When Should I Hire My First Virtual Team Member?

When the time is right that you finally get hire your first virtual team member, you might instantly think “this is it, I can finally delegate and take my business to new heights!”

But I hate to break it to you so early in this blog, but hiring a virtual team member does not mean instant success. In fact, it could lead to failure (or “lessons” as I’d like to call them), if you don’t get the timing right. 

You’re probably wondering, “Tega, when is the right time?” Which is probably why you’re reading this blog, correct?

While you may be thinking that all you need to consider are the costs, there’s really more to it. And speaking of cost, it isn’t so simple as believing people online who say, “Did you know you can just hire someone from the Philippines for $1.5 an hour to do all the work for you!?”

That is a huge, huge NO.

While you can make the argument that labor is cheap, good labor is not cheap nor is good labor that is competent and fast. 

So whenever you’re thinking about hiring your first virtual team member, you need to think broadly about your business. Think about what this team member can do for you and vice versa.

I want to start this blog on the right foot by saying that whoever you are going to hire is a human being. They have a whole bunch of varied interests that may absolutely not be relevant to their job, but could be what keeps them sane. 

Take the time to learn about their interests and talk to them about it. 

In this current environment where outsourcing to cheaper labor in developing countries, people tend to forget this aspect. It’s all about “what can this person do for me?” 

To start things off on the right foot, if you want to have success in hiring and keeping your team members for a long time, you need to start thinking about the people you’re hiring as people first as opposed to bots. Care for them and nurture them, and they will do the same for your business.

Now that I’ve said what I needed to say in this weird tangent of an intro, let’s talk about how I knew it was time to hire my first virtual team member. 


Personally, I don’t hire based on whether someone will generate revenue (but it is definitely a good reason as you will see later) for the business or not. I generally hire someone based on workload. 

Do note that I have hired a few other people before because I wanted to experiment on this whole outsourcing shebang but I want to focus on how I hired the first official member of the team.

So the first official person I hired was because I didn’t have the time and motivation to create content for my own brand. 

That was when I decided to hire my very first writer, Gabbie, to create that content for me. All I did was give her direction and some amazing resources to help her get started, and we went from there. And now, two years later, she is still writing content for me. 

Ever since I hired my first virtual team member, my virtual team has slowly grown from there. I make sure that the workload for me and everyone in the team is manageable. If the workload gets too much for anyone, we go back to the drawing board and see whether we can hire someone new or not. 

Because my deciding point in hiring someone is based on workload, we’re always just moving forward. If I can document something that I’m doing and if I can hand it off, then cool, I’ll be monitoring the person who is doing the doing.

And in the time where I used to be doing the doing, I would fill that up with something else. 

So I’m constantly in motion and because I’m constantly in motion, various things are taken off and added to my plate as the business moves and grows. And because of this, it sort of has become second nature for me to determine whether I can hire someone new or not. 

My situation will definitely be different from yours, so this blog aims to cover the overall idea of when you should hire your first virtual team member. 


I have done my best to make this blog as jam packed with useful information as possible. So take down notes, keep an open mind and don’t hesitate to do your own research as well.

We will be talking about the following factors that will help you determine whether it’s finally the time to put on your Tim Ferriss hat and hire your first virtual team member:

Factor #1: Hiring a team member will generate money

Factor #2: You’re turning down customers and/or not properly attending to your current ones

Factor #3: You have specific tasks in mind that you want to delegate 

Factor #4: You’re getting burned out from doing all of the work yourself

Factor #5: You have the budget to outsource

I will also be sharing my personal experiences and mistakes when it comes to hiring my first few virtual team members.

Without further ado, let’s start learnin’.


Factor #1: Hiring a team member will generate money

There’s a limit as to how fast and how big your business can grow if it’s just you managing the entire operation. As your business grows, so will the need to have laser focus on certain tasks. 

You, as the business owner, want to avoid being spread too thin.

Think about it, if you’re so focused on all the admin work and managing your databases, how will you find the time to do bookkeeping, or sales, or customer service?

