I am not Superman. Like many entrepreneurs, I thought I was. I thought I could do everything: sales, marketing, human resources, business development, research and development, training and management. I surrender! I cannot do it all.
Therefore, I have come to the simple conclusion I need help. However, my dilemma is knowing who to hire first – even on a part time or contract basis. Sales leads to revenue (a good thing), so it seems I need to hire a salesperson first. However, marketing can generate leads, so it seems I need marketing help first. Maybe I should hire an administrative assistant to help organize all of the work I have to do (receipts, mileage, inbound phone calls, etc.). My interns can only do so much before they have to go back to school. As my teenage daughter would say: #thestruggleisreal.
As I consider the growth of my business for next year and beyond, these are the positions I may consider:
- Marketing – I LOVE digital and inbound marketing. It’s a powerful way to keep costs down and simultaneously generate leads. Some of the tools include: social media, white papers, websites, infographics, email campaigns and blogging. Doing this correctly takes time and treasure – two resources most entrepreneurs don’t have. Once the leads come in, I can qualify, present and close. I’ll subcontract inbound marketing first.
- Sales – This is the lifeblood of any organization. Without sales, there is no revenue. Without revenue, businesses go under. When you have revenue, you can hire more people and continue to operate. A great salesperson can be hired with a modest salary and a lucrative commission package. This gives the professional salesperson unlimited bonus potential. To keep costs down, I’ll hire the salesperson second.
- Administration – Early in my career I learned that administrative tasks will never make a company, but they can break a company. Like any professional, I have a lot of meetings, phone calls and administrative tasks. As important as these are, my skills lie in meeting client needs, strategy and management. There are a number of remote assistants who can handle the administrative tasks for me. I even “hired” my teenage daughter to manage my receipts. I’ll hire an administrative assistant third.
- Accounting, HR and Legal – Unless you are a lawyer, human resources partner, or accountant, these are the people you need only consult with on a quarterly or annual basis. I see my lawyer whenever I have a question about a contract. I talk to an HR professional when hiring a new employee. I see my accountant every March. When I reach 25 people or more, I’ll hire a human resources partner to manage growth. Everyone else, I will hire as needed.
Some people want to hire because it makes their business look bigger than it really is. The “cool factor” should never come into the hiring decision. Bringing on the right people at the right time is critical to the growth and success of any business. Identify your critical business needs and fill that void through contracting or full time work (if you can afford it).
Scientifically Speaking, of course.