We throw up the shingle, and voila, success! Believe it or not, this happens a lot. An entrepreneur embarks on his new business and is doing well. Soon the free-spirited make your own schedule business owner is working more than ever.
Chances are we are not experts in all facets of business. We are great technicians, or we have a wonderful idea, but what do we know about systems, accounting or selling our services?
Where Do You Go First For Help?
But we have friends and family. So we start asking them for help. We hire the best friend who has only been working for the three years since we graduated, just like us. Or we hire the cousin who took an accounting class once.
Seriously, we do this. Small business owners tend to underestimate the importance of each facet of business. They have just started out and the product or service is the area they focus on.
There Isn’t Time For Us To Provide Much Training And Support
But if you have opened your own small business, you know too, that you are not going to have time to do a bunch of training with a new employee. Plus, you barely know how to open Quickbooks, or Salesforce, or handle many of the other business aspects of the new business yourself.
We ask the new employee-to-be if they are good at learning new systems themselves. With the utmost confidence they say “Piece of cake”! And they believe it as much as you do.
Soon it is evident that their learning curve is steeper than your need.
Could they be great at it? (Accounting, Marketing, Sales)
Just like you will be after years of experience.
The Impact On The Employee
Unless you ruin them. (Read more The Ultimate Christian CEO Priority.)
They start out a job thinking they are going to conquer the world. They shortly begin to fade with the lack of training, education, and experience. Their attitude changes when they can’t ask you questions because you are too busy or don’t know the answer anyway.
The Impact On Our Business
A couple of years later your business has slowed because the foundation for growth was not in place to support it. The first employee soon turned into the fifth and sixth warm body that never made a difference.
We blame it on work ethic. A friend taking advantage of our kindness. Soon we are using cliché’s like “you just kind find good people anywhere”.
You are running around trying to do a little of everything. Days are long. Cash flow is short. You begin to wonder if you were ever supposed to open this business to begin with.
Your Doubling In Size
It’s a vicious cycle we get ourselves in that I believe all started with that first new hire.
Your first new hire is 50% of your team. The first employee will be handling some part of your new business that is important. He or she will significantly influence your culture. This one individual could mean the difference in your small business success or failure.
Don’t waste it. Plan for it. Save for it. Figure out what skills you don’t have and make sure they have a ton of it.
Your first employee may be the most important investment you make in your business.