The 6 types of support for scaling online business owners


Scaling Online Business- Meg K and Co

PRE-S: I’m committed to inclusion and diversity in how I serve my clients, my community, and how I recruit. I am reviewing and reflecting on my practices and am doing (and will continue to do) the necessary work to be equitable and inclusive in my practices. If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me– I’m available for conversations around race, inclusion, and equity.

If you’re a scaling online business,

it’s important to know the different types of support you need and WHEN you need it! There are different kinds of people/businesses who can help you and when you hire which depends on what your goals and circumstances are. YOU get to decide and design your org chart accordingly!  When you’re hiring, create the ROLES and an ideal org chart (subject to change which is fine) – don’t just hire for randomly tasks you need done. And for the love of gah, don’t immediately go to upwork- there is a time and place for upwork and I’ll tell you when that is below. 

As you’re thinking through your desired org chart, I want you to know the different kinds of support you can have

Here’s my breakdown for you based on what I’ve seen for scaling online business entrepreneurs: 

Ongoing Support (Your Team-on your org chart)

Ongoing support is appropriate when you want people on your actual team. They can be contractors or employees. If you want them on your team long term, they usually don’t aspire to build a big business and have to be selling and prospecting for themselves all the time- they desire working for a few clients (or eventually just 1-2) longterm. 

#1 True Implementers

1 True Implementer - marketing, virtual, community, customer support assistants- Scaling Online Business

Common Roles: VA, Marketing Assistant, Community Manager, Customer Support Assistant

Be ready to: manage and lead these folks and have systems to support them (and eventually a manager to support them if you don’t want to manage them yourself)

Pay: usually starting at an hourly rate (specific rate depends) 

Key Takeaway: If you want someone to stay in this position, you want someone who LOVES implementing, being told what to do (otherwise, you risk having a VA that then asks you to essentially double their rate and call them a PM while they have no one to manage on your team). 

How to find them: Go through the formal process of creating the role and responsibilities, create a recruiting strategy, screen applicants, interview, choose and onboard (this is the classic way I do it for my clients)

#2 Implementers that can be promoted later 

Implementers with room to grow- Meg K Co- Scaling Online Business- start at an assistant level with room to grow into a director or manager position

This is what folks like James Wedmore call the “mailroom model” 

Common Roles: they start as the assistant and become directors, managers, etc (ie Marketing Director, Director of Ops, Integrator, Project Manager, etc) 

Be ready to: promote them later on and support them in training them for new responsibilities- also be ready to hire the entry level position again 

Pay: usually starts hourly and then becomes a higher flat rate or salary (their pay grows with your company’s income and growth)

Key Takeaway: These are folks that demonstrate leadership, eagerness, initiative AND they are NOT entrepreneurial- meaning they don’t want to build and manage their own business, they want to help YOU build and manage yours! They may start with a couple of clients or a part-time or full-time job and aspire to work more for you and less for others. 

How to find them: Go through the formal process of creating the role and responsibilities, create a recruiting strategy, screen applicants, interview, choose and onboard (this is the classic way I do it for my clients). Don’t just hire people who are recommended- but invite those people to apply and see if they fit the role you envision and design for your company. 

#3 Managers 

Common roles:  Project manager, account manager, integrator, online business manager, operations manager or director, marketing director (these roles are the next tier on your org chart)

Be ready to: meet with them a lot initially and answer all of their questions, let them make decisions about how things are getting organized if you don’t set it up for them initially 

Pay: Usually a flat rate or retainer+per project, definitely more than you pay a VA

Key Takeaway: You still want SOPs for these folks, but they can help you create them and guide you in making some decisions. This usually isn’t the first hire I would recommend- this is one that typically comes a little later- but I take it case by case. These are also the folks who can manage your implementers for you, be the ones who fuck with asana and other PM software that you may not want to touch. They also provide an extra layer of protection and can remove you a bit from any client or team drama.

How to find them: Go through the formal process of creating the role and responsibilities, create a recruiting strategy, screen applicants, interview, choose and onboard (this is the classic way I do it for my clients).  Don’t just hire people who are recommended- but invite those people to apply and see if they fit the role you envision and design for your company. 

Outside Support (Not your team or org chart- but you’re paying them for their services)

#4 An outside Agency or Company- Ongoing or Short term

Common Roles: Overseeing a launch, overseeing and managing podcast production, one-off marketing projects like a website, new brand, or ongoing marketing like facebook ads– so you may be hiring a “done-for-you project management” company, a podcast production company, copywriters, a web and branding agency, etc. This can also be bookkeeping, accounting, etc. They do strategy + implementation. 

Be ready to: follow the systems they use for their client management, not have them in your team systems like slack or voxer or asana, pay more because they are managing you and your project, have professional results because they do what they do time and time again

Pay: premium- but you get what you pay for- the good companies will make things easy by doing the thinking, strategy, and management for you. 

Key Takeaway: expect to pay more, but then you don’t have to manage things and you get some brain space back (even if just temporarily). If you have the money but not the brain or team capacity to deal with a launch or producing your own podcast, this is a good time to hire this out to a company (which comes with its own processes, account and project managers, strategists, etc!) 

How to Find them: definitely think about what you want, but I would take recommendations from others and go through these company’s sales funnels to see if they’re a fit for what you want. 

#5 Outside Strategy and Consulting- usually short term

Common Roles: Strategist, Coach, Consultant, or anyone offering intensives or masterminds- this can be anywhere from launch, marketing, mindset, hiring and leadership (Hi!!!!!!! It me), tax strategy, systems, I could probably go on

Be ready to: pay for their expertise and YOU implement yourself (or have team implement)

Pay: premium and depends 

Key Takeaway: these are the people you learn from and who can teach you key strategy that’s missing (or mindset or other developmental tools you want). These are typically  investments (and ones that people outside of our online biz world don’t understand) 

How to find them: take recommendations, look around, go through their sales funnels and see what results they’ve gotten. 

(PS my services pretty much fall under this category-  but I do some implementation for you too!!)

#6 When you can hire from upwork or fivvrr or whatever-super short term

Common roles: Coder, freelancer

Be ready to: manage the shit out of them and be SUPER CLEAR about EXACTLY what you want and answer a lot of questions (especially if it’s technical- coding/design speak is different from your regular vernacular- it takes some back and forth to translate everything)- it’s worth it though if you need something very specific and requires a very particular skill- be ready to scope out the project with a lot of details when putting on upwork or whatever so the freelancers know what they’re signing up for- be like, over detailed

Pay: usually hourly or project based pay 

Key takeaway: I would ONLY do this for something technical and specific. I’ve done upwork hires for web and brand agencies to take designs and put them into CSS- and I think that’s it…or if you have a super basic one off task, like here’s a written list of emails- type it out lol, or random data entry you don’t want to deal with and you don’t have a team member that can do it

How to find them: post your project on upwork or the like- be ready to be very detailed with the scope and sequence of the project and benchmarks and the results you require before you will give full payment

Which of these people or companies have you hired to help you out? How did it work out??

I help my clients navigate all of this and specifically hire ongoing support and get them the systems and leadership skills they need to make it all work! If you’re ready to get a holistic approach to hiring an leadership, click here to schedule a call with me!

Related Posts:

3 Ways to Hire Intentionally

Red Flags when Fielding applicants

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