Building Your Team
Can You Wait for Your Kids to Grow Up
As a new business owner, your role may encompass all of the important aspects of the company. Sure, you may have had employees, but they were assigned specific tasks and you kept an eye on everything they did. You were the salesman, the supervisor, the customer service contact, the scheduler of the work, and even the bookkeeper. But as your business grows, you feel yourself pulled in many directions. You cannot effectively completely cover all the roles you filled in the past.
Many owners assume at some point their children will join the business, run it and build upon your hard work. We have seen many businesses where that has happened, with varying degrees of success. We have also seen families where the kids have no desire to work in the family business and go on to be doctors, lawyers, and Wall Street financiers. It is also true that a growing business may not be able to wait for the younger generation to mature and decide their true calling.
The answer is that there comes a point where the owner has to delegate areas of responsibility to others and begin to build an organizational team. It has been our observation that point may come when the business reaches around $250,000 in revenue. The question is then do you have the people in your business who can accept a larger role? Should we grow from within or must we hire someone new?
Grow From Within
Start by assessing those who have worked with you over the years. Is there some talent that should be cultivated? Do they have an open and friendly personality which could indicate theycould work well with clients? Are they respected by their co-workers which would indicate supervisory skills? Now we used the work respect, not love. Carefully consider attitude and values. Many businesses do promote primarily from within. They must be careful to coach the employee into their new position at a pace which provides for their success.
On the other hand you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Be patient and supportive. Train and provide outside training and coaching when possible. Delegate responsibilities on a slow and systematic manner. Don’t just throw them in and let them sink or swim. Let them learn from mistakes, but be sure they are learning and not repeating the same mistakes. Your role is to provide them with an opportunity to grow, not to remake the person.
Grow From Outside
This can be the most difficult and risky route. What do you look for in a new hire? Will they fit in with the culture and values of the group? What do they bring with them that will benefit the business? We strongly recommend a thorough hiring process and, just as with promoting from within, don’t expect to remake the person.
We suggest you read the previous article on interviewing http://plangoals.com/tips-interviewing-potential-employees/
So often we hear a manager tell us that somebody just didn’t cut it or live up to expectations. The next question must be – did you communicate this expectations effectively? Unfortunate, in many cases they were not communicated at all. The communication of expectations is critical whether the employee is already within the company or newly hired. Those expectations need to be explained at the beginning of the process and continually reinforce as time goes by. The completion of expectations should be addressed within a time-frame. For example, within the first month the employee should understand the processing of orders. Or, within two months, they should have visited 20 of the biggest customers, know the key players and understand their requirements. Communicating and follow-up on expectations is critical to success.
At RLS Focused Solutions we have worked with clients on helping them through this transition from a one person business to a growing successful organization. We have provided planning, sales development, team building and the leadership development of supervisors. Let us help you with these issues. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start that conversation.