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How to be an Effective Manager

Side Gig Entrepreneurs Wear Many Hats

Author: Zach Dilworth Monday November 18, 2019
Disclaimer: By reading this article, you are agreeing to the terms of this disclaimer.

The Entrepreneur is but a Single Person

Launching a successful side gig may require the hiring of employees to support your success. Even a jack of all trades needs help scaling his business. However, this is a crucial point for any business as your continued success relies heavily on the performance of your employee(s).

Since you may not have any experience recruiting, hiring, training, or mentoring employees, this article is meant to help you be a more effective manager.

Recruiting & Hiring

As a side gig entrepreneur, it’s difficult to recruit someone especially when you cannot promise that your business will be around in 12 months. Working for a startup is exciting, but it’s not for everyone. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Not limited to work based on a job title
  • Flexible job titles
  • Casual work environment
  • Opportunity to be part of something bigger
  • Ownership percentage options
  • Unstructured environment (con for some)

Cons:

  • Unstable job outlook
  • Lack of structure (a pro for some)
  • Low salary and lack of benefits
  • Hard work with long hours
  • Boss may make decisions based on emotion and not on business requirements

Weigh the pros and cons from the employee’s perspective before posting the job. When you’re sifting through resumes, remember that it’s not all about those who have the most experience. If it’s a non-technical position, hire people with good attitudes and train for skill. When there are very few employees, life is a lot easier when you have employees who are optimistic and look up to you.

A word of caution, avoid offering ownership percentages that start on day one. Why give someone a chunk of your business if you’re not sure how they’ll work with you or if they’ll be around in a year or two. Structure stock options or ownership percentage after they’ve been working for you for at least a year – this is common for large companies; why should it be any different for your company?

Onboarding & Training

Before hiring any employees even if they are part-time, be sure to document detailed instructions that enable them to do their job(s) effectively. Also, it may seem like you need a full-time person right away; oftentimes, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, you may feel like you’re completely behind and you need someone to support you; however, your employee will likely work faster than expected and eventually you’ll need to give him or her more work.

To maximize the ROI for each employee, you’ll need to become a good planner. Instead of focusing on singular tasks, share your vision with your employee so he or she looks for ways to help you obtain your vision. Employees will spend less time sitting around wondering what to do and instead they’ll focus on building the dream with you.

In addition to their job description, outline the top priorities that you’ll need help with so when they finish their primary tasks, they’ll support you on your priorities.

Performance Management

Before measuring performance, you’ll need to set expectations so you’ll know what to measure. Your employee(s) will appreciate having goals so they know how high to jump. Additionally, you can set expectations for what the employee can expect from you and your business as a professional courtesy. Discuss this with your employee and get sign off from him or her.

To get the most from your employees, give them the opportunity to work towards some of their professional goals that are aligned to the needs of your company. Perhaps he or she wants to learn SEO or Adwords, your employee will dedicate a lot more passion into their work if it’s something they are truly interested in or passionate about.

Be a Good Manager

Remember, your employee chose to invest in your dream with you. Be nice to your team and set expectations. When your employee is slacking off, remind them of the agreed-upon expectations. It’s okay to be friendly with your employee, but if he or she is slacking off, that’s your money going down the drain. Hopefully, you won’t need to micromanage their work, but sometimes you have no choice. Either way, be nice, professional, and always treat each employee with respect.