Not Sure if You Need an Integrator in Your Business? Start Here!

Apr 15, 2021

If you’ve been hearing the term “Integrator” swung around in the business world, but don’t even know where to begin, you’ve come to the right place! So many business owners are stuck in the beat and grind of day-to-day operations; juggling all the roles from marketer to designer, to project manager, even lo-key accountant. Others have outsourced, may have started to build a team, but are struggling to scale their team and systems in sync.

In either scenario, a simple solution is to hire an Integrator. If you’ve been yearning to step back into the visionary seat, create space for ideation, strategy, and new initiatives, or grow your team in a way that can give you peace, then pop on those blue light frames and get ready to learn:

  • What an Integrator actually is!
  • About the skills those in this role typically possess. 
  • Why you need one in your business.
  • How they can help get you out of the weeds and back to the big picture work.
  • Where to start when you’re ready to hire.
  • A second solution if an Integrator isn’t in the budget just yet.

What is an Integrator? Tell me more!

An Integrator harmoniously integrates the major functions of the business, including leading and managing team and company initiatives.  Individuals in this role create organizational clarity, communication, and consistency. Typically this role drives results, manages moving pieces, and keeps the pulse of the team. They are tasked with filtering the visionary’s or business owners’ ideas and once those ideas are put into action, a lot of times, the Integrator role entails removing obstacles or barriers so the team can execute quickly and efficiently without needing to pull the visionary out of their creative space.

If you’re more of a visual learner, I like to use this volleyball analogy.

Envision a volleyball team for me. The “visionary” starts every match (idea) with the first serve. The ball or action items to make that idea a reality are then passed around the court to each player or team member.

The Integrator is that player you see hustling around the court, keeping the ball above the ground, ensuring it’s passed to all the proper players.

Once ready and in position to score, the Integrator sets the ball, and the visionary spikes it on over the net. Point!

What kind of skills does an Integrator possess? 

The Hard Skills.

Reminder, these bad boys can be learned!

  • How to work with entrepreneurs.
  • Technical skills
  • Analytical or Marketing Skills
  • Project Management Skills
  • The ability to be strategic.


The Soft Skills.

These are a bit harder to refine if not learned naturally, but as I always say, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

  • Communicative
  • Good Listener
  • Collaborative
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Problem Solving
  • Time Management
  • Self-Directed (BIG one here)


Why do I need an Integrator in my business?

Hiring an Integrator allows you to get back to the mission behind your business. They allow you to take on bigger projects, scale different revenue streams, test new initiatives, strengthen systems, and so much more. Here are some of the most common structural gaps I see in businesses today that an Integrator could help you close!

  • Inefficient project management systems and tools for tracking progress.
  • Lack of documented accountability SOP’s: Who owns what in your business? What are the expectations of this role? What happens if expectations are not met?
  • Documented Brand Standards plus organized company assets.
  • Internal + External Communication: Who goes to who for what? What is the hierarchy of communication?
  • The right tools in place: What once worked way back when likely isn’t the *best option today.
  • Blind to needing help in the right areas or not having the right people in the right place.
  • Lack of feedback protocol both internally and externally.

 

If still unsure if *hiring* is your next step in general, take a few minutes to ask yourself the questions below.


Are YOU ready? Questions to ask yourself as the employer:
1. How hard is delegating for you?
2. Have you hired or brought in leadership roles other than yourself in your business? Are you ready for a co-pilot?
3. What does your time currently look like? This role will need support and guidance from you until ready to rock solo.
4. When you think about your current systems and processes, how do you feel? Where are the pain points? Why?
5. What takes up the most time in your business?
6. How will your team respond to new leadership? What does your onboarding process look like?
7. Do you have the right players on the team? Is someone already on your team a good fit for this role?
8. What if they aren’t a good fit? What does your exit strategy entail?


What can they take off my plate?

The possibilities are truly endless here and one thing to keep in mind is that this role can 100% expand and grow! I’ve seen Integrators start with more “management” Esq obligations and evolve into more demanding roles such as COO’s or CMO’s.

