Are you one of the more than 500,000 small businesses begun since January this year? Whether you are an experienced entrepreneur or a newbie, you may already realize you can’t be a one-person band and still play as if you are an orchestra.
But where can you get the needed part-time assistance, especially without unlimited funds? That assistance might arrive as an intern, a friend or family member with specific skills, or even by hiring a virtual assistant for tasks that consume time you might spend elsewhere that better befits your expertise.
The November 16 Meeting Professionals International Independent & Small Business Owners (MPI ISBO) CommuniTEA zoom session on Building Your Team brought together both experienced small business owners and those either just finalizing plans or launching a new business.
According to a June 29, 2021 blog post by Brett Grossfeld for SalesForce, more than 4.4 million new businesses were created in the U.S. during 2020. Not only was it the highest total on record but it was 51.0% higher than the 2010-19 average. More than half a million new businesses began in January alone.
Once you’re in business, the next obstacle is to remain viable, which may begin with the recognition that one person can’t do it all. How to get needed help was first and foremost on everyone’s minds participating in this month’s MPI ISBO CommuniTEA.
The socially engaging casual chat typically begins with brief introductions of each person before splitting into limited-size breakout rooms, allowing for more intimate conversation on the month’s topic before reconvening to discuss what was learned. The beauty of each monthly MPI ISBO CommuniTEA topic is no one person has all the answers, but with so many types of businesses represented from participants representing many different countries, someone else may have the solution to your question.
One question raised concerned hiring independent contractors in California, which has strict and somewhat confusing regulations. A California-based questioner hires salespeople across the globe to represent her company, which oversees sales for small business clients.
Another California-based businessowner recommends two alternatives to directly hiring independent contractors.
One: work through a platform like www.UpWork.com. “You pay the fee to UpWork, but then you are eliminating the boss status as the platform does the actual hiring.” She did also advise hiring a Human Resources contracts manager or a lawyer to verify legal requirements are met.
Two: Use www.Internships.com. The marketing business owner, who just launched www.marketingcareermentor.com described Internships.com as invaluable. You receive the labor, but she suggested you should have a structured program in place to warrant the student getting credit for the internship.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant was another optioned mentioned.
Ciara Feely, Chair of the Community Engagement ISBO subcommittee, has hired a V.A based in the Philippines but who speaks perfect English. The V.A from www.smartvirtualstaff.com bills her monthly, about $25 an hour. There are many companies who offer virtual assistants with specific skills you may need. For Ciara, it helped her get her processes and systems in place and frees up time to do the work at which she does best.
A British Columbia, Canada participant, looking for info on the “board you can’t afford” is interviewing multiple companies in her search for a V.A. One is https://www.theripplevas.com. She mentioned www.stealthagents.com as another company recommended for her to vet.
Holiday surprises and a socially engaging fun chat to welcome the holidays is on tap for the next MPI ISBO CommuniTEA on Thursday, December 16. Check for your local time.
Here’s the link to register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIofumprjMoEtwtubOw13qq87ZdYj_kmAgf.
Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is an active member of International Live Events Association and Meeting Professionals International and is now serving on the 2021-2022 MPI Global Advisory Board for Independent and Small Business Owners. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. Karen@KarenKuzsel.com; www.KarenKuzsel.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.