Mind you that if you don’t have the time and dedication to focus on revenue-generating tasks like sales or marketing, then you will inevitably not generate enough revenue to grow. 

And with no revenue, how will you be able to afford growing a team and scale your business? 

And yes, I completely agree with you that hiring someone costs money. But having no focus on revenue-generating tasks will cost even more money. 

So when you consider hiring someone, take into account whether the financial benefits exceed the cost of hiring.

One way to go about this is by hiring someone to do all of the lengthy admin tasks for you so that you can focus on finding more customers for the business.

Another way is to hire someone to focus on these revenue-generating tasks like sales and marketing, while you focus on other strategies to grow your business.

In my case, I’m currently doing the revenue-generating tasks of looking for clients while my team is the one doing the fulfillment side of things. And the reason for this is not because I don’t trust my team to look for clients. It’s because there currently is no documented process in terms of how I get clients.

The clients that I’ve generated so far in the business have mostly been from networking and building relationships with people. In a way, there is no outbound process that we have established, and this is what we’re working on now. 

I have full confidence in delegating the fulfillment side of things as fulfillment is easy to document. This means it’s easier to bring people to step in and fill that role.

We’re slowly moving towards setting something up where we can be more outbound in terms of sales, but as things stand, I’m primarily responsible for sales and revenue generation, where the team is mostly responsible for client fulfillment. 

With this current arrangement, I am more able to focus ON this business rather than IN it. 

And although generating revenue wasn’t the main goal when I grew my team, our revenue has been growing because I was finally able to focus on the crucial revenue-generating tasks without worrying about the fulfillment side of things. 

If you’re confident, after much calculation and planning, that this new hire can help you make money for your business or at least save money, then it might be high time to begin hiring away, my friend. 

Factor #2: You’re turning down customers and/or not properly attending to your current ones

As a business owner, I’m sure you can admit that it’s difficult to find and acquire customers. It takes time, preparation, and a whole lot of patience. 

When you finally acquire the customers you’ve worked hard for, the challenge doesn’t end there. You need to make sure that you can retain these customers through proper fulfillment and great customer service.

If you’re the only one in the business, how are you supposed to find customers, keep your current customers, and meet deadlines all at the same time!? I’d personally go crazy, for sure.

Each of these are essential tasks in making sure that you have customers coming in and remaining loyal. At some point, you’re going to need to hire someone to ensure everything goes smoothly.

The same goes for making sure that you actually have the capacity to take in new customers. If you’re turning down people who want to avail of your services because you just don’t have the time anymore, then that’s a huge sign that you need to hire someone. 

If you truly want to grow your business and earn more, you simply can’t keep getting new clients with you doing all of the work.

You also can’t afford to lose your clients because if you think about it, losing one loyal client could be more costly to your business than hiring a reliable virtual team member. 

Additionally, as your client-base grows, so will your need to find more people to complete the tasks related to client fulfillment. 

Factor #3: You have specific tasks in mind that you want to delegate 

As an avid learner myself, I get tempted to try to learn as much as possible for the business. That way, I get to execute a lot of the tasks myself and control as much of the outcome as possible.

However, as business owners, time is gold, right?

So would it be faster if you learn, let’s say, SEO from the ground up, or just hire an SEO expert instead? 

Hiring someone to do specific tasks or have a specific skill set can be hugely beneficial for your business as this saves you a lot of time, and you’re sure that this person can focus and get the job done well. 

It can be more expensive, but don’t you think your valuable time could be used elsewhere instead of learning something you have no idea about?

But before you publish that job post, here’s an exercise.

Try to create the job description first and list all of the tasks that you will need this team member to do. Do note that these tasks and responsibilities should all be related to each other. It can’t be far-off tasks such as customer service and content writing put into one as your team member wouldn’t be able to focus. 

Go through all the responsibilities you have listed out and see if everything is worth a 40-hour workweek. The last thing you want is to have a team member that doesn’t have enough work.

How I do it in the business is relatively simple. I look at everything I’m currently doing and decide what I don’t want to do anymore. 

