Are you an overworked “solopreneur” in need of some assistance? Do you wear so many hats at work that it’s making your neck hurt?
There are more than 30 million people in the United States who own their own businesses. Whether they’re working that business as a side gig or as a full-time job, solo entrepreneurs need to hire new employees in order to grow.
What are the essential roles in a company? In this article, we’ll take you through some of the most important positions in a small business.
We’ll also help you make the most important decision a solopreneur has to face — to outsource, or not to outsource?
Customer Service and Support
When it’s time to talk about essential business roles, the conversation has to start with customer service. Whether you’re offering online chat support or in-person product demonstrations, you have to deliver a positive customer experience.
Most customer support is delivered by email, live chat, or phone. You might need to hire more than one person, depending upon your hours of service.
Customer service is about more than just fixing problems. It’s about creating loyal customers who will spread the word about your product or service, giving you high-quality referrals for free.
If you’re not sure what type of customer service you need to provide, talk to some of your existing customers via a focus group or online survey.
If you’ve been doing all of your own customer service, you’re drawing your focus away from your role as innovator and idea person. You might be used to doing all of the work, but you don’t have to continue down that road.
No matter how many employees in a small business, there should be at least one full-time marketing person. You could outsource this role, but you want to have a quick response time to any online issues.
Ideally, your marketing person would be able to fulfill some website design and IT problem-solving roles. You need to hire someone who can update product descriptions, write them if necessary, and reach out to customers online.
Marketing is about much more than product management, however, and the two aren’t always combined.
Marketing can involve updating social media accounts, online reputation management, and email campaigns to existing customers. It can also involve account management, reaching out to new customers, and running ad campaigns online.
Another essential position for small biz staffing is sales evangelist. A sales evangelist is an experienced sales person who is passionate about your product. They help create buzz about new services and spread the word about your brand.
Hard-sell, high-pressure sales techniques are a thing of the past. The future of sales revolves around inspiration. You’re not selling a product so much as inviting new customers to participate in your brand.
Ideally, every member of your staff should be excited about your product. Marketing and customer service staff members will also be interacting with your clients.
Where dedicated salespeople can make a difference, however, is in opening large new markets. You might not have the time to travel and take meetings, so you’ll need to find a well-informed and enthusiastic sales professional.
One of the hardest-to-fill positions in a small company is human resources. There is no shortage of talent, but you have to find exactly the right person for the job.
Your human resources manager will be the first point of contact for new employees. They may be in charge of generating “help wanted” ads and they may take a leadership role when it comes to training.
As you look for a human resources professional, talk to them about their other skills. One of the best ways to approach small business hiring is to find employees who are already cross-trained.
Can your sales person do some IT? Can your HR pro put in a few hours as an accountant?
Again, you can outsource a large amount of your workload as a small business owner. If you’re tired of working alone, though, it might be time to hire in-person employees.
Before you hire a business manager, make sure that you have a lawyer on your team. It’s not going to be a full-time job, but it’s essential that you find a business lawyer you can trust.
The main reason to hire a lawyer is that they can take care of incorporating your business. They can also work with your accountant to make sure you’re compliant with labor and tax laws.
Lawyers can help you review leases for office space, obtain small business loans, and figure out your small business credit score. You can learn more here about setting up a small business with the help of a lawyer.
When you start hiring for a lawyer, ask your colleagues for their recommendations. Is there a local lawyer who specializes in your industry?
You can also ask your local chamber of commerce for referrals and recommendations regarding a business lawyer.
Filling New Roles in a Company: Is Outsourcing an Option?
Outsourcing can be a cost-effective option for small business owners. You can outsource your marketing or IT functions instead of hiring a full-time employee for each of those roles.
The good thing about outsourcing is that you have access to a team of professionals and you don’t have to invest in their training.
You can also hire professionals from larger cities and get the same world-class service they offer local clients.
Filling roles in a company is about doing what works for you. You might like working alone and choose to hire a remote team. You might hire part-timers who can juggle a few roles, or you might want to invest in a full-time staff member.
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Just remember — every successful business had to start small!