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Preparing to Outsource

It's important to understand when to add individuals to your business model. Adding a new team member should be an easy transition - that's where organization comes in. Clearly defined processes such as workflow, workspace, filing system, and other key functions in the business should be identified. Structure is one of the most overlooked aspects of business success ? especially time management and documentation structures.

As the business owner, you have to be disciplined in order to allocate and delegate work to someone else. If you're not disciplined, focused, and organized - how can you expect for your new team member to function efficiently?

Don't forget the most crucial ingredient; you must have something for them to do and it must not interfere with your workflow. If you don't know what tasks you want your new team member to handle, how is he or she going to know how to help you?

So how do you get prepared for adding new team members? Here are some quick tips to get you started:

Begin by planning time to work on your business each week. This time should be focused exclusively on your business without interruption from the phones, the Internet and e-mail, or appointments. You have to be disciplined in order to allocate and delegate work to someone else. This focused time will keep your business in line with your vision.

Identify what you need in the form of a bulleted task list detailed for each business function, i.e. marketing, accounting, administrative, operations, management, production, distribution, sales, web site maintenance, etc.

Define the skill sets and personality types that best fit your needs. Don't try to clone yourself; it doesn't work.

As part of the outlined tasks, have specific, measurable goals within each business function. Side Bar: I remember when I was interviewing for a corporate job years ago, I had to interview with six people in sequence. Each gave me a different description of the job. Although I figured that the manager had the correct job description, I realized that the company had some challenges and I decided not to work there. Detailing your goals for each business function will ensure you get the right people on your team.

Do your homework to determine what it will cost you to add new team members. You may only need a virtual assistant to get started - just do your research to make the best decision. Start by reviewing your budget for the year. You could hire someone to work just 30 hours a month at $12 per hour to provide support. Be creative with your budget and enlist the help of contractors or collaborating with other businesses as an alternative to hiring employees.

Be sure your communication tools (email, phone, mobile, palm) are in place before you incorporate new team members. You want your new team members to use your company's communication tools as they communicate on your behalf to ensure a consistent image.

Once you have team members in place:

Communicate ? Be sure your team members understand your expectations and understands the steps he or she needs to take to meet these expectations.

Be patient and expect to hit some bumps in the road. It takes time to figure out what works and what doesn't work. Flexibility is key during the learning process. I recommend being up front in the interview in order to set the expectations on the front end vs.. waiting until a mistake happens..

Appreciate ? As Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden write, "Contented Cows Give Better Milk." Your team members will be more motivated if you regularly demonstrate your appreciation of his or her hard work.

Good Luck!

Sherese Johnson, President & CEO of Effici?, Inc., is the creator of the proprietary 'Red Diamond Blueprint Model.' To learn more about this step-by-step program, and to sign up for Effici?'s FREE business articles and FREE audio class, visit http://www.Effici?.biz.

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