For example, when it was finally the time for me to start posting about my business online and creating content, I knew it wasn’t my cup of tea. But I also knew I had to start posting. So what I did was I put together a typical job description for a writer and then I posted it in OnlineJobs.PH. 

One important thing to consider as well when delegating is to make sure that you already have a system for the task at hand so that both you and your new hire won’t be running around like headless chickens from day one. 

Another very important thing to avoid? Burnout.

Factor #4: You’re getting burned out from doing all of the work yourself

Probably some of you can relate to wanting to do everything in the business yourself. It’s your “baby” so you know it best, right?

But this mindset is something that you have to overcome. Based on my experience, it takes courage to delegate. Don’t underestimate the power of handing over some tasks to a new team member.

Take the time to find the right person who can fulfill the tasks up to your standard. If you don’t, you’ll definitely risk burning out or worse, get sick from overworking yourself.

I’ve reached the point of burnout several times because of my failure to delegate, even when I already have a team to back me up. And this is by no means the team’s fault, but something of my own doing. 

This problem was especially prevalent when I just started this hiring thing. The first burnout point that I experienced was because I was ironically competing with my team members for the jobs I hired them to do and I ended up overworking myself. 

I was still doing the implementation when I really should have been just managing the implementation.

So don’t be like Tega and learn to delegate. 

And speaking of overwork, don’t forget to take time offs too. You deserve it and more importantly, it is beneficial for your business. Clearing your mind can help you think of better ideas and improve your overall mental health.

Finally, we’re at the last factor to help you determine whether you should begin hiring or not. I too have fallen victim to not considering this before…

Factor #5: You have the budget to outsource

The most important rule in hiring is to never do so if you can’t afford it.

Make sure you assess the financials and see if hiring someone won’t leave you bankrupt. On the other hand, assess your finances as well to see if the cost of hiring someone is worth the risk. Going back to the first point, if your team member will generate more revenue for you in the long run, then by all means, start hiring. 

One rule of thumb is to make sure that you have at least a three month runway where there’s going to be enough money coming into the business to pay somebody else for at least three months. 

Back in my outsourcing “experimenting” days, I hired a web developer who apparently I didn’t have the income to support. What happened was that I hired them based on a conversation I had with someone that led to me trying to build a web design agency (which obviously doesn’t exist anymore). 

I was trying to shortcut the process of building a web design agency by simply hiring someone to do the web designing for me. And because of that shortcut attempt, I overlooked the fact that I didn’t have the runway in case the business didn’t make revenue in the first few months.

And, as all businesses are, I didn’t generate any revenue initially, which meant I couldn’t afford to continue paying the web developer.

Don’t be like me and think you can hire someone without checking your budget first, which I always make sure to look at now after that careless mistake.

To help me determine if I have the budget, I have a financial sheet I look at that tracks what’s coming in and out of the business. And when the workload becomes too much for either me or my team members, I will go to the marketplace and see what the going rate is for the position that I’m looking for.

Then, I consult my finance tracking sheet and see what I have in terms of money at the end of the month after all expenses are paid. 

If there’s room to make that happen for three months, then I make it happen. If there isn’t room, then I have to sit down and judge or decide what we need to stop doing, to alleviate the pressure of having too much to do. 

A good example of this is that a time came when Gabbie couldn’t handle both my content and that of a new client, so we decided to hire another writer to support her. Thankfully, I had the budget to bring another writer on board.

Now, before you think this blog is over, let me impart you with one final bonus tip.


One final tip that I want to give you before you start hiring is your mindset.

As far as it comes to mindset, you need to come from a place of wanting your new member to succeed in the role. 


It all comes back to creating and documenting systems and processes in place that somebody can easily be plugged into without too much of a steep learning curve. This will allow them to be more effective and give them the confidence to do what they need while freeing your time, as the business owner, to focus on what you need to focus on.

Remember that your team members are as human as you are and not machines that you have created to make your business run. 

Adding an employee is a big and scary commitment, but failing to do so can hurt your growing business. Pay attention to your own workload and begin looking for the right talent before you miss out on important opportunities for the business.

Most importantly, pay attention to yourself and your team and make sure that each of you are efficient, effective, and happy. 

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