Who’s on my team in 2023? [Half-Million Dollar Online Business]
You’ve probably heard me mention a few people who work for me, like Cortni, my operations manager, or Tiffany, who works in customer service.
But never before have I shared the details of everyone on my team — who they are and what they do — or even how many people work for me.
If you’re anything like me, then this is probably the sort of thing you’re curious about! I always find myself wondering about the inner workings of other businesses and what they DO to be successful.
So, come along with me behind the scenes of my business, and I’ll introduce my team to you!
The Broad Strokes
Let’s start with the big picture. At the time of this writing, there are a total of nine people on Team GP, including myself. The other eight team members are all independent contractors. We’ve talked about going the “employee” route, but my team is built of people who, like me, like the independence that comes from running their own businesses. 🙂
In just a minute, I’ll get into exactly who each of these people is and what they do at Startup Society, but, first, to understand their roles, I need to explain how our TEAMS work.
Startup Society operates with five core teams. These teams are quite small — each comprised of just 1-4 people. Also, there’s a lot of cross-over, by which I mean that a lot of us work on more than one team. (More on that later on.)
Here are Startup Society’s operational teams:
- Management Team
This team of two people sets our goals, strategizes how we’ll work to reach those goals, and manages getting those projects done. This team works a total of about 25 hours/week.
- Customer Service Team
The customer service team is our largest team and has four people who work on it, collectively putting in about 45 hours/week. Each member of this team has a different role, including:
- Email inbox management
- Other communication channels (chat widget, social media messages, phone support)
- Customer support (everything from answering business questions to tech support to account management)
- 1:1 business coaching
- Content Production Team (AKA Marketing Team)
This is where a lot of our brain-power goes! The Content Production Team produced our YouTube videos, podcast episodes, and blog articles. Their tasks include planning the content, writing/filming/recording, editing, and publishing.
This is another one of our “large” teams, with about four members. Collectively, they put in about 30 hours/week.
- Sales Team
Most of our sales process is automated, but we’ve still found that a small sales team can be very helpful for closing leads for certain products and certain situations.
Currently, we have just one person on the sales team, and she works about 3-5 hours/week to manage our high-ticket leads, schedule sales calls, and close those sales via Zoom calls.
- Tech Team
And the final team is our Tech Team! This is another very small team, with just two people who work to maintain our websites, create new web pages, build sales funnels, setup tech systems, and, of course… solve tech problems! 🤪 (‘Cause, real talk… you can’t have an online business without the occasional tech struggle.)
Okay, so, now that you understand what the teams are like at Startup Society, let’s get into talking about the individuals who make up those teams!
As I mentioned above, we currently are a company of nine team members, and most of us wear more than one hat, each working in a couple of different teams.
While that might sound messy, we all really like to work this way! Not only does it allow the team to be small — and therefore agile — it also gives us a lot of flexibility with our vacation time, since there’s “someone else” who knows everyone else’s job.
Also, most of us are “multi-passionate” and enjoy variety in our work. 🙂
Okay, so, with that being said, allow me to introduce to you the people who make “all this” ::waves arms:: happen!
Cortni is an OBM (Online Business Manager) who acts as our chief operations officer. Accordingly, she spends almost all her time working on the Management Team, through which she supports the other teams. Because she’s the general manager, she knows everyone’s job — so she also fills in as-needed with the other teams whenever someone calls in sick.
Cortni was one of the very first people I ever successfully hired in my online business. Prior to that, I’d tried to hire several virtual assistants, but none of them had really been able to help me. I finally realized I didn’t need help doing the work — I was great at that part! — I needed help keeping things organized and keeping the business running day-to-day while I charged forward in my role as a visionary.
Cortni enjoys watercolor painting, bird watching, and has loved having several pet ferrets. She lives in Utah with her husband.
I hired Gabe straight out of Startup Society when I saw what a leader she was and what a gift she had for coaching and customer support. Today, Gabe works as a Success Coach on our Customer Service Team, supporting our customers with 1:1 coaching as they build their businesses. She also puts in some hours working on the Content Team, where she interviews our customers and creates case studies so that we can share their stories with prospects.
