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Every Small Business Owner I Talk To Struggles With The Same Problem When Scaling. Here’s An Easy Way to Fix It:

Written by: Sandra Lewis

Ever heard of a scrying object? The term is not used much anymore, but the object itself will be familiar to most of us. Scrying objects are believed to be an aid to clearing and stilling the mind to access intuition and clairvoyance. The most common name today for a scrying object is a crystal ball – still widely used in movies (and little shops along the Jersey Shore…).

I don’t have a crystal ball, and (besides being able to read my dog’s mind around dinner time each night), I’m not clairvoyant. But I can predict, with almost 100% accuracy, what a client is going to tell me is their biggest hurdle for scaling their small business before we even get on a call: “We just can’t find the right people we need to grow.”

I get it. As a business owner, I can relate to the paralyzing effect of thinking about hiring additional resources for your business. The time, effort and dedication it takes to find the right person, sifting through resumes, endless interviews, writing of job descriptions, listing on job boards, not to mention getting references and background checks are enough to make you want to scrap the whole thing; It makes working 18-hour days, just so you can do it all yourself, a more attractive alternative. But we know that’s not sustainable. And that’s not scalable.

Let’s face it, hiring is a huge time suck of a problem.

When your business is ready to scale, it also poses another dilemma:

Should you go all out, even if it means compromising on the quality of your team or should you grow in line with your ability to bring on the best people.

Your decision will have long-lasting consequences for the future of your company.

Thankfully, you don’t need to compromise. There is a solution which resolves both issues – hiring fast enough and hiring well. Scaling and hiring the best people can go together flawlessly. All you need to do is observe the 4 items below, and follow them step by step to narrow down your hiring hunt and ensure you’re finding the best people to fill your positions:

4 Keys to Hiring the Best People In Order to Scale:

Don’t Hire Direct, Hire Flexible

In speaking with thousands of business owners over the last 6 years, I hear three things:

1. When it’s time to scale you need to move quickly
2. You are already flat out and finding time for recruitment is almost impossible
3. You’re not skilled at identifying the right people and are nervous about making a bad hiring choice (or perhaps you already have)

If these three reasons aren’t enough, let’s throw in the administrative burden of payroll, state filing, etc.

It’s almost a no-brainer then for small growing businesses to hire its people indirectly, at least initially, with a solution that offers help identifying the best people without the time drag or the administrative burden.

In addition, most small businesses often don’t need (or want) a full-time, or even part-time employee in every department. For example, maybe you only need a project manager 40 hours a month, or an administrative assistant 60 hours a month. If you’re in that position, a flexible solution makes the most sense.

As the business matures, as you get a better sense of the type of people that work best in different roles, as you have more time available, and the economies of scale begin to adjust, then perhaps it makes sense to start hiring employees directly.

But, remember to factor in the cost of bringing on someone in-house: The costs for basic salary, employment taxes and benefits are typically in the 1.25 to 1.4 times base salary range. This means that a $50,000 employee salary will actually cost $62,500 to $70,000. There’s a great cost comparison chart in this case study from that outlines this.

Hire Remote

I could focus this whole article on why you should hire remote if you want to find the best people to work for your company. But there are already some fantastic articles on this, so I’ll just quickly list the main points:

  • Hiring remote opens your options for finding the best person past local limits. Your company might be in Boston, but the best person for your specific job might be in California. Hiring remote solves that issue, especially if you are with a company who has already sorted out all the different tax implications for you.
  • Another reason? Hiring remote will significantly reduce the cost of adding team members to your company in the form of office space and equipment.
  • Hiring Remote will make your positions more attractive to the best candidates. It’s been proven in numerous studies that candidates weigh the option to work remote heavily when deciding whether or not to take a job.
  • Having team members in different time-zones will keep your business running longer each day.

So, open up your options, save money, and make your jobs more attractive. Hiring remote is a win/win/win.

Hire Premium

What do I mean by premium? I mean experienced. I mean “get access to the same level of skill that you’d expect if you were an executive at a Fortune 500 company”, someone with 10-15 years experience that has already learned the hard lessons and already knows the best practices, best tools, and best ways to get stuff done in their own area of expertise. When you work with a premium support company you get access to this kind of talent, and can be up and running quickly and worry-free.

It’s a natural tendency for everyone to chase after what might look like the best “deal”, but the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true for small business owners looking for the best team members.

So, do consider this: it’s hard to put a price on the piece of mind that comes from bringing someone onboard you can trust to represent your business and do a wonderful job, with little direction, and a lot of expertise to share. Cost is much less important than ROI in this case.

Hire for Cultural Fit

Even if you’re still just a solopreneur, having a well-defined vision for the type of company culture you’d like to cultivate is key if you plan to bring more people on board. This is so important because working with people who share your values and with whom you respect will eliminate obstructions from accomplishing your mission. If you and your people are not on the same page, can’t communicate well, and have differing visions, scaling is impossible.

Hiring on cultural fit will also have a measurable effect on retention rates, which directly affect your bottom line. If you’re having trouble defining your company culture, check out these 4 questions from Chris Cancialosi, Founder of gothamCulture. I love them because they’re actionable and direct – and I’m all about things moving quickly and efficiently.

How do you hire for culture fit? I’d suggest making sure you use a company or service where you will be carefully matched with the type of person you’re looking to work with, and not just “the next available person on the list”. It’s vital to mesh with the person you’re bringing on board, both personally and professionally.


Bringing on board the best people to help you scale your business boils down to a few key actionable steps:

  • Get matched with experienced team members who can integrate into your company and hit the ground running, releasing yourself from the stress, cost and ongoing administrative burden of hiring direct.
  • Consider remote team members for positions that are location independent, which gives you access to a wider and more skilled resource pool.
  • Surround yourself with the most skilled people you can find to accelerate growth, and build a durable and innovative business.
  • Choose people that fit and enhance your company culture — people that not only have the skills but that you’ll enjoy working with.

Again, I’m no fortune teller, but I foresee hassle-free hiring and sustainable scaling in your future….

Looking for more information on how to hire the right flexible resources? Download our free ebook on evaluating a VA Company.  

Updated on July 9th, 2021

About the author: Sandra Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Boldly. She's passionate about helping Businesses, Organizations and Executives increase productivity and move their work forward with the right skills and resources. Setting an example of the efficiencies gained working remotely, she’s been leading her entire team on a virtual basis for the past decade.