A few months ago, we polled our Mazuma clients about one of their biggest challenges as a small business owner. The results were overwhelmingly similar, with “growing my team” coming in at the top spot. We’ve compiled a few low-cost and low-risk suggestions to help you grow your team.
- Start an internship program. There’s nothing better than fresh minds and free labor, is there? It’s what makes interns a great way to grow your team. Contact universities and community colleges (they don’t even need to be local) about setting up an internship program. Most college students need an internship before they graduate, and taking advantage of this opportunity to bring on a potential new employee (but with no obligation) is a win for both parties. Pros are that you don’t have to pay them or hire them long-term, they may bring new ideas to your business and turn into an integral part of your team, and you have the opportunity to help them jump-start their career, even if it’s not with you. Cons are some legwork involved in starting up an internship program, your intern may not be a good fit for your team, and you might have to take extra time out of your day to teach them the ins and outs of daily work at your company.
- Hire your family members to work for you. Yes, even your kids. Whether you’re bringing them on as a full-time employee, or simply paying your kids to clean the office building, family members can be an effective way to grow your team. After all, you already know them, you trust them, and you can count on them. Keep in mind that hiring family members can sometimes cause contention and strained relationships though, so be sure to treat it like a business from the very beginning. We outlined some tips for hiring family members in this post from a while back.
- Outsource some of your work, rather than bringing on more employees. This sounds a little counter-intuitive in a post about growing your team, but hear me out. Outsourcing some of your work–tasks like graphic design, accounting, small business bookkeeping, copywriting, social media management, etc–can give you time to focus on building a solid team within the office. Freeing up your time allows you more time to train others, interview, and get the right fit. Also, when you outsource these tasks, it’s like a trial run for a potentially permanent job. You only have to pay them for the tasks they do, but if they knock your socks off with their work, you may consider bringing them on as a part-time, full-time, or remote employee. Sites like upwork.com, fiverr.com, and even your local classifieds are a great place to find talented freelancers who are ready to work.
- Take the time to hire the right fit, not the quick fit. Going along with number three, hiring the right fit is the best way to grow your team effectively. And, probably, the least expensive. Hiring new employees can cost quite a bit between background checks, drug tests, trainings, certifications, and more. You don’t want to do it more than you have to, so taking your time during the interview process can really help to make sure you get it right. You might consider hiring on a temporary or trial basis and then transitioning the right employee into full-time.
What are your favorite tips on growing your team effectively?
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Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.