Should You Reduce Your Team in Times of Uncertainty?

If you’re working with a team of virtual assistants, writers or other service professionals, you might sometimes feel tempted to cut back on your team.

Especially when going through times of great uncertainty.

There’s no right or wrong answer. But you should start by asking yourself whether the question is coming from a place of fear.

Fear is useful here, of course. It prompts you to ask the question—which is a good thing!

But at the same time, you don’t want your response to be driven entirely by fear.

So, instead of cutting back your team in a knee-jerk reaction, here are three ways to think about the problem before you make any decisions:

  1. Could you spend more time in your zone of genius?

Your “zone of genius” is the secret sauce of your business.

It encompasses those things in your business that only you can do or that you do exceptionally well.

Now ask yourself… how much time are you spending in that zone?

If you’re not spending much, ask yourself if it would make sense to hand off additional tasks to your team to get more time in that zone.

Because the more you’re working in your zone of genius, the better you can grow your business.

  1. How much buffer do you have?

Take a look at your operating expense account and see how much of a buffer you have.

In ideal circumstances, you’d have two to three months’ worth of operating expenses put aside. (Granted, this takes time to accumulate.)

If you have no buffer, you may have little choice but to cut back on your team.

But if you have a healthy buffer, you might have the bandwidth to shift some of your team’s responsibilities rather than letting them go.

  1. Shift your team closer to revenue generation

The closer a team member is to the source of revenue, the more valuable they are to the business.

For example, think about a sales team.

The sales team (of any organization) is close to the source of revenue (i.e., the customers). They’re closer than the finance team and closer than HR.

So, when cuts need to be made, members of the sales team are usually the last to go.

Now think about your own team. Could you move them closer to the source of revenue?

Could you train your virtual assistant to help you with warm email prospecting? Maybe they could do some of the research or help you with outreach?

Email prospecting is directly tied to results. So, if you have the buffer, you might want to shift your team closer to your revenue source rather than cut back.

Don’t Let Fear Drive Your Decisions

When times are uncertain, it’s okay to ask yourself whether you should cut back on your team.

But at the same time, don’t let fear drive your decision.

Take a look at these other options and see if they make sense for you.


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