This isn’t James Schramko’s first visit to the WP Elevation podcast (he was one of the first to sit in the hot seat back in Episode 13). In this episode, however, James reflects on how he’s succeeded with hiring and team management. Clocking in at just under an hour, this episode is chock-full of game-changing tips.
James Schramko is a man of many talents: podcaster, video maker and online coach. Business owners can work with him through SuperFastBusiness while influencers get high-performance coaching through Silver Circle.
In the past, he owned an SEO business and a web development business (now sold). Before that, he was the General Manager of a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
While he’s certainly learned a ton from these experiences, it’s the work he does now that he truly enjoys and that allows him to the live the kind of life he wants without compromise.
It’s not that James didn’t see the value in building a team; he’d managed dozens of employees in the past. He just thought it would be an unnecessary hassle for his online business.
He eventually changed his tune when he realised there were some things he wasn’t great at and would benefit from offloading those tasks to others.
“I just kept whittling away at my list of things to do, so that I was left with the things that only I could do or the things I wanted to do.”
That’s time management at its finest.
Unless you’re content with the solopreneur lifestyle, you’ll want to pay close attention to the following tips:
Whether it’s your job to coach clients, provide website audits or build software solutions, the last thing you want is to take time away from those money-making opportunities to review what your team is doing. According to James, though, you should.
In some cases, you can leave your team members to do the job they were hired to do. In other cases, you may want a say in what they’re doing. This would be for something like content marketing where their “voice” is actually yours.
James suggests taking the time to check in if it’s really important that you review what’s to be done. And that’s the key. Don’t wait until after someone’s hit the “Send” or “Publish” button to come back to them with an emotional response. All you need is a minute or two to quickly scan the details and give feedback.
Want there to be less of a need for you to get involved or provide feedback in the first place? Develop a gold standard that your team members can hold themselves to.
“The reason why students don’t get an ‘A’ in school is because the teacher didn’t show them what an ‘A’ essay looks like.”
As James says, if your team isn’t able to meet your standards, the fault is your own. Either because:
To that last point, James attributes much of his success with team management to his hiring process.
He looks for a number of qualities when he hires someone new:
In other words, he brings the kinds of people into his company that he knows will succeed.
In addition, he’s only hired people from referrals, which, as you can imagine, cuts down on a lot of the mystery of hiring.
Of all the tools James could use to run SuperFastBusiness, manage his team and coordinate events, he’s chosen Google and checklists to handle it all.
Part of the reason why goes back to hiring good people and managing them the right way. He treats his team members as humans that make a valuable contribution to his business, instead of as mechanical VAs tasked with covering mundane tasks. As a result, he doesn’t need a task management system or screen-tracking tool to keep tabs on them.
He’s the same way with partners, too, entrusting them to use the tools and processes that work best for them so long as they continue to get the job done.
“I tend to find really good suppliers I can lean on and work with over and over again.”
In doing so, this keeps his responsibilities light, maybe only having to spend five to ten minutes at a time checking in on the progress of things.
If you’ve struggled with building a team around yourself to support your business and drive the quality of outcomes your clients deserve, this is a podcast you need to hear. With a solid background in management and entrepreneurship, James Schramko has leveraged those skills to build not just a business but a team that’s worthy of admiration.
Lastly, if you want to learn more about how to get more clients (and the right ones at that!) to grow your business don’t miss our free webinar. Get instant access here.
Start winning better projects with bigger budgets now.