With a lean, dynamic team and the right technology, the world truly is your oyster.
The most powerful productivity hack in business hasn’t changed much since 1850 – it still relates to building a high-performance team. The miracle of the industrial revolution was less about steam engines and more about organising teams: division of labour, and measuring team efficiency.
After interviewing thousands of business owners, we know that businesses really take off after the first three people join their team. People who we meet who say they have a great business, almost always credit their core team as part of that. And yet many businesses still hesitate to build a team that can help them power forward.
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Here are some reasons why small businesses are afraid to hire:
1. Waiting for the business breakthrough first.
I hear self-employed people say this sentence almost every week: “After I get more money in the bank, after I win that big client or after I have plenty of leads – then I will hire someone.” Sadly it doesn’t work like that. You must hire people who can help you win more business, service more clients and bank more money.
2. Worrying about the training period of new recruits.
I train a sales person in a very simple fashion. Month 1, they get leads and book appointments for me and then sit in (or listen to the recordings of my meeting). Month 2, they book leads for us both and they do 50% of the meetings. By Month 3, they do the appointments and I sit in to observe (and rescue the sale if needed). Repetition is the mother of skill. I don’t believe in talent, I believe in reps.
3. Not knowing where to look for staff.
The best people already have a job or they’re bright young people looking for an area to express themselves in. Therefore you’ll either find people who are working somewhere else, people who have just arrived into the country or people who are currently studying.
As a small business you’ll find it hard to compete with big corporate packages.You’ll have to emphasise the benefits of flexibility, mentorship and creative freedom over big pay, stability and a big brand to go on their CV.
4. Looking for the PERFECT person.
Perfect people are developed not found in my experience. Not only that, perfect people are the result of ongoing development. If you stop investing in people you will either lose them or their performance will drop.
5. Not knowing how to build a culture without fixed offices.
When you don’t have fixed offices it’s easy to worry about people not feeling connected to your vision – maybe you worry if people are working at all! Regular meetings are key. Find a great coffee shop in a central location and make it a regular place to meet your team each week. Using basic technology to communicate in one place as a team is also key. Keep in mind: you’re saving a lot of money not having a fixed office so you shouldn’t think twice about paying a few subscription services for tools that help you stay connected. Dent employs over 40 people in 8 countries, and some of them have never physically met another member of the team. Even still the buzz, culture, and the results are incredible – so much so that the business has gone global in under 5 years.
6. Thinking you’re better off as a one-person business.
Wrong! One of the first lessons in a management course is “division of labour”. A person who has to worry about sales, operations, accounting, networking, logistics and strategy won’t be very productive at any of these things. As soon as you have a few people working together and each person is focused on their job, you get a magical boost in results.
If you can free up more time to publish content, speak at conferences, travel, sell, deliver or innovate a new product, you’ll build a better business in a fraction of the time. A business takes on a life of its own when you have a great team. There’s a spark that is created and a momentum that’s hard to stop once it’s going.
Hiring those first few people feels scary but if you’re an entrepreneur you are used to facing your fears. It’s likely that you faced a big fear to go out on your own to start a business. Hiring your first few people is that next step to change everything. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
If you think you’re ready to hire, then I recommend you come along to the London Brand Accelerator. During the conference, I’ll be expanding on the six points above, and our panel of industry leaders will be showing you how and why attracting the right people to work with you requires a perfect pitch, a thought-leading founder, a product/service that works, and a face for your business.