This will actually be a core point of this series for some number of posts. Last week I talked about Founder’s Trap. I have previously spent time on Outsourcing. But in the end for a business to grow beyond a certain point, you need to hire employees. I am not concerned here with if you are better off using 1099 resources or W-2 resources. Either way, you have to select the right people and have them produce for you.
The challenge for many small business owners is that they do not have a lot of experience in hiring and leading employees. This leads to many challenges with how to grow the business. Before we get too far down any individual part of the series of issues, I want to take an overall look at the problem.
What you want as a business owner is that your employees act as you would in any given situation. This is why I start my clients with what I call a “Brand Review”. It is really a Mission/Vision/Values/Ideal Client/Target Market review, but many people are uncomfortable wanting to pay to explore clarity in their business. Branding on the other hand connects with lots of folks. I have posted an entire series on how I view Branding with small businesses. It is all about execution. The taglines, logos and materials are all important but local businesses will have a reputation based upon how they deliver their products and services. This is of upmost importance. Without clarity on these topics, it is impossible to convey this information to even one employee. This is a great place to start for yourself. If you don’t have clarity here, then there is little point to hiring someone. You will be asking them to learn by osmosis how you want them to work. Each employee makes decisions every day outside of your view. If they don’t, then you are not leveraging your time. You need to tell your employees how to weigh the factors in their decision making. This is what this is all about. What this means is that you are the most important factor in how successful your employees will be. When you have clarity, they will work in a way that is most effective.
With that said, I will break down how to deal with employees into three broad categories. First, is hiring. This is where we figure out who we want to hire and then onboard them. Second, is leadership. This is where we direct employees to where we want them to go. Finally, there is performance. This is how to get the most out of your employees as well as deal with sub-par performance.
One last thing as I talk about this. Remember your Business Plan. What you want to be able to do is link the performance of your employees directly to your plan. That means that they generate results to match what you expect. On top of that, you need to understand the activities that will drive these results and plan these activities out with your employees. This will help you think about the start in hiring your people. This is where we will start next week with discussing how to generate specifics to find the right people.
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