Gabe’s a homeschooling mom of three boys (two of whom are elite gymnasts!) who puts in about 20-25 working hours/week.
Tiffany is another of our long-time team members who started out as a Startup Society member. Inside Startup Society, Tiffany had built up her virtual assistant business to half-a-dozen clients, and she was an easy pick when we needed additional support on our Customer Support Team.
Tiffany handles most of our inboxes, manages Startup Society member accounts, and facilitates a lot of our live events (including masterminds and co-working sessions) for members each week, logging about 20 hours/week.
Tiffany lives in Colorado where she homeschools her four kids. They recently bought some property out of town and are enjoying getting into the “homesteading” life with critters like chickens and pigs!
New to our team is Natalie (also hired out of Startup Society!), who, just like Gabe, works on the Customer Service Team to offer clients 1:1 coaching as well as interviews students about their success to create marketing materials.
Natalie homeschools her three children and also runs her own business where she provides mentorship to moms who are new to homeschooling. Currently, she puts in 5-10 hours/week, though we anticipate her role expanding in the future.
Samantha is our sales super-star! To be honest, I originally hired Sam to work on the Content Production Team, but that didn’t seem like quite the right fit, so we bounced her around a bit, trying to find her zone of genius.
Well, we struck gold when we plugged her into sales! She single-handedly manages all our prospects — and with an impressive 60%+ close rate!
Samantha lives with her family in Texas, but is a frequent traveler who enjoys working remotely. She clocks around 15-20 hours/week.
Summer is my local support! I hired her to be my personal assistant and go-to-gal, and she’s filled that role to a T… and gone above and beyond, by learning video editing and content management! She still supports me locally as needed, but she spends most of her time working on our Content Production Team editing videos and managing the YouTube channel and podcast. She works about 20 hours/week.
We hired Jenna about a little over a year ago after a long search for a “tech VA” who could support us with managing our websites, software systems, and solving tech issues. Jenna’s been such a big help and shoulders the majority of the Tech Team load.
Jenna in Indiana, where she and her husband just welcomed their second daughter into their family.
Emily’s the genius behind all our graphic design — from logos to workbooks to YouTube thumbnails — working on our Content Production Team. We keep her on retainer because our design needs vary quite a bit from month to month: some weeks, Emily only works about an hour for me, while other weeks she puts in 10+ hours!
Emily lives in her home country of Australia, making her currently our only international team member!
And, finally, me. 🙂 Of course, you probably already know plenty about me, but as far as how I fit into the team, I spend the majority of my working hours (10-15 per week) working on the content production team to create YouTube videos, podcast episodes, and blog articles, as well as all of our course videos, lessons, and resources.
Each week I also put a few (very important) hours in with the Management Team, setting goals and strategizing how we’ll reach them.
(And, as you probably know, I live on a 15 acre property in Oregon where I homeschool my 5 kids. My husband and I are slowly getting into homesteading, with a goal to grow the majority of our food.)
I’m sure now you see what I mean when I said, “each of us wears a couple of different hats.” 🙂 Now, on the one hand, we love this, because we all really enjoy having variety in our work and the flexibility that this offers. I also appreciate the added agility and stability it gives the business.
But, on the other hand, this could be chaos if we were all just doing random tasks! That’s why we organize our human resources into teams and each person works on no more than two of the teams.
When building a business, it’s important to have the end in mind. Are you trying to build a large company with hundreds or thousands of employees? Or a small, streamlined team? Or would you really prefer to be a “solopreneur” or just have an assistant to help you out?
Bigger teams don’t necessarily = a more successful business. They MAY help you generate more revenue… but they DEFINITELY will increase your expenses, which can quickly eat away at your profits.
Personally, I love running my business with a small team because it gives us lots of flexibility, allows us to maximize profits, and get to know each other intimately. My team is like my second family!