How To Clone Yourself

Every business owner’s dream is to be able to hire someone at least as good as themselves to run their business. Sadly, cloning technology is still science fiction but you can still “clone” yourself for your business by outsourcing and delegating some of the things you do.

The trick is creating a system that you or anyone else can follow to do your work. This not only helps the person you will hire, it also helps you when you do the work yourself because you can put yourself into “employee mode”.

The basic steps:

1) Document how you do work

Documentation is always a pain since it looks a lot like the stuff you did in school: long nights of compiling info, writing and submitting only to get a failing grade. This time though, you can do it while having fun (and you won’t get a fail either).

Just document in the way that is most comfortable for you. For me, it’s writing recipe-type instructions. For others, it might be doing a recording of you explaining what you do. For others, it can be a screencast record of the process as you do it. Others like taking snapshots while artistic types can draw the steps.

What matters is that the instructions are easy to follow and understand. Use simple words and break down the process into concrete steps (ex: instead of “think of a topic”, use “go to twitter and check the trending hashtags”).

2) Provide extremely clear guidelines on what you deem as acceptable work

More often, checking the quality of the work will fall back to you. After all, it’s your neck on the line not your staff. Nevertheless, most people want to please their bosses and do good work, so make sure that what you deem as good work is very clear and explicit.

You get a lot of benefits from doing this: less work for you, more motivation for your staff due to concrete goals and faster turnaround due to less processing.

3) Try-before-you-buy the people you will hire.

There are a lot of bad apples online, no doubt about it. To ensure that your hires will be top notch, do a one week trial and see if the person delivers. You don’t want to be caught with your pants down due to non delivery of work to a client because your staff botched the job or didn’t show up for a week.

Here in 199Jobs, we already baked that into the system since you can always cancel work if it goes south. But you can have your own system as well by handing off minor but still important work to your hires before going full blast on the actual workload.