5 Team Building Tips for Solopreneur Designers [Part I]

There comes a point in every business where hiring help becomes a necessity – even for the solopreneur interior designer. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly unending number of tasks that running your own business requires, from the boring bookkeeping and tedious email communication to the far more exciting design work that you love, it may be time to hire some support personnel.

If you're the type of person who likes to keep control of things, this can be tough to do. Who can you trust to do things “your way” and, where will you find them? Without doubt, these are important questions yet, if you’ve been in business for any length of time, you also know that if you try to be all things to all people, you will set yourself up for failure. The long-term stress and anxiety of being and doing everything yourself will lead to physical and mental exhaustion and, eventually, to overwhelm and burn-out.

Instead of going down that road alone, as so many entrepreneurs have done, ask yourself:

  • What can you delegate to others?
  • Which of your business-owner hats can you outsource?
  • Where can you find the support you need that will enable you to focus on your client’s needs, and to take care of YOU?

The first step is Acceptance – the knowledge and understanding that you just can’t do it all yourself any longer. You're not an accountant or an attorney, so quit trying to be. You're not a website developer or copywriter, so quite trying to be. Accept that, much like the clients who hire you for your expertise, you need the help of experts to realize your vision and reach your business goals.

These 5 Team Building Tips will help smooth the process even further:

  1. Are you taking too much time to complete a task that is not your specialty? When the answer is yes, it’s time to get help.
  2. What is your budget? Be realistic, while also understanding that you're making an investment in the long-term success of your business – and in your sanity!
  3. Prioritize the tasks to give up, based on the best return on your investment (ROI).
  4. Remember that you can always try team-building in small doses, first, and you can also make changes later.
  5. Starting NOW (if not already done) create a typed-up process for ALL you do. This way, when you’re ready to give it to someone else, you don’t have to spend a lot of time walking them through a process you that perform without thinking.

Imagine developing a team that not only supports you and your growth, but allows you to step back, JUST do the things you are trained for and love to do, and allows you the freedom to enjoy your family, friends, and free time. By setting criteria for what you need, finding support and building a team can be surprisingly easy.

Building a team of people who will support you will take some time and effort, of course. There may be mistakes along the way. Yet, once you reach a certain point in your business, moving to the next level literally REQUIRES that you find and employ a team to support you.

For more on why you should take these 5 team building tips for DIY designers seriously, take a look at this video from a man I respect, Lloyd Princeton, of Design Management Company.