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How Do You Find People to Help You Out with Your Business?

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Entrepreneurs need help. Even the most ambitious and efficient entrepreneur often can’t get everything done that needs to get done. Rescue A CEO is proud to announce Rescue A CEO Connection as a way to connect entrepreneurs and business owners with professionals and experts to complete tasks and projects. We asked entrepreneurs how they currently find the right people to help them out with their business:

Interviewing People Outside Your Network

Interviewing people outside your network is crucial to growing your business. This can be done as simply as posting a job on linkedin or craigslist. Then, I recommend a three prong approach to interviews: 1) A phone screen 2) An actual test that gauges the skill set you are looking for 3) An in person interview. Throughout this process, remain open-minded. My best hire is someone I interviewed that had zero connections to me through my “network.” She had everything I was looking for-smart, eager to learn and driven. If we only hire within our networks we miss out on undiscovered gems.

Thanks to Elle Kaplan, Lexion Capital Management LLC!

Join A Mastermind Group

A great method of finding people to help you build your business is to join a mastermind group. These groups are filled with business men and women from many different fields, yet they all share a common goal – building their business. It is a great way to find the motivation you need to think bigger or to work out a problem. Sharing your successes with others will help you brainstorm bigger ideas that continue to grow your business. Sharing your challenges with others will allow you to help each other when the going gets tough. We can all use a little help along the way and what better way to do that than finding other business owners who could likely use some help from you too! Making connections and building relationships is what doing business is all about. You can start by joining a mastermind group.

Thanks to Amy Powell, FizzNiche.com!

Gain Relationships with Colleges and Universities

There are so many recent grads who are looking for experience. Gaining a relationship with colleges and universities will allow you to post openings to their career sites or contact those who need internships or co-op placements to graduate. The best part of this win-win situation is that they are gaining hands on experience and you are getting an eager, driven, fresh individual who is bound to be a positive addition to your business.

Kelly Fallis, Remote Stylists!

Use Outsourced Resources

When I had an international 70-person telecom business some years ago, we used internal resources for almost all aspects of the business. We even had our own call center and accounting department. Today, such functions are often outsourced at larger companies. Smaller businesses, however, often miss the costs savings of dependable outsourcing. We started a support services company, Human Companies, to help bridge that gap for small businesses, especially micro-sized businesses. Such businesses make up the vast majority of the approximately 25 million U.S. businesses (about 97% have fewer than 20 employees). Our flagship service, HumanBookkeeping.com, for example, cuts bookkeeping costs about 40% for many such businesses with its outsourced bookkeeping service. Today, a small business CEO doesn’t have to go through the hassle of constantly vetting, managing, and supplying internal employees with the right resources.

Thanks to Aaron Eisendrath, Human Companies!

Become A Stealth Networker

The best way to get help outside your network is to become the roving stealth networker for information and advice. But, you can’t
just ask for free info, especially from other entrepreneurs who charge for their coaching and services. So, I recommend that business folks use the same techniques I’ve coached job seekers to use for years: a backdoor, or “stealth” approach. Have your inquiry be couched in an approach which sets that person up like an “expert” in their field, and be doing research for which this person is the only person on the planet that would be able to give you the answers you need. Deftly using the power of human psychology and ego, it’s possible to have folks open doors left and right if you approach them correctly.

Thanks to Darrell W. Gurney, Career Guy!

I Reach Out to My Network

I reach out to my network to ask them to reach out to their network in order to find help. If my network does not have the answers or the people then I simply ask my network to help me! I work on always building my network by increasing my Linkedin Contacts, Facebook friends and Twitter followers. The nice result of the Internet is that you can responses amazingly quickly and usually someone knows someone who can help you out.

Thanks to John Leishman, Teleworking Expats for Hire!

Business & Startup Incubators

This is a great article topic because there are so many new businesses that are just waiting to get started but people don’t really know where to go for help or guidance. I was lucky with my company because I just happened to bump into someone who pointed me in the right direction.  For those who don’t have that luck on their sides the first place to start is doing an online search for local business incubators.  Pretty much every mid-sized city and up has one. If you don’t live in a decent sized town, odds are you live close to one.
Local business and startup incubators provide a wealth of resources: networking opportunities, educational materials and guidance, promotional expertise, and tons of other things to help get your business off the ground. And by working with someone in a local incubator program you get someone in your corner which can be huge in developing a following for the company. There are also some great online resources I have used. Sprouter.com was something I frequented in the early days of my company. They provide a place to get answers to your questions from lots of experts.  Startup nation can be helpful too. Once my company got going, I decided to try to help other people like me out so I created The Part Time Entrepreneur as a resource to help out with the process.

