Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles, I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, and you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator. And this is the business Journey podcast.
Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca rice. And today we're going to talk all about hiring your first contractors. So if you are interested in outsourcing, maybe for the first time or outsourcing more things that you have already, this episode is for you, even if you're not in the place that you feel fully ready to be able to outsource. This will help you get ready for whenever you are ready to start expanding your team and making it more people than just you. So I'm really passionate about team building. And I'll talk about that in a second. But before we get too far, I wanted to let you know about a free resource that I have available just for you guys that I put this together. For those who you know, my students call me the queen of mini sessions. So those of you that are wanting to uplevel, your mini sessions game, make more with your mini sessions, all the things, we have this resource that helps you make your first $3,000 on a single set of mini sessions. So when I talk about single set, I mean like two to three hour time block on one date, maybe you've either never done minis before, or you have but you've never made more than $3,000 on a single set, then this is for you. So definitely go check it out, you can download it, this is a blueprint that will walk you through step by step of what you need to do to make that first $3,000 on a single set of minis. So you can grab that at Rebecca rice 3k Dash minis, that's the number three the letter K dash minis. And we'll link it in the show notes for you to have it just in case. But anyway, so today, I'm really pumped to talk about tips for hiring your first contractors. For those of you maybe you're not as familiar with the term contractor, basically, it's somebody that's not an employee of your business, it's not somebody that's full time or part time with you, but that you pay kind of on a retainer basis, every month to do a set number of hours for you. And so this could look like an editor or a social media manager or a copywriter, somebody to help you with your blog, just an administrative assistant like this can be a lot of different things. And so I'm very passionate about team building, because I believe the best way to beat burnout is to grow your team. Because we are finite beings, right? I only have 24 hours in a day, you only have 24 hours in a day. And how we spend that time is really going to reflect in you know how we're feeling at the end of the day. And I talked to photographers all the time, that are just really really feeling the burnout, because they're trying to do this business thing all on their own. And you just don't have the energy to do all the things, you know, you're trying to be an excellent mom, an excellent business owner, and excellent wife. And, you know, juggling all these things in the air at one time is really, really hard. And some of you have full time jobs outside of photography. And that just adds to the stress and the weight of things. And you know, that feeling of burnout tends to creep up really, really fast. And so I believe the best way to beat burnout is by growing your team, and that doesn't have to mean hiring a full time employee right or a part time employee, you can start small and work up to wherever you want to be. And so today I want to give you five tips for hiring your first contractors. And then I have a few like bonus common questions that I get that I want to answer as well. This is going to be a very practical episode. So I encourage you to take notes. But when you're getting ready to or thinking about bringing on a team member, the first thing I want you to do is to write out everything in your business that you do currently, okay, every single task and sometimes it helps to track your time for a week or two to see like what kind of tasks you're doing, how much time you're spending on them. I want you to think through tasks that you love doing tasks that you hate doing what's the most time consuming write down every little thing that you do in your business and then from there, I want you to circle the things that only you can do okay and that means if it requires your face, your voice, or you know has some direct impact on revenue that requires your hands to be in it. And a lot of times, we tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to in areas like this where we're like, Well, only I can respond to emails. Well, in reality, other people can definitely respond to emails, there may be some emails that only you can respond to. So get specific, you may say, Well, only I can write my social media captions or post on my social media, well, there are people that that's their whole job is to match your brand voice and to be able to post things for you or write like you would write. So you don't necessarily have to be doing these things. So the goal is to circle as few things as possible, if you really get down to it, what are the things that only you can do, then I want you to take a look at your list. Technically, everything else on that list could be outsourced. Now, don't get overwhelmed, and think like, oh, my gosh, I'm gonna pass off all of this stuff. Especially if you're like me, I am an Enneagram. Three. So I tend to be I like control. I don't want to call myself a control freak. But I enjoy having control in the things in my business, because my business is my baby, right? I hold my business super close to me. And so the idea especially was first starting outsourcing. The idea of passing off some of these tasks to somebody else was really, really nerve wracking. Because I'm like, I know. And again, this was me thinking really highly of myself, I would think, well, I know that nobody can do this as good as me. So I may as well just do it, even if I'm feeling burnt out. Where the reality is, the lens that I like to look through in something like this, is if somebody can do something 80% as good as you can, then you can outsource it to them. Because the truth is, you're probably have a hard time finding somebody that does something exactly as well as you do. Why? Because