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Building Your Team and have some coffee!

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Hey hey hey!

Last week I wrote about my app development team and promised you guys that I’d explain how to build and manage your team in more detail.

Before that, I need to tell you that what I’m going to write is what I did and learnt from doing. It’s about a mobile app business, but it’s not built from scratch. I bought the code and hired people to make all the new design, so this article will not mention anything about the code or programming side of things.

OK, let’s get started!

Clarify what you’re going to do

Before you build your team, you need to understand all the things you’re going to do. Write down all the goals and processes. 

For example, I want to build iOS apps and make money from them, so what tasks should there be? 

  • Research the market? 
  • Create the graphics? 
  • Upload app to the App Store?
  • etc.

Write down all the processes as best you can. Then, divide the processes up into sub-processes in order to clarify what to do in each task.

The following are processes in my mobile app development.

Research the market

  • Discover which market I should enter
  • Find good keywords
  • Come up with the market and concept of apps
  • Prepare meta data including app title, keywords, description, phrases in the screenshots
  • etc.

Create the graphics

  • Need to know what theme to create (get from the research)
  • Know the image size, look and feel, etc.
  • Understand the concept of icons and screenshots styles
  • etc.

Upload apps to the App Store

  • Be able to combine graphics and code
  • Understand how to archive and upload app to the App Store
  • (I usually do it myself)
  • etc.

Elaborate on everything as much as you can. The clearer it is, the better your team will understand what they need to do. Keep in mind that if you don’t understand your business, your team won’t understand it either.

Then, make the system!

Since you know all the things you have to do, it’s time to put them to the system. Below is my app development workflow. 

app-workflow

After you understand what you want my team to do, set the workflow and define whom you need to hire and what you expect from them. From my workflow, I need people to do research and art tasks. I also note down what I want from each person. Drawing the workflow will help you understand and give you an overview of your project. What needs to be done? Who is responsible for it? What do I expect from each person?

Find your team!

Now it’s time to find talent! When you know who to hire, find a way to reach them. There are many websites you can post your job on to find freelancers. These are the websites I usually use to find my team.

Let’s post a job description to these websites. You have to specify what your job is about, including what they need to do, what your requirements are, and how you will pay them. Anyway, be careful that, apart from Easyoutsource and Bahance, you can’t mention you will pay them outside the website, otherwise you will get banned.

Check their portfolio, interview them, and ask them to do a trial test

Once your job description is posted on various websites, you will get many applications from all over the world. What you need to do next is check their portfolio and see what they have done in the past, what their strengths are, and look at their previous work. If you’re going to hire a graphic designer, look at their drawing or design style to see whether you like it or not. If you feel there are a few candidates that meet all of your requirements, then set a time to carry out interviews.

When I interview the candidates, the questions I usually ask are:

  • What’s your expected salary?
  • What have you done in the past?
  • Show me your best work
  • These are the tasks I want you to do, can you get this done within a week?

After that, I’ll ask them to do a 4-hour trial test. I’ll pay them for their time. The test is like a small task in the real project so I can evaluate whether they can do what I assign.

I personally prefer people from the Philippines since most of them are very nice and have big responsibilities. They might not know much about ASO or the quality of the graphics may not be very good, but I’ve found that many of them are willing to learn and adapt. Of course, some artists may not be so willing to since they think their work is similar to Van Gogh’s, but that’s a minority. Plus, the monthly rate is not too high (if you don’t hire an artist lol).

Let Artists enjoy their Van Gogh world, hire Graphic Designers.

I may have a bias on this, but that’s what I’ve found to be true. I define artists as people who think their work is wonderful, like they are the only person in the world that has the ability to do it. What they have done is priceless and if you want to buy, you need to pay high. These kinds of people will ask for a high salary even if you’ve never seen their work before. They will take a very long time to finish each image and need to wait for ‘inspiration’ to work. You can’t expect these guys to be responsible. Come on man! I just want to create a crocodile game. I don’t want Mona Lisa!

Moreover, if you assign tasks like making 100 icons for you this week, they will say YES at the beginning. Yet when the due date arrives, 99% of them can’t get it done and will say things like “Hey! NOBODY can get this done. There are too many icons for me to draw. You can get this done but the quality sucks. You can’t find any good person to draw 100 icons for you within a week!”

I’ve found one guy like this before but, yes, I’m now working with another guy who can give me 100 icons a week and the quality is much better than this jerk. Moreover, his rate is much lower than the stupid ‘artist’.

Real graphic designers are easier to work with compared to artists. I define a graphic designer as a person who can make art things and replicated works. Since most of the games don’t require complex artwork (if you’re not going to create new Final Fantasy), I don’t need a stunning, top-notch artist. I only want a graphic designer who has a high sense of responsibility and sends me the work on time. Medium to high quality is acceptable.

Match the right person to the right tasks!

When you find members for your team, add them to the system. Explain to them all the things you want them to do. I usually create documents to explain what I expect from each task, as this makes it easy for workers to understand exactly what you want. Also, you can give this to new workers. There’s no need to explain things over and over – just give them the document.

Apply technology to your team!

Telemarketing might be difficult to control since you and your team are not together. You can’t be sure whether your team are working or not. Also, when discussing the project you may have some problems if you don’t use technology to support your work. The following are the services I use with my team.

