Although I try to make all my podcast or blog post content useful for everybody, often I only know my content concerns topics which have been helpful to me. Such is the case today. I’m going to share my four-step process to hire and manage an assistant. This has been extremely useful to me personally; I hope it will work for you, as well.
Could you accomplish more of the highly profitable aspects of your job if you had an assistant? Ask yourself these questions and do the math to determine whether hiring an assistant would be a worthwhile investment for you.
- Is there something in which you greatly excel?
- How many hours, for instance, did you prospect last month in the field?
- How much up-front commission did you make?
- Divide those two figures to calculate your hourly earning rate.
Perhaps you made $53.00 an hour. And suppose you hire an assistant for $10.00 per hour. For every hour your assistant works, you’ll be making $43.00 because you’ll be performing more profitable tasks during that time. That’s an arbitrage (risk-free money) on time! My first two steps are requirements for you before you can hire an assistant.
- You must understand and communicate your weaknesses. Make no mistake; the reason you hire an assistant is because you are bad at something which needs to be done. If you think you are good at everything, don’t hire an assistant! Consider this question, “What are your top three weaknesses?” The answer to that question should immediately come to your mind. You should discover those weaknesses; they are probably costing you a fortune if you are ignoring them. And even though there may be little you can do to fix your weaknesses, you could hire somebody else who is good in that area.
- You must be a tireless and diligent worker. For someone who is more focused on recreation than work, hiring an assistant is just an additional expense. Why hire an assistant to take an hour of work away from you if you aren’t going to redeploy that hour into something more profitable? Perhaps you DO truly need to cut your hours of work from seven days to five; hire an assistant for that purpose. However, hiring an assistant to help increase income will only be profitable if you are a hard worker who will redeploy the time.
Those are two requirements for you before hiring an assistant. The next two steps in the process are for the assistant.
- Hire someone you already trust or have a process in place to build trust. Trust is vital in order for an assistant to be affective. I have two assistants who have access to much of my personal information such as email, phone, bank accounts, and checks. To say that I need to trust them is obviously an understatement! Fortunately for me, these two ladies are members of my family. Thus, there is already a foundation of trust. My sister-in-law, Angela, who has been my assistant for several years, desired some part-time work she could do at home. I already knew she was a hard worker and very trustworthy. To find an assistant within your circle of trust is a great asset. Consider those within your circle. If you must hire outside that circle of trust, give careful thought to building trust. Building trust is simplified by being transparent. Don’t have things you need to hide. Almost everyone in my business has full access to my email inbox; that doesn’t make me nervous at all!
- Delegate processes, not messes. To delegate a mess to an assistant and work WITH him/her to create a process is possible but not preferable. To have a process in place before you delegate is best. If you want to hire an assistant, you must take time to put jobs into a process. Use some of that Camtasia Studio, make a screen shot recording, or type out a procedure list. Creating the process takes extra time but will shorten the training time for your assistant. Delegation is extremely important for any leader who is trying to build a business. There is a limit to how many hours I can work; delegation is necessary to scale my business. Recently I had lunch with one of my employees, Josh Daku, to discuss this vital topic as he takes on new responsibilities and delegates his work.
Those are my four-step requirements. Two other small tips may help, also.
- Realize there will be at least four to eight weeks after hiring an assistant before your productivity will begin to increase. You must train, and train, and train. Spend time with the new-hire. Let him/her watch you go through your email in-box, your voice mails, or whatever you use for the bulk of your work. Let the assistant understand what you are all about, what you are doing, so he/she can help you to be more affective.
- Recognize the difference between “before” accountability and “after” accountability. When you first hire someone, you should ask to see the email “before” it’s sent; look at the proposal “before” it’s sent; etc. As the new-hire gains your trust, you begin “after” accountability. Occasionally remind workers, “Hey, just so you know, you are going to have the fourth email. I’ll log in there and spot check emails. When you send the email with the proposal to the client, cc me. That way I can look when I want to.” This kind of “after” accountability never goes away. Always keep an eye on what is happening in your business.
I hope this is useful for you. Shoot me an email if it was: email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you.
My name is James Shepherd. Thanks for reading! Have a great day!
Read previous post: 3 Things Sales Reps MUST Focus on to Succeed
3 Things Sales Reps MUST Focus on to Succeed
Read next post: How Much to Pay Yourself as an Independent Sales Rep
How Much to Pay Yourself as an Independent Sales Rep