you care the most right? You're the business owner, that's normal for you to care the most. Not the other people don't care. But there's just a certain level of care that the owner has, right, somebody coming into your business isn't the owner, so they don't have the same, you know, I don't know, they don't have the same like draw to do things super, super well, like you do. Now, don't let that deter you. There are excellent contractors that you can hire, but they're not the owner you are. So I like to think if somebody can do something 80% as good as I can, that it can be outsourced. Because the truth, when it comes to starting to pass off things in your business, is you may find stuff not done exactly like you would do it. And you have to learn to be okay with that. Because you have to ask the question, how much is your time worth, right? If you could be doing higher level things, and pass off some of those lower level things and, you know, pay somebody and we'll talk about pay in a second, but pay somebody an hourly rate to take care of that for you, then you are then kind of giving yourself arrays because you are not having to take care of those lower level tasks, you're able to pay somebody else to do that, so that you can handle the things that only you can do. So when we're looking at our list, we've circled everything that only you can do and everything else technically could be outsourced. Now, I want to challenge you to start with only one thing that you can outsource because for one to help with overwhelm, but also because if you can see success in one area, honestly, you're going to get addicted, you'll say, oh my gosh, this was the best thing I've ever done. Why didn't I do this sooner? I can't tell you how many conversations I have with people that that's how this story goes where they're super afraid. Let's take editing, for instance, they're super afraid to outsource their editing, because they feel like only they can edit like they edit and nobody else can do it as good as them. But here's the truth, good private editors, their job is to match your style. And so if you have a really honed in style, and you know exactly how you want your stuff edited, you can work with a private editor. And they you know, it may take a little bit to get to the place, but it will get to the place where your edit versus their edit is indistinguishable. And that's the goal. That's their whole job. And so I can tell you for my editor, there are some things that she has more dialed in than I do that, you know, I know the technicalities of editing and I know the style I want to achieve. And you know my work reflects that. But occasionally we'll have you know, some tricky skin tones to deal with or, you know, the lighting is a little tricky. And because she's the professional editor, she's able to fine tune those things to match my style better than I could that I would struggle with that skin tone for, you know, three hours I'd be staring at the computer trying to get it and I just can't get it right. Where because this is all she does. She's got that editing really dialed in. She just knows what adjustments need to be made and she can fix it really quickly. And so I want you to find one thing that you can outsource. And so if that thing is your editing, then do it. Because once you realize how much time you can be saving, like for me, when I first outsource my editing, it was a game changer for me honestly, because I was working a full time job, I was a full time youth pastor, I had to under to at home, and my daughter wouldn't let me be on my laptop, like any free time that I had that I was trying to edit, she would literally come over she was, you know, barely to not even, she would come over and close my laptop and not let me work on it. And so it was really, really hard to edit, I would have to stay up super late to edit because I couldn't edit during the day or during nap time because I had a full time job. And so for me, once I was able to pass off that editing piece, it was a total game changer. All of a sudden, I had hours back that I could spend doing other things that grew my business and really had an impact on revenue. Because here's the deal, at the end of the day, your editing does not have a direct impact on revenue, you've already booked the client, they've already paid you. Now you're editing to deliver that final gallery. So if I can pass that off, and use my time to say, market myself and book more sessions, then my business grows, and I'm able to save time behind the computer that I wasn't having to spend. And so for me, I got my evenings back, I was able to enjoy my evenings with my kids with my husband and not have to be stuck behind my computer. It made all the difference. And so once I learned that, that was awesome and totally doable. Then I was like, what else? Can I outsource? What else can I pass off my plate. And so we'll talk about like how to be able to afford that in just a little bit. Because you're like Rebecca, I have to spend money to do that. Yes, I understand. We'll get to that in a second. But start with one thing. The next tip I have for hiring your first contractors is to record your processes now. So that training is easier. So if you're thinking in the next six to 12 months, that you're wanting to bring on somebody to help you in your business, a contractor to help you out, start recording your processes now. So that training is easier. My team loves a program called loom L O M, it's free. There's a Chrome plugin that you can use. But basically it takes screen recordings. So you can do just a screen recording, you can do a screen recording with your face in the corner where you're like talking over it. But we love looms because if I know how to do something, and I need to train a team member on how to do it, instead of having to sync up our calendars and try to find a time that we can you know zoom and share screen and all this stuff, I can just record a loom and then send it to her and she can watch it on her time. If you don't have a team member yet, then you can be creating these looms and have like a loom library of how you do things. So that whenever it is time, let's say you're bringing on somebody for your social media, if you've been scheduling out your social media, you know, you