3 Tips for Hiring People for Your Online Business

From: How to Sell Online  with Alison J. Prince

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3 Tips for Hiring People for Your Online Business

Hiring people for your online business can be hard for you as a store owner—especially when you’re a relatively new entrepreneur. James Bake, who works with my team and me on the operations side, joined me on the How to Sell Online podcast to discuss how to find people you’ll love to work with (and even shares a free worksheet to help you!) 

Hiring Tip #1: Consider hiring someone to help you outside of your business.

When you think about hiring people for your online business, you might be thinking that you need to find someone to do customer service or take on other aspects of the day-to-day company workload. And maybe that’s exactly what you mean. But as James and I discuss on the podcast, sometimes hiring someone who makes your LIFE easier can be what you need to look for first. 

For example, it could be bringing in someone who helps clean your house. You might balk at that a little bit, but think about how much time you spend wiping down cupboards, mopping floors, or cleaning your tub. Remember—you’re the OWNER of your business, and your time should be used to focus on building your online store and making key growth decisions. Freeing your time by hiring a person to take on household tasks could put so many hours back in your day. 

Other (similar) kinds of hires could be a person to take care of your landscaping, do your shopping, or even put together freezer meals that you can pop in the oven. The more they do to make life easier outside of your business, the more you can focus on it. 

All that having been said, there are times when you need to hire people to help you inside of your business. And James has great advice for both. 

Hiring Tip #2: Know what’s important to you when you’re hiring people for your online business.

This is a big one! James shared a couple of things that he looks for that I thought were really interesting; for example, curiosity. He likes finding people who ask good questions about the work they’re doing. Ditto with having people coming to him with questions or ideas for making whatever they’re doing run faster or more smoothly. As he puts it, it might be an opportunity for him to learn something new himself or to teach the person he’s hired about the methods he prefers and why. 

Hiring Tip #3:  If it’s not working out…fire fast (it’s easier on both of you.)

When you listen to the podcast, you’ll hear how James recommends bringing someone into your organization. It’s the same process I personally have followed with my businesses, and it has helped me find really great team members. But what happens if your new hire just isn’t working out? 

Well, James suggests first considering what’s not working. Is it something that a little training can rectify? Maybe they’re performing pretty well, but just have a few rough edges that you can help them remove. In that case, think about trying them on another project.

But if you can see that the person you’ve brought in isn’t a good long-term fit, act quickly. Have an honest conversation with them and be okay about ending your working relationship. They probably realize that they’re not performing as much as you do; in fact, I’ve had people essentially “fire themselves” and leave when they sense that things aren’t working.


James brings so much good, actionable information to our discussion on hiring, so you’ll want to have a notebook handy as you listen to this podcast episode. In addition, James shares a great worksheet you’ll want to use when it’s time for you to hire. Look for it in the “Additional Resources” section of this post. 

Here are 10 of my personal takeaways from my conversation with James: 

  1. Start tracking your low-payout jobs vs. high-payout jobs and hire out low-payout jobs.
  2. What you're good at doesn’t mean that’s the thing you should be doing.
  3. You should be doing the thing that focuses on moving your business forward.
  4. Do you have your core values?
  5. Write out a clear job description.
  6. As you write the job description, have goals to work towards.
  7. Hire as a contractor first.
  8. Create an onboarding checklist.
  9. Make sure you like who you’re hiring.
  10.  Go download the free hiring worksheet! 
Additional Resources

About James:

James Bake is a Chief Operating Officer (or business Operator) with over 12 years of experience in e-commerce. As a mentor and advisor to founders and leadership teams, James is passionate about helping businesses succeed by focusing on people, processes, and products. 

Help from James: 

Connect with Alison:

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