Side Checks Podcast

How To Plan For Hiring Before You’re Ready With Jade Buford

March 29, 2023

I'm Amy! I'm a small business educator who got hooked on entrepreneurship after starting a cleaning business in college. Since my Clorox days, I've built many businesses. I've sold businesses. And I've helped small business owners do the same.


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Why You Plan For Hiring Before The Process Begins

Hiring for your side hustle or full-time business should not only be considered when you’re drowning inside work. In fact, we should normalize the hiring process for all business models and prepare for hiring before we are ready to take action. When we proactively plan for hiring inside our business, we are able to build our businesses to scale from the beginning.

On this episode of Side Checks, I am sitting down with Jade Buford of J. Alexandria Creative, and talking all about the hiring process. Jade is a former side hustler who took her business of one and turned it into an agency business model, growing her business like never before.

An Agency Business Model

Jade is the Creative Director and CEO of J. Alexandria Creative a brand and web design agency dedicated to serving small business owners by creating beautifully strategic brands and websites. After graduating with her BFA in Advertising from the Savannah College of Art and Design, working at a full service ad agency and as a designer in an in-house corporate marketing department, Jade, wanted to bring the same level of quality, strategy and design to the small business owner. J. Alexandria Creative started as a solo side hustle and turned into a full time agency with a team of 5 contractors dedicated to loving and serving small businesses through design!

When we think of hiring a team, we often think of hiring salaried employees. However, I think creating an agency business model built of part-time contractors can actually be an easier and more strategic way to grow and scale your business. By creating an agency business model, your business can accept more projects without having to necessarily add more work to your plate.

Plus with part-time contractors, you can also bypass worrying about offer negotiations and permanent overhead expenses. In this episode, Jade actually explains how she’s able to bake in her contractor pricing into bids. This way, her business stays in the green.

Signs That It’s Time To Hire

Even though we want to proactive plan for hiring inside our business, there are some signs that hiring should be sooner rather than later. One of those signs is burnout and a lack of productivity. Jade explains before she took a significant leap into hiring, she felt as if she worked around the clock. And the life of freedom she thought she was building with entrepreneurship, wasn’t happening.

Here are some signs that it may be time to start hiring inside your business:

  • You work around the clock but only barely accomplish your to-do list at best
  • You feel exhausted and overworked
  • Your business isn’t growing week to week
  • There’s someone who can accomplish a task inside your business better and faster than you

Remember, even if you’re not ready to start hiring today, you should be proactively making a plan for hiring inside your business. This looks like creating SOP’s (standard operating procedures), workflows, trainings, and staying organized.

Creating Company Culture With Contractors

One question I had for Jade during this interview was how to create company culture. With a team of contractors, you don’t assign work hours or have restrictions around employment like full-time employees. I also wanted to know how to prepare for company culture in my hiring preparation planning.

One thing Jade mentions is her onboarding process. She allocates a lot of onboarding success to her smooth, detailed, and organized training and welcoming process. Even though she’s working with contractors, Jade creates onboarding materials for what contractors can expect.

These onboarding materials on top of training materials help to create a company culture of clear communications. And helps set expectations upfront. Jade also mentioned that training, onboarding, and creating this type of culture also attributes to a smaller learning curve when a new contractor joins her team. When an employee is given clear work instructions, they often need less support at the beginning. Something we all want to avoid is onboarding a new team member and creating trainings at the same time.

Creating Your Plan For Hiring

There are a few key steps for creating a plan for hiring inside your business. It’s important that no matter what phase of business you are in, these steps are considered well before you’re ready to bring someone into your business.

Organizing Your Systems and Workflows

The first step in creating a plan for hiring is to organize your systems and workflows. You want to have a clear understanding of how your business operates and what happens within each workflow. You should be able to clearly explain this to others and document it where you can. For processes and workflows, I use Dubsado to manage the insides of my business. You can start creating your workflows with Dubsado right here and receive 20% off your first month or year.

Creating SOP’s

The next thing you want to do when creating a plan for hiring is to create SOP’s or standard operating procedures. It may feel funny being a team of one. However, take some time to document what processes occur on a regular basis inside your business. Anything that you do more than once, should have a SOP documentation.

A very easy way to begin creating SOP for your business is to screen record various processes. You can use tools like Loom to record your screen while you work, explaining each step along the way. Videos like these make for fantastic resources to pass off to new team members.

Resources For This Episode:

The best thing about proactively preparing your business for hiring is that you can start early and take your time. Plus, so many of these proactive steps can occur throughout your normal work week. A business does not need to be full-time in order to have a team. The purpose of hiring for your business is to grow and scale income and opportunity.

Explore more about Jade and her web design agency here. Jade offers visual branding packages as well as custom web design packages for creative entrepreneurs. And if you’re looking for a unique and professional web design template that you can plug and play with yourself, explore J. Alexandria Creative’s Web Template shop here. Use promo code SIDECHECKS for 25% off your entire order!

Looking for a creative side hustle idea? I have 97 of them! Check out my Free 97 Creative (and profitable) Side Hustle Ideas right here! This list is way better than what you’ll find when you Google search….

I'm Amy Schmidt

Hi there!

I'm a small business cheerleader, strategist, and course creator who loves seeing others earn income in unconventional ways. I started a cleaning business in college and have side hustled since, selling my latest part-time business for $151,000.


I'm Amy Schmidt, your new business strategist!

I'm a small business development and sales strategist who loves seeing others earn income in unconventional ways. I started a cleaning business in college and have side hustled since, selling my latest part-time business for $151,000

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