Train and Manage Your Team with Systems

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There are a myriad of challenges when it comes to hiring and training a team to support your business. Eavesdrop on just a few of the conversations I’ve had with busy entrepreneurs about their challenges:

I have some people helping me and now realize that one can’t keep up/doesn’t know enough and the other is across the world and is too far away to do spur of the moment stuff.

If there is a miscommunication, or in my case my VA failed to listen, communicate and made too many assumptions, as a result she spent hours working on a project that i couldn’t even use in the least. The end result was, she sent me a beautiful, well designed document…however, it could not be edited. And time again throughout this process, I repeatedly asked her if it was a template that I could edit for each client’s needs and goals.

When I had a VA set up my 1shoppingcart, she claimed it was her specialty and that she was an expert at 1shoppingcart. However, the job was finished about 3 weeks later. Right after the job was finished, I received a call from 1shoppingcart stating that I needed to have a return policy on the shopping cart. I called my VA letting her know she missed adding the returned policy, to which she responded I had to pay her an additional $55. I was floored because she was “the expert” and charged the according rate. How could she have missed that?

And on the flip side I hear complaints from the support professionals that usually center around lack of clarity, working with entrepreneurs who give unclear instructions or are ambiguous about deadlines and expectations.

The final piece of the system, after writing a clear job description and testing contractors before hiring, is to train and monitor the work of your team to ensure you’re getting the support you need. Without a process to monitor and evaluate your team you’ll still be wasting time, money and energy.

You’ll need to accept that even the greatest support team can’t read your mind and without oversight and clear instructions you might experience the problems entrepreneurs shared at the top of this article. To get the team that does tasks the way you would do them so you don’t have to is an investment of time.

If you’re serious about building your business with team support you need systems to train team members on the specific tasks to be completed, enable open communication and monitor progress long term.

My own system uses a combination of two project management tools: Backpack and Asana

Backpack is where I take the job description that I’ve created and write out details on the task along with pictures, video tutorials for longer tasks, resources and deadlines. Because Backpack enables you to create thousands of pages, each task or resource can be housed on its own page and you can give access on a page by page basis.

In Asana I track the tasks given to each VA along with the deadlines – it’s a back and forth system that enables the VA to ask questions and report when the task is done.

Of course, you can write down a bunch of information and never reference it again so you’ve got to stay dedicated to communicating with your team about the results you need and following up to ensure tasks get completed. It takes commitment and discipline to both set up the system and continue to work with your team but the benefits far outweigh the hassle.

With a trained team in place and partisan record of your requests you’ll be able to:

  • track tasks, time spent and cost of outsourcing
  • leverage your time so you can work with more clients
  • replace team members who are not working out and train new people faster
  • maintain a high quality of service
  • evaluate the results against your instructions and make focused improvements
  • reach more leads as you get your message out in a big way
  • be able to take time off without your business halting

Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not out of your reach and if you haven’t begun here’s the start of the series on hiring and training support for your business.

Part 1 here : Hiring Support in Your Business with the Right Job Description

Part 2 here : Testing the VA before paying a dime

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  1. [...] favorite is Asana and it enables work spaces for your team and clients as well as recurring tasks which are so [...]