Episode #313: Tips for building your team as a creative
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You are listening to episode number 313 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about tips on building your team as a creative entrepreneur. On to the episode.
Hello, welcome to Episode 313. I’m your host, Taylor Bradford. Thank you so much for tuning in. Today we’re talking about tips on building your team as a creative entrepreneur, and what that means, and what my most recent journey has been in adding some support crew for Sugar Creek for when I’m on-site, setting up, loading in, loading out, striking, etc. and what that means for my future, and the exciting things that are on the horizon, and all of that. So let’s go ahead and dive into building your team as a creative entrepreneur and what that looks like, and what my journey, again, has been so far.
So it’s really, really important to say this first. You’ve got to find people that can or could love your business as much as you do. I think that is so incredibly important. They have to, right out of the gate when they reach out to you, fit the bill. They have to be just as excited about your business as you are and want to be supportive in that because that’s what’s going to help you. So find the people who can or could love your business as much as you do. That is your first tip.
Second tip is for you to create a super inspiring body of work so that when you do put out a call for help, or a call for a specific position, people come out of the woodwork because they love the brand that you have built and want to joyfully work with you and be a part of that. It’s creating the culture that they are also excited about. Creating a culture that’s inspiring, creating a culture that is motivating, and also creating a culture that is bigger than them that they want to support and are excited to support. So those two things are way, way important. Find people that can or could love your business as much as you do, but also, those types of people will come out of the woodwork because you have created a super-inspiring body of work that they want to be a part of. And that is where intention matters. That is why your pillars of your business matter. The What, the Why, your core values, your mission, who you’re attracting, etc., etc., etc. That is all so incredibly important. Those two tips will help you move forward with building your team as a creative entrepreneur.
Alright, step number one – outside of those two tips – step number one, identify why you need help and in what roles the help will serve you and your business. This is key to identifying why you need the help. Yes, we all need help, but why do you specifically need help right now in this moment or in a future moment? Why do you need help? You need to be able to define why you need help. You need to write it down. I need help because I can no longer send out an email newsletter consistently. I can no longer schedule my social media consistently. I can no longer handle the customer service side of my business because it’s taking me away from creating the product or performing the service that my clients are actually hiring me for. So it’s important.
Step one, identify why you need the help and in what roles they will serve you and your business. Do you even have enough tasks to keep that person busy based on the role you are hiring that person for, whether or not this is a contracted worker or an actual employee of your business? Do you have enough tasks to keep someone busy? It goes back to identifying why you need the help in the first place. And in what role that person will help you in.
Step two, create your standard operating procedures and workflows ahead of time. Create your SOPs. Create your workflows. This is what you’re going to use to train the people coming into your business. If you do not have these things set in place, you’re going to be winging it, and you’re both going to be wasting time trying to figure out the kinks. Now I know that sometimes we need to just get Warm Bodies into roles faster than we can sit down and be mindful and thoughtful about our standard operating procedures. But I need you to make this important. Create those SOPs ahead of time so that when you do slot somebody into a role, you already have a procedure or workflow that they can follow that does exactly what you want to create a standard operating procedure or to create a workflow for a specific task. Write it all out. Step one, I log into the computer, I use this username, I use this password. Step two, I send out this email when this thing happens. When you’re able to succinctly write down verbatim what needs to happen based on a specific function in your business or a specific task in your business, the person you bring on into a role to support you to do that thing now has a guidebook to follow. And yes, there will still be questions, but there won’t be as many questions because you’ve already given them the roadmap in how to perform it the exact way you want them performing it. So get your SOPs and your workflows done ahead of time so that you are able to train efficiently and effectively for your help so that it’s actually benefiting you and your business. And not a waste of time, or not a waste of money, because you’re having to invent it as you go. You can use videos for this. You can use a project management system for this. There are ways that you can use PDFs. Create a Word doc, turn it into a PDF, put it in a binder. There are ways for you to create SOPs that will help you in the hiring process down the road. Start working on those things ASAP. Well, before you hire somebody so incredibly important.
