Domaining MBA Monday: Build The Right Team

As your Domaining business grows to become more than just you, the fundamentals of a good team will begin to occupy your time more than what amazing name you found dropping at one in the morning. I think most Domaining businesses hit a point at around the $75,000 revenue mark where the owner/operator realizes they just can do it all themselves.

The first person a Domainer often hires is a jack of all trades, they look for someone that can do it all. It can be easy to default to this approach, since it’s been just you doing everything yourself this whole time, can’t you find someone else who can do the same?

While this might be your initial goal you will quickly find that there really is only one person like you that can do what you do for your business. What you need to find instead is someone that can take your most time-consuming task off your plate. For me back in 2008 I was building sites myself spending 10+ hours a week writing HTML code and putting up MiniSites. The first person I hired took this off my plate leaving me an extra 10 hours a week I didn’t have before.

Next I found that I was spending 10+ hours/week selling my domains, so I found someone to help with this. Once gain I got 10 hours back and with each person I added to the team, I found myself becoming more and more strategic. Here’s the thing though, people are people which means they might not all do the quality of work you’d be looking for, or play nice with others. Building the right team is much more important than just building a team.

To build the right team I’ve used the following approach:

  • Interview at least three different people for the job you are hiring for – too many people blindly pick the first candidate that applies.
  • Set a trial period – let new team-members know that you will be trying them out for a set time period to see how things go. This will leave you an easy way out if things don’t work out, and you’ll usually know very quickly if things are going to work out.
  • Pay by the project – to avoid disputes over timing, pay by the project to start, this will set your performance expectations and keep the money flowing in a way that is comfortable for both of you.
  • Never be afraid to let someone go if they’re doing a bad job – if someone is doing a bad job, let them go and don’t look back. Members of your team are either helping you or hurting you, there’s rarely anyone that falls in between.

So where can you find some of your first team members?

Friends are a great place to start, someone may know someone else who is looking for some part time work. This is nice because these people often come with references from people you trust so you rarely have to worry about getting scammed or taken advantage of. oDesk and eLance can be good solutions however make sure to interview at least three people as there are a variety of skill levels available from these services.

Don’t build your team too quickly, take your time to make sure that you’re building the right team. If you still don’t know if it’s time to add to your team just think about taking 20% of what you make and using it to buy back your time. Would that be worth it for you? Would that new time that you now have allow you to do things that would take your business to the next level?

Think about it, if your’re making $75,000/year then 20% would be $15,000 or a bit north of $1,000/month. Wouldn’t it be worth paying someone $1,000/month to take at least ten hours of work off your plate? Don’t you value your own time at more than $100/hour? If not then you should! The point here is simple, as your business scales you will continue to add people to your team, building the right team will in many ways determine the fate of your business so choose your team members wisely.

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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Perry July 2, 2012, 1:18 pm

    Hi Morgan,

    Having hired 3 people over the last 7 months, I feel as if this post just glosses over the important things.

    First, hiring is expensive. Between your time, training and someone’s salary… Then if someone leaves, the re-hiring, re-training etc. Paying someone $1,000/month isn’t enough of a salary to keep anyone stateside happy. Maybe someone in the Phillippines, but you need to have a fantastic system in place for a VA. It isn’t just set and forget.

    In the beginning, you’re going to be working much more after hiring someone, not less.

    The hiring process in and of itself can take 30-40 hours, so if you value your time at $100/hour, that’s 3-4k in hiring. Then training… you better expect to put in at least an extra 2 hours per day of training for a month, 5 days a week. That’s another 3-4k in hiring expenses.

    If you’re paying at 1k per month, that person needs to be around at least a year to make it worth your while… But you’re paying them pennies, so why would they stick around?

    Choosing your team members wisely is sound advice. But the nitty gritty was glossed over here and reality is far different.

    Reply

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