Solopreneurs sometimes wish they were more than a solo act. When you’re ready for a little backup, here’s the order I recommend for hiring help.
First, outsource everything you can from your personal life. Hiring a housekeeper, lawn maintenance service, and even an errand runner, are far less expensive than anyone you’ll hire for the office. The talent pool is abundant, and these roles require less training. From this first step, you’ll get a nearly-instant capacity spike.
The next thing I recommend outsourcing is your company’s bookkeeping. It’s the next most affordable to delegate, and keeping up your books is mission critical. Likely a part-timer is sufficient. (Thinking the last thing you’d delegate is anything financial? Do a background check for anyone you’re considering. Watch for a strong credit score, accurate resume, and references. Structure responsibilities so confidential information stays private. Retain check signature authority. If you give your bookkeeper access to banking information for reconciliations and payables, use an account that has a limited amount of money to limit your potential losses.)
At some point, you may be ready to hire a full- or part-time office manager. Ideally, this person will do the bookkeeping, administrative tasks like scheduling and communications, and clerical work. Add personal responsibilities like maintaining a social calendar and organizing household staff, and this person becomes a personal assistant. It’s tempting to think of this position as a springboard for entry-level talent, but this is a profession all its own, and you deserve someone who lives for the role. A great fit could have you working productively together for decades.
You might consider an intern for one of these roles, but I recommend instead using interns for non-mission-critical special projects that give them more transferable experience. You want people who are going to stick around for these important, intimate relationships. For more info on interns, check out this post: Summer Help (And Some are Not).