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Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 15, 2009 in: Business - Plain & Simple, Delegation for Success

Business owners who are advancing from the solopreneur to a staffed organization can’t always make that leap from one to the other cleanly. They will often discover that there is an intermediate step in between, although not everyone knows this.

It’s true! In the steps between running a business on your own and running a staffed organization, you need to get more done (so hiring makes sense) but you don’t always have the money to hire a part time or full time employee.

There is a step in between that, though, and is called “outsourcing”. This is where you have staff for your business, but they aren’t employees; they are freelance professionals who specialize in the area of work you need. This level of scalability is the perfect way to grow a business while avoiding the high costs associated with adding staff.

Virtual staff might include virtual assistants or freelancers who are hired online and who deliver services that help the business.

There are numerous advantages to this often overlooked intermediate step:

  • There are no overhead or equipment costs associated with virtual staff: That’s because they’ll work at their own places of business not yours. This allows you to run a vast multinational conglomerate… out of a spare bedroom.
  • Since qualified virtual staff can be acquired through a VA firm and freelancers can be acquired through a freelance site (like, a lot of the “footwork” is taken care of: The VA firm hires and trains their VA’s while Guru gives business owners an easy way to view a freelancer’s feedback from employers on past contracts.
  • Their time is scalable: With an employee, you need to pay them a minimum number of hours each day that they show up. But if your work is sporadic (which is often the case during the growth period of a business), it can be costly to pay employees who might be needed one week and not needed another week. A VA, however, can have their hours scaled up or down with no expectations. And freelancers who work on a project basis will only need to work when you have a job for them!

These are advantages to any business that needs to make that all-important (and often difficult-to-navigate) step of advancing from solopreneur to multi-staff business. In fact, some businesses get to this stage and realize that all of their needs are met and they can continue to grow with scalable virtual employees.

As a business coach, I see many businesses that use this model successful, with the business owner hiring virtual staff, handing out projects, and empowering the staff to run the business. The job of the owner, then, turns into one of delegator as he or she identifies tasks and manages who receives them and how they are completed.

About the author: Heather Villa, MBA CMA MSM, is a Business Coach and Entrepreneur. She helps business owners achieve success in operations, productivity, project management, and social media. Read her other articles at and visit for more information.

Disclaimer: © 2009 Heather Villa. Permission is granted to repost this article. Article must be published in its entirety, including author bio, and all links must remain intact.

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