You’ve successfully launched your startup and it has become your full-time job. You’re finally in a space where you can afford to hire your first team member. Now the question is, which person should you hire first?
Alla and I were conversing this morning over coffee about this and we went back and forth. One said, definitely a customer support person, the other said, an EA. As we discussed further, we came to this conclusion - an EA. Why?
Imagine the scenario, as a startup and a one-man team, you’re probably getting overwhelmed with everything that you need to do. Now, every single task, no matter how small is taking time away from you - time that you could use to work on bigger things or what we call higher leverage tasks.
Don’t get me wrong, getting to your customers is a top priority and this is the person that you should be preparing to hire next. But if you’re just starting and you only have room for 1 person to hire, do your own customer support first because you know what you are talking about. It will take time for you to train a customer support person before you could feel the effect of this person giving you your time back. So, instead go for the EA.
With an EA, you could give this person a variety of tasks that will immediately free up your time. On the top of my head, you could have your EA:
Sort out your emails so you can get to the urgent ones first.
Handle your scheduling, so you can spend more time in calls instead of scheduling it
Have him or her post your blog articles and/or send out your newsletters, giving you more time to write them.
Check in your social media channels and notify you of any important comments or messages, so you can spend more time curating social media posts.
And the most important thing (which will prepare you for the next person you hire), have him or her do SOPs of what you do for Customer Support, so that when you hire someone for this position, your training materials are ready.
Marketing, Sales and Operations people will come in later. In the meantime, this should be you because you are the one who knows these things. They can come in as you scale.
Have you hired your first team member? Who did you hire first?