A common mistake a lot of business owners make when they first start their aspiring global enterprise, is the need to hire talent. Right away a business owner feels talent is needed in order to grow the business. This may be true, but not in the beginning. I respect those individuals that wish to create jobs but in the beginning phase of a business, the objective is profit. In this case, business owners must hire the right talent, that will make the biggest impact on the revenue and more importantly, the profit of the business.
Here are 3 hiring tips that will help your business generate revenue and profit, early on.
1) Your first hire should be a generalist. When hiring talent, I place individuals in two categories. Generalists and Specialists. A Generalist is GOOD at multiple responsibilities and a Specialist is GREAT at one responsibility. In business, it’s wise to hire specialists, individuals who are great at one skill set and make a substantial impact on business growth. Examples include Sales Professionals, Engineers, and Accountants. But, in the case of a startup, your first hire should be someone who is a generalist. Someone who is a quick learn and able to manage multiple responsibilities at one time.
Examples of this type of person include an Operations Manager, a Supervisor with experience in multiple industries, and a Customer Service Representative with a strong work ethic. The objective for you is to bring on someone who can help run your business and essentially lead and train people. This will place you on the early path where you stop working IN your business, and start working ON your business.
2) Leverage before hiring. Full-time and even part-time employees are expensive. They are essential for business growth but they are expensive. Not only the wage or salary payout, but the taxes that come associated with employees. As a startup starts generating some revenue, it can be tempting to start looking for more employees. My advice is to hold off on hiring, as long as possible. I recommend hiring independent contractors or leveraging other businesses, before bringing on employees. It’s important to ensure cash flow is consistent, before committing to employment.
3) Pay well. Smart startups watch their expenses very closely. This is extremely important if a startup is to get off the ground and thrive. Often times, this requires a lot of penny-pinching which is understandable. When it comes to hiring talent, that penny-pinching behavior should go out the door. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”, holds especially true with employees. If you want your business to grow and thrive, you need the right people.
My advice is to understand the average salary of the roles you wish to fill, and offer that salary. The last thing you want, is under experienced, low-paid talent, that wastes more money, than what they generate for the business. This will save you time and frustration.
Submitted by Sean Tepper, Business Consultant