Very few successful businesses are run entirely by only one person. Many businesses start out as a one-man-show, and many never grow beyond that. But most successful businesses add additional employees as the business grows. It is important to strategically look at all the different areas of the business, the functions, and the various responsibilities. When team members aren’t sure of what role they play or who is responsible for what, everything hangs on the balance of good feelings, personality, and luck. But personalities, good feelings, and luck do not stand up well when faced with obstacles, challenges, and setbacks.
Often when a business is starting out the owner is doing it all. As the business grows, a few employees may be hired, but as the business continues to grow, the owner may start feeling a little overwhelmed. This is often the point when the owner considers getting small again. They rationalize that getting small again feels safer, but few businesses that get to growth-mode and then take a step back to get small again, rarely survive. How does a solopreneur avoid this pitfall? By planning ahead, early on, for that growth-mode, so you are prepared for when it happens.
What will your organization look like five years from now? Start with the main function of your business, the processes that you do. This is your system. Your system produces the results, and you and your people manage the system. Here is a road map to follow that will help you define your system:
How do we do things here?
How we recruit, hire, and train our people?
How do we manage people and processes?
How do we change?
When first starting out, all of this information is probably just up in your head, but if you want to set yourself up for success, envisioning what your organizational structure will look like five years from now will help you grow into it.
What areas will you need additional help? Will it be someone to manage your marketing and advertising? Or do you need help managing and driving sales? Maybe you will want someone dedicated to nurturing customer relationships to build business and client retention. If you are going to spend some of your precious dollars on adding new people to your team you want to make sure that you identify what the most important areas where you need help. Top priority areas should probably be those that will drive revenue.
Other areas to consider are those tasks that must be done, but they might not be exactly the kind of things you enjoy doing, or you recognize you lack skill in those areas. Possible candidates for outsourcing may be tasks that take you a noticeable amount of time to do, they are not directly tied to driving revenue, they are things you really don’t enjoy doing, or you are not particularly skilled in doing them. Examples could include hiring an accountant to do your taxes or hiring a bookkeeper to do payroll. Maybe technology is a challenge for you so outsourcing for technical support is a service you need. Every business is unique, and you are the one who will have to answer the questions of when is the right time bring someone on, for what role, and for what activities. The main point is to be prepared; to have a plan.
When you have a vision of what your future is going to look like you are better able to map a path to get there.
Retail Level Up provides coaching, training, and consulting services to individuals and teams. Visit Retail Level Up to learn more and to schedule a free consultation.