I hope you all had a great Holiday weekend last week, I know I did. I took my first vacation in over five years that was not part of an extended business trip or a hectic and exhausting whole family trip.
I went up to the back woods of Michigan to camp with my business partners and some of their family. It was a guys only trip, filled with plenty of cards, horse shoes, good times, story telling (read tall tales), great food and just relaxing. We even fit in a little golf one day, which seemed odd for a camping trip – but it’s a family tradition for these guys.
The best part about this weekend was that while I was gone for five days, our business stayed on track and when I got home many projects were advanced forward, leads were called, vendors were scheduled for jobs, mail was picked up and sorted, rents were collected, comps were pulled, etc… It is a great feeling to have a support team in place so that your business can operate without you.
Now did everything run like it does when I’m in town? No, it didn’t (or at least it makes me feel important to think that), but that’s okay. The point is that work was advanced, phones were answered and my employees were stretched and became more confident in their roles along with learning that they can be more independent – even when I’m sitting in the office with them.
Many entrepreneurs feel great fear surrounding the thought of hiring people to work for them. Some of the most common fears are:
- Fear of hiring someone that will not be productive
- Fear of not being able to pay the person
- Fear that they cannot train the person effectively or keep them busy enough
- Fear that they will offer up trade secrets and create a new competitor
- Fear that the employee will succeed and the business will grow too much
- and many more…
I realized years ago that you absolutely CANNOT grow a company by yourself. I am affectionately referred to in my office by a few employees as the “bottle neck” in our business. If there are administrative duties, paperwork or low level detailed tasks that needs to be done, assigning those to me is a like pouring them into a black hole.
As the entrepreneur of the business, I need to be setting strategy, mentoring and educating employees, finding new clients, exploring new revenue opportunities, challenging the status quo among other creative actions.
A great way to grow at first without committing to employees to is to partner with other investors or companies with resources or skills that are complimentary to your own. Going this route makes a lot of sense when you are new or trying to grow. In this regard it’s better to make half the money more often with less risk than try to make 100% of the deal profits less often with all the risk.
The best place to start in order to find an employee or a joint venture partner is to complete what’s called a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Take a full assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the activities that are required to execute your business, and then identify what opportunities are available to you along with what threats may pop up and stop you from being successful.
You should look to maximize your strengths by finding someone that is strong at covering your weaknesses. You may also want to look for someone that has the ability to overcome the threats that may hold you up from taking advantage of your most profitable opportunities.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you cannot obtain new and bigger profits by keeping the status quo intact. Start now and go complete a SWOT analysis and start networking to find a partner or place an ad on Craig’s List for an employee.