have to pull an image from maybe your gallery delivery system and put it into later like my team uses later for social media scheduling. So if you have to find the image on shoot proof, and then put it into later write the captions, schedule it here's how you schedule stories, blah, blah, blah. If you're already doing these things in your business, you may as well record yourself doing it that way at a later time, when you're ready to bring somebody in, you already have the video, you don't even have to make it again, you can say hey, here's my process for social media scheduling, and send it to them, and then they can implement it. So anything in your business that you're going to do more than like twice, I would record the process. Anytime you think about it and start this loom library, you can have you know, we love using Trello, which is a free business management system. And so you can have a Trello board for all of your trainings and you know, have a card for you know, social media and have all your different loom videos linked there. You can have a card for email or adding a subscriber to flow desk or I don't know creating a flow desk option, whatever you want, editing your website, updating your portfolio, delivering a gallery, like literally every anything that you do in your business, start recording the process, so that it's easy to train somebody when you're ready. The next thing, let's say you're ready to hire somebody, okay, you've made a list of tasks. You've picked the one thing you want to outsource you've recorded your process. The next thing that I want you to do is to start small. Okay, so the girl that I had for a while as a virtual assistant as an example, that her smallest package was 10 hours a month. And so I She charged $30 an hour, the smallest package was 10 hours a month. So I started small with 10 hours a month and that's two and a half ish hours a week. What could you have them do in those two and a half hours a week? So start small and then you know if they're charging, like I said that $30 an hour for 10 hours, that's $300 a month. If you're saving Lose 10 hours by not doing the tasks that you're passing off? How can you better be spending that 10 hours in those extra 10 hours that you're getting? Do you think you can book one extra photo session? If so, it pays for itself, right? If you can book just one extra photo session, to cover that $300 that you're going to be paying that person, then it pays for itself, odds are with the extra 10 hours, you'll probably be able to book more than one photo session, which that's the goal. But just to break, even just book one, by using your time smarter, you're able to then increase your revenue and be able to pay for that contractor. So don't feel like you have to start with somebody doing 20 hours a week for you. You don't have to, in fact, I encourage you not to, because you want to start small get used to passing things off. And then as you practice that, then you can start you know, adding hours to them or adding team members or things like that, going along those same lines. My last tip, and then I've got some bonuses for you. But my last tip that I have is you have to be able, you know, while you have that contractor, learn to trust and let go because it does take time. And trusting someone with something in your business and letting go and letting them take it is very uncomfortable. And so my encouragement to you is to lean into that discomfort. And, you know, really embrace it, knowing that your business is going to grow, because things don't grow out of comfort, things grow by getting out of your comfort zone. And so, you know, when I first started passing off tasks to a virtual assistant, oh my gosh, like I was freaking out, I gave her my inbox, I wouldn't even let her respond to anything I just wanted her to go through and like flag the emails that needed my attention. And basically mark, you know, newsletters and like random things like that, just mark them as read or put them in a newsletter folder, or whatever to organize my inbox, so that I could just look at the emails I needed to respond to. And that took a lot of trust, because I was like, Oh, my gosh, is she gonna miss an email, you know, she's gonna mark something as red that I needed to see. And it took time for me to build that trust with her. And eventually I did you know, it didn't take too long. But by practicing, you know, it's like a muscle, you have to exercise the muscle of trusting and letting go. And so the more I did it, the stronger the muscle became. And I was able to pass off more things, or I was able to say, Okay, some emails you can respond to, here's a template of what I would say, because here's the truth, when we're talking to clients, a lot of our clients have the exact same questions over and over. And so if you can write up a template to give to somebody and say, hey, you know, tweak it, if needed, but here's the starting place, it helps you trust them more. And so you stretch the muscle, you build up that muscle, and then you eventually get more comfortable passing off more things. Now, I'll say I'm a lot later in the game. I have a lot of contractors a lot. You know, I've got three full time employees, two part time employees, a handful of subcontractors, and then that work in my business on a day to day. And then I've got a ton of subcontractors. For my associate team, we have a calling team. I mean, I've got a lot of hands in my business. And we got to that place, because I've learned to trust and to let go. Now do sometimes things fall through the cracks. Yes, it's just it happens people are human people make mistakes, I let things fall through the cracks sometimes. And so it's only natural that my team does too, because we're human. But by building up that muscle, now I'm in the place that I feel a lot more comfortable passing things off and trusting people. Now there's this other side to trust that I want to mention, and my team calls it trust and verify. So in those first several weeks that you're working with somebody, you can trust them with a new task. But then also, it's smart as the business owner to come alongside and verify that the task got done the way that you wanted. It's not micromanaging, you're not sitting there hovering, but we trust