Much of our writing happens behind closed doors. We spend a lot of time coaching fellow entrepreneurs, but most of what we share goes off into cyberspace never to be seen again.
So today I wanted to share an answer to a recent question in hopes it may help you as well.
It’s my understanding that many online businesses look through their internal network before looking to a job search. Can you tell me some of the struggles you faced when looking to add someone to your team? Did you submit a job posting or additional resource?
Hey man, thanks for reaching out.
We focus on remaining lean rather than growth in the traditional sense. So a proper hire would add substantially to our shoestring operating expenses. Instead we’ve very infrequently worked with contractors and solo entrepreneurs on a project basis.
It’s extremely difficult to find someone who’s not only highly skilled and dependable, but who’s also a fit with our culture. Brand encompasses everything so any contractor has to fit in and fully execute their tasks in a way that remains SPYR through and through.
We quite possibly have standards that are too high, but SPYR has been built 100% in-house since inception so we never seek someone to defer to for guidance. Instead we want someone who will successfully execute a given project to our extremely high standards.
But of course no contractor will ever be as invested in SPYR as we are. Unless Jeff, Dave, or Marla are handling the project even the most highly skilled individuals will require tradeoffs. Many times those tradeoffs have proven not worth the costs.
On the occasions that we’ve brought in contractors we’ve gone right to the top. We’ve approached solo entrepreneurs who operate similarly to the way we do. These have mostly been entrepreneurs with whom we share a mutual respect, but don’t have a personal relationship with.
The problem is that anyone who has enough experience to be doing the work that we expect also rarely has any shortage of work. So, despite being our first choice, we’ve not typically had an opportunity to contract these entrepreneurs. The tradeoffs here are either that the timeline would have to be pushed too far out or their cost simply does not fall within the project budget.
Our next choice has been outsourcing. This is of course a budget-friendly option, however the administration cost required almost always outpaces the cost savings. Any project that we’ve attempted to complete through an outsourcing agency, despite much handholding and management, has required either a complete rewrite, or that we invest so much time into fixes that the cost savings has become a wash.
So, as with any aspect of life or business, a strong network is vital and the first place to turn when in need. But it’s important to be critical of growth and whether or not it’s an appropriate step to take. For us it simply has not been appropriate.
Feel free to shoot any more questions my way!