Basecamp

screenshot-01@2x-058e5aac1ab19a6b6dde2ad958a79385

You can find many collaboration tools out there on the internet, but I think Basecamp is one of the easiest to use. You can communicate with people in the project easily. Uploading files, making to-do lists, and announcing something can all be done in Basecamp. Additionally, it provides an app on your iPhone and iPad so I can access my projects in Basecamp quickly and effortlessly. I’m not sure whether there is an app for Android or not, but check out Basecamp anyway.

Dropbox

dropbox

Uploading and downloading files between email is not fun. As you probably know, there are many steps needed to upload files to email and send to recipients. You have to click the ‘Compose’ button, attach files, wait, add recipients’ emails, and send. It takes too much time if you’re in a big project. I recommend you use Dropbox instead of the traditional way of email. You can throw your files on to Dropbox and share them with others easily. It will automatically sync with people in the shared folders. I always use this with my graphic designers since there are many files to work with.

TimeDoctor

avoid_distractions_image

Do you want to know what your team do during working hours? I’m pretty sure that most people go on Facebook or other social networks in office hours. I worked in a company before and I did it too, lol!

So, how do you make sure that your team concentrates on working? I use TimeDoctor to track what they do in a day. It helps me know how many minutes they spend on Facebook or working. Also, I can see what they did each day at a glance on the screenshot report. TimeDoctor will capture the screenshots of your workers every 3-5 minutes.

Anyway, this might not be good for graphic designers since it makes people stressed. Creating art requires relaxation time on Facebook or YouTube, and some people need privacy. So, I don’t use this with them, but I do with my researchers.

Train your employees

In the initial phases, you might need to train your staff first because some of them may not clearly understand what you would like them to do. So, be patient and train them. When they exactly know what you want and how to do it, it’s worth the time invested. 

My researcher didn’t know anything about ASO when he applied to this job. I gave him my Udemy account and told him which course he should study. I allowed him to take 2 days to finish all ASO courses and asked him to write a summary (I can use this summary for new workers too).

Anyway, I found that courses didn’t help much when I saw my employee work. He didn’t give me a good report so I needed to train him more by myself. Yes, it was difficult in the first few weeks. I spent money and time teaching him, but got nothing. However, when my ASO man understands what I want and is able to give me good meta data, I save plenty of time. So, keep in mind that everyone needs time to study new things.

Evaluate your team

Now you’ve got all the necessary things to build your team! The next step is to let the system run by itself. You need to track whether your system efficiently flows or not. Are there any people not spending time working or wasting most of their time on Facebook? Evaluate your team and sacrifice those who have a low sense of responsibility.

As you know, it’s difficult to find a good employee. When you kick someone out from your company, you need to spend time finding a new one. Plus, you need to waste your time on training a new worker too. So, I usually have two people in one position in order to prevent this problem.

Final thoughts

There are always problems when we’re working. Some days people are good to you, but one day they may change. I’ve worked with many people in the past and heard many excuses from them when work is not done on time. Viruses, earthquakes, electricity, internet, or whatever always happens when they can’t finish their tasks on time. So, be ready for these problems. The problems can happen at any time.

Okay, I think that’s all about building and managing your team. I hope this is useful for you guys. Thanks for visiting my blog!

About the Author Bank

Bank has been working in the affiliate marketing industry since he was an undergrad in 2008. His favorite traffic source is PPV (Pay-Per-View). In 2013, he started sharing his journey on this blog AlcheBank.com and developed AffLanders.com to help people create PPV landing pages.

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Leave a Comment:

13 comments
Webmarketeurs français says June 14, 2014

Great case study (y)

Reply
    Bank says June 15, 2014

    Thanks man!

    Reply
Raweewan M says June 14, 2014

This is what i’m waiting for, great case study and great team. Keep going Bank! 🙂

Reply
    Bank says June 15, 2014

    Haha. Thanks for visiting kub!

    Reply
Suho says June 14, 2014

How much do u spent on average per app/ project?
Do u pay your workers per project or per app?

For project management i use trello.com and i use todoist.com for personal tasks and projects

What very handy for researchers is, is evernote.com.

Reply
    Bank says June 15, 2014

    Hello Suho,

    The average spent per app is about $30 but I hire my team monthly.

    Personally, I think Trello has more feature but Basecamp is easier to use. Anyway, I’ve never tried todoist.com yet. I’ll find a time to use it.

    Yes, Evernote is awesome but I usually share my note on Basecamp because it can send a notification to my email.

    Thanks for visiting!

    Reply
      suho says June 15, 2014

      How many apps do u have in the app store already and how many do u make per day/ week/ month?

      Ive used for a few aps in the android market some appbuilders, but the endresult wasnt very satisfying. Can you elobarte what kind of apps u make and do u use for every app the same source code?

      Reply
        Bank says June 15, 2014

        I have 16 apps in AppStore and 10+ more are waiting for review. With my team, I can build 1 apps/day 6 apps/week.

        There are many source codes in my portfolio.

        Reply
          Suho says June 16, 2014

          26+ apps, you are going strong man!

          Any advice where we can buy good source code? What is the price you pay for a source code?

          Reply
simo says October 13, 2014

Thank you So much , You awesome Man 🙂

Reply
    Bank says October 13, 2014

    Thanks for coming man 🙂

    Reply
Hieu Nguyen says November 29, 2014

Found your website through your guest post on Luke King. A lot of value here. Thanks Bank.

Reply
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