Here are just a few:
  • Daily team check-ins – manage team needs
  • Lead, guide, and execute projects
  • Do research, take courses
  • Build + manage brand partnerships
  • Build, improve, and document processes
  • Support and lead launches
  • Hire and onboard new team members
  • Prepare and or execute performance reviews
  • Track expenses
  • Help ideate
  • Organize brand assets
  • Create content
  • Manage social accounts and software
  • Run cross-brand quality control audits
  • Streamline systems
  • Set up and implement new tools
  • Teach and train
  • Coordinate with contractors
  • Spearhead new initiatives
  • Engage with your community
  • Help troubleshoot and manage the tech

Where can I hire an Integrator and how much do they cost?

Small businesses employ 48% of the workforce in the United States, although most don’t have the means to hire a fancy team to recruit top candidates. In turn, the hiring game can without a doubt feel daunting so here are my top three places to source a top-notch Integrator.

01. Your network including Facebook Groups: Search the term “Boss” on Facebook and you’ll find a variety of entrepreneurial-based groups where Integrators and a bunch of alternative virtual talent are swimming just waiting for the right catch. One of my top fave FB groups is Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast Insiders community as she provides specific hiring geared posts and opportunities. Boss Moms is also a great one!

Ask your peers if they have any recommendations. Just be ready with the necessary materials when they ask where / what to send their pals. If you are looking for someone who can work with a specific tool/platform, search Facebook to see if they happen to have support communities like these; Dubsado or, Flodesk! Once inside, you can use the group search function using keywords like,  “Integrator” or”Project Manager” to pinpoint applicable posts.

02. LinkedIn: Did you know this is where I found my dream Integrator role with Jenna Kutcher? If curious about what our journey together has looked like, you can tune in to this episode on her podcast Goal Digger! You can use LinkedIn to create and manage job postings with ease! All you have to do is set up a free company page if you don’t already have one. Once that’s up and running you’ll be prompted to create a job posting that will require details such as, job description, skills required, how you would like to receive applicants, and screening questions you’d like administered to narrow down top applicants.  Finally,  you’ll need to select your approach for hiring whether pay-per-click or by purchasing job slots. To learn more, this article dives deeper into using LinkedIn to hire and recruit!

03. Indeed: This platform is another fab place to meet your future work wife/hubs! I recommend this resource for not only finding, but also as a guide when crafting your unique Integrator role description. It’s a great place to gauge role price tags across your industry and in general. You can also use this as a way to evaluate hiring processes if in the *pre-planning phase of expansion. Either way, I suggest searching key terms like “Integrator Eos”, “Integrator”, “COO” and “CMO”.

If hiring an Integrator isn’t in the budget, do this

My recommendation first and always is to automate before you delegate. This will help you define *exactly what you need to hand off to another human in your business versus what a machine can manage. Depending on where you are in your business, an integrator may not be the right fit yet. Remember a person can evolve into an Integrator so start with a VA or OBM and grow from there! A VA or Virtual Assistant can help organize your systems. They can also help source applicable online tools do price comparisons, and get platforms set up. The Virtual Savvy is where I send anyone on the hunt for a top-notch VA as they have a full directory and super easy form to help filter and find your right fit!

If outsourcing just isn’t on the menu, I’d encourage you to start by evaluating the support software and platforms you have in place. And when I say “tools and software” I mean ones that are categorized under project management, customer relationship management, email service provider, or social media scheduler.
If you have a tool in place that isn’t making life easier, toss it.
If you have a tool you are paying for and not fully maximizing or vibing with, toss it.
If you don’t even know which tool to start with, ask yourself;
  • Where is most of my time being spent?
  • Where do I feel the most bogged down?
  • What do I love doing and want to keep doing and what would I be happy never having to handle again!

 

Maybe you love responding to and managing clients, but hate posting on social media; look into a scheduler like Tailwind or Later. Feel like pieces of projects are always getting lost? It’s time for a project management tool like Monday.com (my personal fave), Dubsado, or Trello.

The most important part is starting somewhere! You got this.
Ps. Not ready for an Integrator but need help stat? Snag my FREE Virtual Assistant Hiring Handbook!

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