Thanks to Ernie Dempsey, The Part Time Entrepreneur!

Networking

I’ve found help just by networking. The first person who helped me out responded to a Tweet. I asked a marketing question and he offered to meet me for coffee. It’s amazing the number of people I’ve met since who are willing to help. What I love about social networking is that we can connect with people far and wide. A gentlemen in London suggested that I change my focus on building traffic to my site to the people who took the time to read my site. He shared that when I show my appreciation for my existing readers, they’ll recommend me to others – and they did.  I think it’s important to always be willing to share. I share tips in groups and forums and with fellow bloggers. It’s a fun way to make connections and to get over any little obstacles that are laid in our paths.

Thanks to Kimberly Gauthier, Keep the Tail Wagging!

Ask Questions & Be of Service

Get out there and ask questions, with the question of how can I help myself and others: While visiting the Electronic Transaction Association convention, I attended the investor’s day. The “Investor’s panel,” who, “Fund Innovation,” averaged investing between $50M and $150M deals. Knowing that startups are the real innovators, I raised my hand and asked, “Who is funding the $1M – $5M deals in this industry since that is where real innovation takes place?” The panel went quiet, but the audience went crazy. I walked out with about a dozen cards, including the moderator of the panel who two days later joined my board of directors as my independent industry seat. Be of service to life, and support will come: Inevitably, whenever I go out to help support others, I end up meeting contacts that eventually help advise/support me. You can’t go out and “look” for your own supporters. You have to go out and truely be there fully for whomever you are supporting and true connections will come as these new contacts witness your efficacy and talents while supporting others. An example here is when I volunteered to help some of the fellows at the Unreasonable Institute. Our team surrounding the fellow ended up being a rock star team, and we were so vested in the success of the fellow that we won a scrimmage day that was held to see which team could help solve a fellows problem fastest. We won. Now there are a half dozen people in boulder, many of them now mentors of mine, that have seen me do what I do in real time for others. They have all volunteered to help me. They have become family as we “sweat and bled together.” I would imagine the same thing would apply working for a soup kitchen, church, etc.

Thanks to Mark Fischer, Inspire Commerce!

Utilize University Undergraduates

As the founder of a lifestyle business, my goal is to keep costs low, hire as few people as possible, and build systems that can be easily run by anybody. I therefore utilize university undergraduates to help me market my business, build content, and lead projects that already have a system in place.

Thanks to Jun Loayza, Tour Woo!

We Consult with Entrepreneurs & Network

We solicit help and guidance for our company by consulting with entrepreneurs in and around the Southern California network, and by
attending meetups hosted by TechBiz Connection in Irvine to connect with e-commerce and tech entrepreneurs, cloud hosting companies and legal practitioners as the events are usually hosted at the headquarters of the intellectual property law firm, Knobbe Martens. We pair these meet ups with our trade shows in Las Vegas and around the country to expand our knowledge and reach within the wedding and event space.

Thanks to Shreyans Parekh, Koyal Wholesale!

Forums, Ask People Like You & Craiglist and Gen Y

I ask a forum I belong to for references. So the first thing is to be a member of a networking forum where you can ask or turn to for trusted advice. The second place to ask is from people like you who have a rolodex and don’t mind sharing it. I have my current VA as a result of this method and she is dynamite. The third, which I have had a lot of success from is Craigslist and the Gen Yer’s. They are go getters, usually overqualified and underpaid. I have never had a bad experience from Craigslist. When dealing virtually it is important to have an agreement, to get their land telephone and address, past employment and hopefully LinkedIn information.

Thanks to Sarah Jo Wood, Evolving Advisors!

Creating A Vision Video & Free Services

We found people to help us out in our business, creating the show Burlesque to Broadway by using a Vision Video creative visualization. It’s not just visualization, we took action. There are tons of free services in New York City, in many cities for entrepreneurs. I took a producing class thru the Actor’s Fund, which put me in touch with a lot  of like minded entrepreneurs.

Thank you to Quinn Lemley, Burlesque to Broadway & Acorn to Oak Tree Consulting!

Freelancer Sites or Look up Experts

Fivver, zaarly, elancer, freelancer.com etc. and even craigslist, or I look up experts in various fields by using either twellow.com or
klout.com.

Thanks to Brad Hines!