that it got done. And then we verify just to make sure the verification process is how we build the trust muscle so that you can see with your own eyes, okay, this got done how I wanted it to get done. And that like adds to the trust meter, right? You're like, okay, you know, I can sit comfortable knowing that this got done and the more that you trust and verify the less often you'll have to verify because you trust more. So it's a natural process, but it does take time and it does take intentional practice. You have to work at it to be able to trust somebody else. I will tell you though, it is 1,000% worth it to pass things off in your business because you'll find that you are less burnt out you have more time to spend resting. When was the last time you had time to intentionally rest. You have more time to rest more time to spend time doing Things only you can do and your business will grow. And so those are our five tips. Now we do have some bonuses that I mentioned, I wanted to answer a few questions, common questions that I get when it comes to growing a team or hiring your first contractors. The first question I always get is, where do I you find these people? Where do I find somebody to work with? Now I'll say my absolute favorite place is through word of mouth. Because if somebody else has used somebody in their business, and they trust them, it helps me to trust them more than if I were just to randomly find somebody on Google that I don't know anything about, right? They have no references that I am familiar with, I just, it's harder to jump into that. And so for me, the majority of the people that are on my team are people that I have met through somebody else, anybody that's an employee, like full time, part time, those are all people that I found through word of mouth, or I knew personally. And so I'm, like, very selective as to who I allow into my employee circle. But even some of my subcontractors, like whenever I had a virtual assistant or a copywriter, or you know, things like that, those are all people that I found through somebody else. I never like just googled blindly. So I highly suggest asking around when you're looking for somebody you can post in Facebook groups, you know, if you're in a photography group, or you know, if you're one of my students, you can post in my student Facebook group and ask, you know, who do you use for social media and people can give you recommendations? Who do you use him? As an editor? Who do you recommend, and start there? Again, you know, posting in Facebook groups, there's also a website called outsourcing with love that the girl who ran it, or who runs it, she worked with one of my team members back in the day. And so she's a credible source, she's somebody I know. But this website outsourcing with love. Basically, she has vetted people, contractors that you can work with. And so the people that she lists on her website are trustworthy, reliable, they're solid people. So if you know the word of mouth thing isn't going well try outsourcing with love. And that may be a good option. Another question that I often get is like, what can I expect to pay a contractor. And I would say, the typical like, Intro going rate for like a virtual assistant or something like that is about $30 an hour, you may see a little more a little less, but on average, it's about $30 an hour. And that's when I was doing the research that was about typical. Now, if you're wanting to hire something, somebody a little more like specialized, you know, somebody that specializes in marketing, or specializes in social media management, or specializes in as an integrator or whatever, then you can expect to pay more, just because their skill set is very particular. And they've spent a lot of time in that area. So that kind of person, you just expect to pay more. But typically, you get what you pay for. So if you're paying more for somebody that specialized in something, then they will help you, you know, social media, for instance, they'll be able to help you grow your social media, a lot more than somebody say that's a virtual assistant that offers a lot of variety in their services. So those are kind of things to think through. And then the last question I get a lot that I wanted to address is what should I outsource first, as photographers, the first thing I always suggest is your editing, because it's really, really easy to bake that into your cost. And it's very inexpensive. And so editors typically run Gosh, I'd say like 36 to 40 cents an image. And so that's really easy to calculate and know, you know, if I typically deliver 50 or 100 images in a photo session, this is how much it's going to cost me. So for easy math, if it's 36 cents an image, and you usually deliver 100 images, you're going to pay them $36, all you have to do is raise your price by $36. And it covers the cost. So that's a really easy thing to outsource first. Another thing that I would suggest outsourcing first would be like your social media scheduling. So finding somebody even if you're not comfortable with somebody else writing captions for you yet, that's okay. You don't have to be the person you know, you can write the captions, but you can have somebody else go in and schedule them through a program like later or Planoly or whatever people choose to use. But social media is another thing that's easy to outsource and it really does take up a lot of our time probably more than you realize. And so if you want like recommendations for some people and you don't really know where to start, you can always DM me on Instagram at Rebecca rice photography and if I know of anybody I can send them your way. I won't always have a good answer for you. But I would probably be able to point you in the right direction and so that feel free to reach out and I would love to help you. This was a really packed episode. So if you need to go back and re Listen, totally do that. I hope it was helpful for you. And again if you have any questions at all about outsourcing growing a team, whatever, DM me on Instagram, I would love to chat. So we're gonna go ahead and close out for today. Take a breath. It was a lot. But I hope you have an awesome awesome week and we will see you back this time next week. Bye guys

63. Tips for Hiring Your First Contractors