APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.
Here she gives a reader advice on how to find the right person to hire as her business grows.
Q) I’ve been running my own small business as a kids’ entertainer and party planner for the past year, and it’s been going really well.
So well, in fact, I’m having to turn down some clients as I can’t physically do all of the jobs myself. I’m thinking about taking someone on part-time to help.
However, I find it easy to work with kids and do the parties, but I know I’m not always so great at the business side of things. Where do I start when it comes to finding that extra person?
Clara, via email
A) Congratulations on starting your own business and making it such a success!
The first thing to do is make a list of everything you do to run the business – from actually hosting parties to carrying out admin work, such as ordering supplies and invoicing – then highlight all the tasks you need help with.
You can then create a job description for a member of staff based on those responsibilities.
Consider what experience the person will need to fulfil these tasks and how many hours it would require.
Also consider the financial implications of employing someone, and how much extra work you will need to take on in order to cover these costs.
When you’re ready to start recruiting, there are many ways to do this.
Use your business Instagram page to announce that you’re looking to expand the team and advertise the role, share it on LinkedIn and use connections you already have to spread the word.
Growing your business can be daunting, but it’s a great sign that it is succeeding!
A Day In The Life Of…
Zoë Desmond, 42, is the founder of single parent community and dating platform Frolo. She lives in Fulham, west London, with her son Billy, six.
I wake up at…
6.30am. Billy’s dad and I co-parent, so when Billy is staying there, I have a coffee then head straight to my home-office desk. My brain works best first thing, so I like to optimise my time and get ahead. On the days Billy is at home, I start work around 9am after doing the school run.
A normal day involves…
Meetings – but I make sure they are no more than 30 minutes, to avoid procrastination. T
his includes one-to-ones with my team of eight, catching up with our development agency and being interviewed by journalists.
Right now, I’m in discussions with our lead investors to fund Frolo Dating. Apple has also invited us to join a cohort of female-founded start-ups, which involves a five-week mentoring programme with its in-house experts.
Although I’m very involved with everything from product to tech, marketing and social media, it’s also important to give the team freedom to be experts in their fields.
Listening to feedback from our 40,000 users about how we can improve is always a priority, too. When Billy’s at his dad’s, I try to shut my laptop by 7pm and go to dinner with friends.
But when he’s at home, I sometimes sneak back on the laptop while he watches TV after school and dinner’s cooking. I definitely feel working mother’s guilt. The juggle is real!
The best part of my job is…
Seeing the difference Frolo makes to lives – mine included! When I became a single parent in 2017, I’d spend weekends feeling so lonely. There wasn’t a way to find other single parents in my area. Now, I’m giving my son a better experience of me as a parent and I don’t feel any “less” than a nuclear family.
And the hardest?
Being the founder can be very lonely, especially on hard days when it feels like everything is falling on my shoulders!
I wind down by…
Music helps me relax, as does going for walks. I listen to podcasts, such as The Tim Ferriss Show and Dan Murray-Serter’s Secret Leaders. They’re work-oriented, but remove
me from what’s going on in my own head.