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How to Build a Great Freedom Team, One Person at a Time

How to Build a Great Freedom Team, One Person at a Time

July 23, 2008

For most business owners today, the most important asset you have is not your computers, your inventory or even your customers. It's your employees!

Yet, when was the last time you really sat down to evaluate your hiring process like you scrutinize over your sales or ordering processes? How do even know when to hire someone?

For most, the decision comes once they realize that they simply can't get everything done. Often, business owners will opt for a quick fix and say, 'Let's just get somebody ' anybody to help!' That can be a BIG mistake.

Your team is the key to 'free' yourself from the business

Take your time and hire the right people. Hiring one person is tough enough. So there's no sense in having to do it over again to fill just one position. Hiring is the most important ingredient to building a Freedom Team so you can literally 'free' yourself from the business and work on growing your business instead of working in it. Your goal: Build a great Freedom Team. You want people who will eventually be able to manage the business better than you!

At first, it may even appear that a Freedom Team will cost you money. But in the long run, it will actually make you more money and increase your profitability ' if you have people passionate about pursuing your business goals.

3 ingredients of a great Freedom Team

Your challenge then, is to put the right people in the right places with the right plan. Notice in this last sentence that there are three criteria you'll need to meet: (1) the right people, (2) in the right places and (3) working under the right plan.

Hire people who are in sync with your culture first. That's what I mean by hiring the 'right people.' If they have the skills, but don't support your business' values, they will fail.

For instance at Brand Launcher, we look for people who are passionate about helping others turnaround businesses and get excited about helping others grow. That can mean some long days and some of those days can be frustrating when plans are scrapped for new and better ideas. If someone is looking for a company where they know what to expect from day to day, this isn't the company for them. And that's fine.

Here's the BIG DON'T: Don't hire people who are NOT absolutely, unequivocally excited to do the job. It's a mistake to hire them just because they're a nice person or they're willing to 'give it a try.' You want someone who is passionate about growing your business and excited to do more than you ask.

Put the right people in the right places

Next, you want each person on your team in the right place so they are fulfilling their core competencies and doing what they do best.

If you have someone who is a good marketer, don't have them spending time handling customer calls and fulfilling orders just because the work has to get done. Or, if you have a talented customer service person, don't have that person work on research for you. You want your people spending a majority of their time working on those things that they do well.

This will allow your employees to take more responsibility as they learn their role, and it will mean less work for you so you can concentrate on building the business and building a great Freedom Team.

Lastly, your team must have the right plan to follow. That's your job. They'll need processes and systems to follow, but more importantly they'll need a vision of where they're going. It's up to you to make sure everyone on your team shares that same vision and has an understanding of what their destination will look like and how they're going to get there.

The single, biggest thing you can do for your business

At the Brand Launcher Center, I spend a great deal of time with clients helping them develop a plan for their business, which I believe is the single, biggest thing someone can do for themselves.

Think of yourself as a fighter pilot. As the pilot, you know where you want to go and the path you want to take to get you there. But you have crews of people on the ground from the engineers and the traffic controllers to the mechanics and ground crew who are there to support you. In the same way, you need to pilot the business while your Freedom Team supports you and the rest of the business.

Two of our members, mortgage brokers Mike DiPaula and Bill McDonald of ADV Direct (ADVDirect.com) have done a great job of building a Freedom Team and now spend only about 3 hours in the office each day. And they're making more money than ever before.

The rest of the time they spend marketing the business, teaching courses, writing reports they post on their website and appearing on a local radio show.

Who handles the business? They have two employees who handle the day-to-day operations of taking the mortgage applications, so they only need to be there for the closing. If they're out of the office for several days, they rarely need to call into the office.

'All business should work that way,' DiPaula says. 'If you're going to have employees and you pay them well and you trust them, then they should be able to take care of all issues while you're out of the office. And basically, all you need to deal with are the top priorities or most important issues.'

From long days at work to just 3 hours a day

Freedom Systems have been designed so leads from the radio show or the marketing efforts are directed to the website where they can receive more advice from any of the free reports or videos. Afterwards, prospects are asked to call the office to speak with one of DiPaula's two assistants. 'Until they go through those four processes, they can't get to me or Bill,' DiPaula says. 'Not that we're too good to be talked to, but it now limits our time to speaking to people who are ready and able to do business with us now.

'And that filtering process does one of two things,' DiPaula adds. 'It filters out the people who are just window shoppers, but at the same time it allows for people who aren't ready to do business with us now, but would like to do business with us in the future, to become part of a system that we have in place. So whether they need credit repair or they need to save money, they now become part of our marketing that goes to those people that may be ready 6 or 12 months down the line.'

It didn't always work this way for DiPaula. After years of working long hours just trying to make it through the day, he decided he needed to make a change so he could spend more time growing the business ' and spend less time in it!

But it starts with first hiring the right people. Next, you want to put them in the right places. And finally, you need to give them the plan to follow so you can spend more of your time managing the business.

WARNING! Here are my top 5 lessons learned when building a Freedom Team:

1. DON'T hire just to get somebody in to fix something quickly. Take your time to hire the best person for the job.

2. DON'T have people working on things that are not part of their core competency. Have them work on those things they do best.

3. DON'T hire someone just because they're nice or you hope they'll work out. Hire based on skills and experience and with a sense of confidence that the person will do great in the job.

4. DON'T hire on skills alone. You want someone who will support your vision, which is most important!

5. DON'T hire without checking references. You'll learn a great deal about how the person works, the management style they're used to working under and you'll learn about the culture they worked in previously. You don't want any surprises. I once didn't check references and discovered I had hired a criminal who stole checks and employees' identities from right under my nose! Rest assured. We have safeguards in place now and an extensive process in place to check backgrounds. Lesson learned.