A Quick Guide to Building a Million Dollar Company with a Lean Team, No Bloat or Overspending
A while back, my business expenses surpassed 6-figures a month.
Now, I've always loved spending money on a team.
But this felt like overspending.
Especially because I still wasn't getting my needs met.
I'm super excited to share with you what I did to lean out my team, bring team expenses down SIGNIFICANTLY, and massively increase my profit margins:
(As well as showing you my decision-making matrix for what's/who's essential on my team to keep it lean… and what isn't.)
Lean Team Hiring Strategy #1. Don't try to be someone you're not
One of the big mistakes I made is trying to change who I was as a business leader. Mentors were telling me that hiring more (and more and more) was the way to 8-figures/year.
And so I hired and hired some more.
But my hires were built on quicksand because I wasn't able to actually voice what I needed.
I'm the girl whose father would stop her midstory, ** both hands raised **, saying:
“Merel, stop: who, what, where, and when”.
My brilliant brain struggles to give context people need to support me.
And no, I can't train myself to do it (I tried).
This means that I'm looking for a very specific person, who can do the prompting of details (just like my dad), and capture all the important bits and pieces I'm taking for granted.
You are unique as a leader too.
Because you're uniquely you.
Hiring the right people for you takes deep self-knowing.
And self permission
That might take some time, and some wrong hires and therefore… fires.
If you've ever felt shamed for high-turnover?
Please know that you're not alone, and we're all learning.
Hiring Strategy #2. Track your >> real << needs before you hire so you can keep a lean team
Another mistake I made is hiring based on a job description someone else created, based on what they thought I needed.
Don't do this.
When your business is $5,000,000 or less a year, you're most likely the most suited person to identify what's needed, in your business, based on your genius AND blindspots!
My favorite thing is to keep an ongoing list of things that break down, or I don't have time to do.
I don't start hiring until I have a detailed list of what I need in that area.
And I know **EXACTLY** what I'm looking for.
I need a social media strategist.
This is what I need support in…
- Daily content sweep (repurposing)
- Create beautiful graphics and slides in canva
- Request content from Merel + post on social media (including LinkedIN)
- LinkedIN, IG and FB group growth tasks (develop, implement)
- Daily launch-related posting
- Sending out of emails (newsletter, launch emails)
- Post/Market Podcast/Summit/Media related (as needed)
- Marketing meeting 1x/mo
- Pre Schedule weekend content
- Update CTA's in bio/linktree etc.
- Add offer to “highlights” on IG
- Add marketing material for launches to Google sheet (Programs)
- SEO tasks
Admittedly, even this could be way more detailed, but it's a good start!
Hiring Strategy #3. Create clusters of tasks (instead of “team roles”).
Roles trip me up big time.
And it'll also trip up your employees and/or contractors.
They come in handy once you're at the drawing up of a job description, but…
As an industry I think we're WAY too quick trying to hire a “VA”, “OBM” or “Social Media Strategist”, when instead? We need what some people call “SWISS ARMY KNIFE” style team members: People who can do a number of things really well.
Instead of roles?
I start by creating lists of what their responsibilities would be.
Hiring Strategy #4. Now, simplify those task clusters
Once you have a list of tasks outlined, you want to ask yourself:
Are all of these truly essential?
Once you look at that list, give yourself FULL PERMISSION to release what feels no longer aligned.
Maybe this is the “Upload daily reels” bit, because you're just not committed to creating them if you're honest!
Or when you look at all the tasks your new team member has in regards to your membership, you realize you don't really want a membership. LIke, at all!
Start pruning, until you've got the essentials and NOTHING MORE.
Oh, and rejoice in saving all that money and work.
Maybe you get to spend that cash on a done-for-you media and PR package now!
Hiring Strategy #5. What kind of character are you looking for?
I have team members who ** NEVER ** want to talk to our clients. They're super introverted and want to be behind the scenes. And I also have team members whose communication is so skillfully done, their emails to clients and such are ART.
You're looking for certain characteristics.
So much so that this is what the top of a job description we used looks like (after this it goes into their responsibilities etc.):
My therapist (she's awesome), also gave me these two prompts that I love:
>> How do you want to feel around them?
>> What would you love to bring out in you?