Step three, be clear on your own expectations for what it is that you’re hiring for or what it is that person is slotted to do. If you’re not clear, how are you going to effectively communicate what it is that you’re needing them to do or what their tasks even are? What type of person needs to be in the role? What are the minimum requirements for the role? Who would be the ideal candidate for the role? What’s the workload type for the role, be clear on your expectations of the role you are hiring for so that when you do put it out and make the ask, you can immediately weed out the people that don’t meet those expectations.
You need to know what type of person your minimum requirements are, who would be the ideal candidate and what the workload type is. So most recently, for Sugar Creek, I am needing help for load-in and load-out. So loading-in – basically unloading my trucks and trailers of rentals, getting them on-site where they need to go getting them set up, and then returning it strike to pack it all back up, pull it back out of the space and repack it back into my trailer. I don’t quite need help at the warehouse side of things. That’s going to be the more tricky situation because of where my headquarters are located. The pool of humans is a lot smaller than the Metroplex. And so right now, my husband helps me load in the big stuff, and I load in everything else myself, but I need the help to where I’m going. And so, I have recently put out a call for event crew support. So those crew members will show up on-site to where I am going helped me unload my trailer helped me or truck helped me get set up for the event and then come back meet me back at the venue or the location to break it all back down and get it back into my trailer and then they can go on their merry way, and I can go back to headquarters and eventually get it re unloaded. Now in a perfect world and I’m hoping in the next few weeks actually, which is really exciting. I will be putting out a call for a part-time warehouse support person and kind of a jane of all trades or jack of all trades, whatever you want to call it because I do need support in the warehouse two to three days a week, and I am working on being clear about what those expectations are for that role.
I’ve already started a list for the ideal candidate. I’m going to read out that list for you so that you can get an idea as to how I’m doing this so roles of a Sugar Creek staff person, this particular person what I’m trying to do, I’m setting those expectations clear and upfront to myself so that I know how to write the job description and attract the right person. So the roles of a Sugar Creek staff person or roles of Sugar Creek assistant what I haven’t figured out what this person is going to be titled or what they’re going to be called etc. But clean and maintain cleanliness of the warehouse plus the office bathroom and water closet, pull and pack inventory for orders make sure no defects and is clean, ready to go. Check-in and store inventory coming back in assist in repairs, builds of inventory, social media management of Sugar Creek Boss Girl Creative and The House of Sugar Creek accounts, assist with organizing and counting inventory assistant photographing inventory. Maintain Sugar Creek websites by adding inventory writing blog posts and a Sugar Creek voice event help and Aaron’s for whatever I might need errands for. Now, obviously, that is a big, big, big dream list for somebody to help support Sugar Creek and me. I don’t know and haven’t figured out just yet, what exactly this first role is going to actually entail outside of the warehouse support. Because that is where I am really needing more help is keeping my warehouse clean, keeping it organized, helping me load in and load out, etc., for my trailers—and maybe not necessarily going with me out on events, if they’re available. Great, that would be separate pay. But just getting some help in the warehouse itself to help me keep it organized and clean. That is so incredibly important. It can easily get unorganized and dirty within literally a day or two. It’s so crazy. But it’s like just the hustle and bustle of events. And we’re back at it. And that’s just where we are. So setting your expectations on who you’re wanting to hire, what their tasks are, what their roles will be, how they will support you, etc. That is step three and super important step for creating your hire process. What does that look like? Are you going to put out something on Indeed? Are you going to put out something on your social media profiles? How are you going to get people to respond to you, etc.?
