My business is growing fast, how can I prepare myself?
My business in the provision of quality mobile softplay party and event creche hire is ready to grow. Where should I start to get help on how to go about taking on my first member of staff or identifying appropriate staff resources?
I've been most successful hiring talented subcontractors, and not taking on personnel as actual employees. I pay a little more per hour because they have to handle their own benefits. I have found that I get what I pay for in terms of subs, and it is much easier to increase or decrease hours (with due/respectful notice) to fit the workload and cashflow. Additionally, when you hire subcontractors, a lot of great learning experiences as the business owner come to the fore (what you don't know that you don't know!), and you are better prepared to make the decision on whether to scale up with subs or with bona fide employees.
You are getting some excellent advice here.
Instead of offering advice, here are some questions i would like to ask you:
1. What do you want to feel like to work in your company? The answer to this question will direct you toward culture characteristics to consider. It will also help you refine your mission, vision and values statements.
2. How do you want people to behave in your company? Do you want cooperation among employees and collaboration between departments? Again, this points you to culture characteristics to consider and it directs you to both skills and attitudes to consider as you add employees.
3. What is your business plan for scaling your company? Do you have systems in place to help you scale? What can you automate?
Finally, we recently contributed to a business growth and development summit and shared the stages of the business life cycle where cooperation among employees and collaboration between departments is critical. You are in one of the three main stages.
So, my suggestion is to think through your operations to determine the level of cooperation you want over internal competition. If you plan for it now, you will short circuit some of the bifurcation issues that cause downward spirals in growth and revenue.
Let me know if you would like some details on that content.
Feel free to connect with me at diannecrampton LinkedIn
Growing is great, but not without its challenges; many of which are related to taking on more people.
There are four things you need to think about:
1. What are the role(s) that you need ?
2. How, in your market, do you find them and effectively hire them?
3. The ongoing logistics of having employees
4. Your role as now a leader, not just a doer.
1. For the first, start thinking about where you are strong and where you have gaps to determine the support that you need. As others below have commented, usually there are some obvious needs like financial support, or marketing support, but this may not be someone that you hire, it might be outsourcing that work to an agency. Your 'hire' may well be someone to 'do' the business for you (oversee the kids in the creche for example), so that you can spend more time running the business and managing the day to day. There is no right answer, but take the time to think about all the tasks that need to be done when you are bigger (thinking about a year from now). Then identify what you can realistically do (capacity and skill set) and what needs to be done by someone else.
2. Once you have the tasks mapped out and grouped together, you have the basis of the roles you want to appoint. Then identify what resources you can tap into to get that done, and how it fits with your budget (e.g. temp, partner, part time, full time hire etc.) and look for the skills you need to perform the tasks. if you have questions about the best way to recruit, or the legalities and requirements of having full time employees, there are usually associations that can provide free guidance on that aspect if you are unsure. You can of course ask for HR support or legal support but that is usually more costly and the information is usually there for free if you ask for it. I'd also suggest seeing if you can find a business mentor in your local marketplace; someone who runs a business that is further along than yours in it's growth path, that you can get advice and support from.
3. Similarly, you need to be clear on the ongoing legal and financial requirements of having employees. How are you handling payroll? remitting taxes? paying other contributions if appropriate in your market? Depending on what type of employment arrangement you enter into, you will have different requirements. This is where financial support becomes important so that you do all that correctly. It's likely that any association that can provide support on hiring will also have information on the ongoing requirements too. There are agencies that will handle this for you, as will a good bookkeeper or accountant, but the important part is to make sure you understand what is involved because you are ultimately responsible.
4. The bit people often forget, is that they also need to evolve their own skills as a leader when they take on employees. Spend a bit of time thinking about how you want to work with this person. How will you keep track of what they do? How will you assign work to them and assess how they are performing? Are you comfortable holding people accountable for delivery? There are lots of different aspects to leading someone else, and plenty of information out there (for free) about what to think about. My advice, if this is your first employee, would be to keep it simple. Set some clear expectations up front about what you need them to do and how they need to behave to be successful in your eyes. Depending on what they will do for you, you might see them every day, but if not check in regularly with them, give feedback and appreciation and make sure everything is ok from their perspective. Be open to their feedback to you on what they see could be improved in the business.
