Small team 20 in online fashion early stage. Key time to succeed. Need to hit targets to pay bills— Can't afford to make the wrong decision. There are time constraints on this decision. Time & pressure is not helping.
Exciting times. When I read between the lines having faced a similar decision on more than one occasion, I see all the missed opportunities from having been too busy personally to be as effective as needed. The good news, there is but one weakest link in any system and that includes your business. Is it the lack of a talented partner? Perhaps. Is it a failure to delegate? More likely but not a given. Hiring is the most complex function in business and a wrong or misstep could be very expensive in time and money. I have hired over 500 people and helped organizations hire even more. It may not be obvious that I spent years in retail, most in men's fashion and in another life built several online businesses. I would be happy to learn more about your unique challenges and offer some insights from my more than 10,000 hours of experience at the front lines in each industry. Schedule 30 to 60 minutes at your convenience, but as you point out, the clock is ticking.
I can only say what helped me when I was feeling that way (not long ago). You may have read this book by Tim Ferriss, the 4-hour work week... I have used some of the outsourcing contacts he wrote about and it change my stress level. You would be surprised what can be done for you by someone on the other side of the world.
Step back for a moment to assess the situation. Do you need a partner or a remote team to help you achieve more?
Write down all the projects that need to get done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Then prioritize them based on which require your knowledge, talents or skills to complete. Anything else you can DELEGATE.
Delegation is simply telling someone else how to help you achieve a goal. Outsourcing is just asking for help from someone outside of your business. No big deal.
Once you have the task list , look to find freelancers to help you complete it. You have plenty of choices. You'll find independent freelancers on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. These platforms are best for short term projects.
If you want a dedicated VA and a liaison to help you manage, look on sites like TasksEveryday or 24/7 Virtual Assistants. You'll buy a block of hours to use over the course of a month with your virtual team.
The key to getting a great results is planning and communication. What steps go into the task? What will your freelancer need to be,have or do to complete the task to your satisfaction.
Be sure to write the steps, your instructions and any needed info into a document for the freelancer. That document then becomes your Legend, the story of how you do that task which can be shared with future freelancers.
If you want to dive deeper into your specific details, feel free to schedule a call with me.