only gonna look at the time you’re actually currently spending in your business. So before you make a decision based solely on that time study, I want you to also think about the work that is not being done.

What are all the things that are on that back burner that could be getting done if you had help? Just factor that in a little bit, especially if there’s any money-making opportunities or revenue-driving opportunities in that area. See if there’s any work that would be involved in that, that would also affect who you might hire. So if you’re very close, admin versus social media, which it would be weird that you would, but if that was the case but you can see that if you had an administrative assistant, you could also be able to do X, Y, and Z, then that should tip the scales in favor of an assistant.

Obviously your time study, that’s what you’re doing right now. That is your revenue-generating activities right now. That is your administrative activities right now. All of the stuff that you’re doing right now and that is all-important obviously, and that is the bulk of what you’re gonna be looking at. But just keep in mind, there’s probably a lot of work that isn’t being done that should be being done or could be being done if you had extra help. So just take it into a little bit of consideration when you’re actually picking your person.

So you tell me who your first role should be. I’m really eager to hear. While you’re at it, make sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss the next session. And why not share this video with another entrepreneur friend that needs to hear about it? If you’re having any struggles in your business, please comment below and tell me all about it.

Never forget, Together we thrive!

Take care.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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