This is what I’m going to encourage you to do. This is what I have done so far for the Sugar Creek event crew support. I created a nice graphic via Canva and stuck it out on my social media channels. And I have been consistently pushing that out on my social media channels. And also just messaging some people that I personally know to see if they know people. And this has been super helpful because you want somebody that’s already following you first of all, and you want somebody that has already subscribed to your brand like already supports your brand. That’s hard to find when you just go out to Indeed. They have no clue who you are. And so when you’re looking for assistant roles, you kind of want somebody to already know who you are and is excited to be a part of what you’ve already built. And so this is why I suggest putting stuff out on your social media platforms first to test your waters. Ask them to email you, so you can request a resume for sure. But ask them to email you and tell you why they would be a good fit for your company. Ask them why they would be an asset to your company. This basically takes the place of a cover letter. I have never been a fan of cover letters; I think they’re too stiff. And I have written some cover letters actually in the past for a land man job that I was actively seeking. And I was just honest and said why I would be awesome and an asset to their team and kept it very, very conversational in that, and it landed me the job because I wasn’t stiff. I still kept it very professional, but I put me into those words and sold myself for that role. Showed why I would be an asset and why they would miss out on me if they didn’t hire me. I think this takes the place of a cover letter and takes the stiffness out of trying to find the right people. Because at the end of the day, you want fun people if your business is fun if you have crafted a very intentional business and company. You want people just as intentional to be on your team. Ask them to email you and tell you why they would be a good fit, why they would be a good asset. I did that with my most recent call out for event help, and you guys, I’m getting beautiful emails from that. People are saying why they would be a good asset, and I love that. It is them showing me their personality. Make them fill out a questionnaire if you have a bigger role you’re looking to fill. Make them fill out a questionnaire that answers open-ended questions, also yes or no questions. Heck, let them add their resume if you feel like you need to see some actual experience doing the thing that you are hiring for, but make them fill out a questionnaire and do more than just the resume. People that actually take time to do that, it’s gonna weed out the people that don’t care about that part that are just sending in the resume and sending out 50 resumes a day, like, you want to weed out those people, those robots, you want people that are going to actually take the time to do the things you’re asking them to do to jump through the hoops that you’re asking them to jump through in order to be a part of your special company. Again, go back to those very first two tips that I gave you at the top of this episode. You are looking for people that can or could love your business as much as you do. They probably already do if they’re coming and seeing your call out through your social media channels. Look for people that can or could love your business as much as you do. But do that by creating a body of work that’s inspiring. That’s intentional. That gets those humans that come out of the woodwork and say, “Yes, I want to be a part of the Sugar Creek team. I love what you’re doing. I recommend you to all my people that are looking for rentals. I’m already your biggest cheerleader. I’m already the biggest advocate for what it is that you do. I’ve seen your work in person. Yes, bring me on. I want to be a part of what you do.” Those are the types of people that you want to add to your team. As a creative entrepreneur, those are the types of people.
Alright, let’s recap four steps. Step one, identify why you need help and then what role they need to serve. Step two, create your SOPs ahead of time. Step three, be clear on your expectations as to what you’re looking for and what they will do. And step four, create an actual hiring process that gets them to do what you want them to do so that you are interviewing qualified candidates, four steps to building your team as a creative entrepreneur. Sugar Creek is growing. And like I said, I just read through the list of my ideal candidate for an upcoming position in my company. I don’t exactly know where that line starts and stops as far that’s a lot to ask if one person, but I got to start somewhere we have to start somewhere. That is my dream list of what people working for Sugar Creek. Those are the roles that I need filled with Sugar Creek, whether that’s one human to human three humans, I don’t know. But that’s my dream list. I have to start somewhere. You have to start somewhere. And I will be making a call out soon for somebody to take on a portion of those roles because I need help. I need help, and I am working through my own four-step process to make sure I’m bringing on people that are just as excited to work with Sugar Creek for Sugar Creek as I am to be Sugar Creek.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you found it inspiring and you know somebody that it could also help, please share this episode with them. There are 312 additional episodes sitting in my back catalog for you to binge listen to. I hope you’ll get to doing that ASAP. Until next time, I hope you have a great rest of your week.