Join a Networking Group

Joining a networking group of likeminded women has helped me grow my business. Entrepreneurship can be very lonely, especially as a mom. Finding women who understand where I am coming from has been a game changer personally and in business. I belong to Savor The Success, an online and in person community of women who are turning their passions into profitable and rapidly growing businesses.

Thanks to Vanessa Coppes, enV by Vanessa Coppes!

Professional Associations

One of the best ways I know to find people to help with your business is through professional associations. The experts you need are often associate members and even if they aren’t, since the other members usually have the same business problems you do, they’re one of the best sources of recommendations out there. When it comes to finding help with sales, some is always trying to sell something to small business people. So my recommendation is to consider hiring the best salespeople you encounter. The key is to remember that the best salesperson is probably not the man or woman who generates the reaction “Oh, what a great salesperson.” That person is probably the slickest, the most glib, but they’re also the person whose every word and action screams “salesperson” and puts customers on the defensive. The best salespeople are those who generate quick and easy rapport, who you find yourself drawn to, who seem more concerned with building longterm relationships and providing service than just getting a quick sale.

Thanks to Barry Maher!

Online Resources & In-Person Networking

Typically find my resources online via their website, blog, or Linkedin profile. If I like their business philosphy, I’ll actually just send them an email explaining my situation and what my questions are. Many people who live online understand how difficult it is to connect, so they are generally responsive. In-person networking is also a great resource.

Thanks to Elaine Yue, Workers’ Comp Class!

An Organized Group of Business Owners

I have always found it extremely helpful to be part of an organized group of business owners. Right now I belong to Executive Forums, but there are many good ones out there. What you get out of a group like this depends much more on its leader and the other members than on the umbrella organization, and I have found having this particular ad hoc “board of directors” to be invaluable. Firstly, they bring in expert speakers who have already been vetted, so if a member needs a lawyer, a sales trainer, etc. we have access to a great referral. Better still, any issue that comes up-pricing, dealing with a high-maintenance client, marketing-I can bring to the group and can be assured of expert and very insightful support from other members who have faced similar challenges. Furthermore, in an emergency I know I can just shoot out an e-mail SOS and someone will get back to me. For example, a few months back I had a virus on my website. I am not the tech-savviest kid on the block, so I e-mailed my fellow group members, one of whom got back to me right away with some resources that helped me determine how to address the problem. Entrepreneurs often feel that they have to go it alone, and sometimes we do. However, my Executive Forums group has got my back, which not only provides practical support but helps me sleep better at night. And, as a I’m self-employed mom of small children, that is probably the greatest gift of all.

Thanks to Melissa Burkhart, Futuro Sólido USA!

LinkedIn

I have started a few startups before in my college days and I have to say, LinkedIn is a very powerful tool to meet people. I’d have to go with that.

Thanks to Jason Navallo, Live to Close!

Freelance Websites & Contractors

Getting help for our business has been essential thanks to rapid growth. We turned to freelancing websites and hired contractors to help out with all sorts of things. From web design to coding and customer service.

Thanks to Sandip Singh, Go Get Funding!

I Ask

I ask other entrepreneurs. I asked people I know via LinkedIn or Twitter. I post what I am looking within online business groups
I ask the vendors I currently work with for recommendations. I give a bonus to employee that connect me to these resources.

Thanks to JJ DiGeronimo, Purposeful Woman!

The Internet

As an entrepreneur and business owner I am always seeking out help. I find people out side my network by: (1) Asking my friends and family if they know someone who may be helpful to me in that specific situation. (2) I “google” people and businesses in order to find their direct contact information. (3) I contact people and businesses through Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn. I caught the attention of Bethenny Frankel through Twitter. She was moving into her new home and was looking for some organizational help. I tweeted at her and the next morning I woke up to an email from her assistant regarding my services. Overall the internet is very helpful and if you put the proper amount of time and research into your search you can always find someones contact information.

Thanks to Emily Matles, emagine simplicity!

Referrals

Since 2001 part of my business is serving as a referral resource to companies, organizations and individuals who are seeking freelance or consulting expertise for their businesses and projects. I’m a matchmaker of sorts, making it my job to know who is really good at what they do, particularly in the marketing, PR, communications and leadership arenas. Those who approach me for referrals know that I’ve done my homework, screen my talent carefully, know what I do is both art & science, and am picky as all get-out about who I refer to whom. That said, people seeking referrals and resources should be equally finicky about who they go to for suggestions and recommendations. To often people ask the first person they run into or rely strictly on social media or Google searches. That can be disastrous – expensive, headache-producing, and just plain unwise.

Thanks to Patti DeNucci, The International Networker!

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.
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