Hope that helps, and good luck!
Find someone and include this person as a working partner. You and this person are paid as you earn it. Cash is vital so conserve it. A working partner will be wonderful.
Employee retention! through competitive employee Benefits!
Firstly, congratulations for the growth in your business. Do not fall into the trap of questioning why you need to hire. You will only relegate yourself to the technician role. Hire help and by effective delegation you can take your firm to new heights. The help will "free" up your time for pure entrepreneur work building and executing your vision.
How do you hire help? Well, I suggest building a complete job description. You can post the job on linkedin or engage recruiting firms to assist you. If you choose to do it yourself, then use behavioral assessment tools to identify the strengths and weaknesses for the candidate before making an offer. As a business coach, i believe in the power of these tools. Pick the candidate with the behavioral style that meshes with yours. Of course, technical skills need to be met as well.
I hope this answers your question. Do not hesitate to reach out to me with additional questions or clarification
1. Prepare Action Plan
2. Identify staff required and write uo job descriptios
3. Create a Budget
4. Create Sales and Marketing Plan and budgets
5. Create an Audit system.
I think my esteemed colleagues have covered it all. I would look at bringing someone in on a Trial Basis first. Bad hires early are very hard. They end up costing you a lot more because you often have to go and clean up the damage that has been done. There are several options: Partner Programs - Sales for Rent - People who are out there who would Represent our product. Since the model has yet to be Built for your company, it is hard to get it right the first time. The Financial Side has been Covered well in the other answers.
A very important item you should be plugging in, if you have not already, and that is the analysis of your financial statements on a monthly bases so you can see how your doing and can nip excessive expense items in the bud before they consume your company. Sometimes managers of businesses that are growing rapidly rely on outside accountants but don't really understand or take time to read their financial statements. You are in business to make a profit and you could be so busy that you haven't taken time to see how you are doing. Check out my FREE downloads to see how detailed financial statements can give you a better picture of where your business is headed. http://budspracticalaccounting.com/resources/free-downloads/
You are having good problem. Base on your description, I see your business had just pass the test of market and product viability. This simply means that you are selling something people interested in. A good sign to move forward.
Normally the next move will be testing the operational model - "aim to build a simple model to deliver your product to your market while still making enough to move on". so the purpose is to add operational model and not making profit as top priority.
With this in mind, what I would like to compare is - "you want to grow vs you want to grow fast". First, you are growing not the $$$ but the business model (in term on a more complete size that is viable, scalable, and repeatable). I would say a "yes" to grow business model as fast as possible so that you can find a stable stage for you to make big money. A "no" if you intend to grow profit at this point (whether to grow fast or just to grow), not the right time yet.
Therefore the keywords are:
1. Fast, as fast as possible
2. Build business model (for your case quickly business an operational model)
3. Aim to achieve little profit or break-even
4. Allow to make mistakes - I will explain later
To make such grow, you may consider:
1. Find partner instead of salaried employee (good bootstrapping technique but need to handle with care)
2. Get only 2 kind of employees - either very low level or relatively high level, don't try to get someone in between, your business will not get any where. This should move in progressively, either one will be good, depend on your financial muscle.
3. Engage top quality interim chief executives (if you cannot get a partners) on part-time basis say a regular meeting every week or bi-weekly. These chief executives should input their professional skills to help you in your Financial, Sales, Marketing, General Management, IT, Business Processes, Productivity, Project Management ...Another way like what Walter Wise's advise to engage a coach or advisor
4. Make sure you good in numbers, that's why a Financial Consultant as your interim chief executive is critical here. Build your numbers to the operational model you like to have and do some scenario/ models planning to check which scenarios are financially viable.
5. Now remember I say as fast as possible? because your are building a model, the faster you build the faster you can use it. Two main advantages here:
a) faster you can generate income through an operational model with more people involve
b) faster to finetune the model for an improve version until the model viable, scalable, and repeatable.
6. At this stage, mistakes are allowed, losses are acceptable. This is because your losses are still within your own controlling range and only when you make mistakes than you can grow faster.