Starting your own business is always an exciting, but risky, enterprise. Usually before most new entrepreneurs get a third of their way into their “dream”, the phrase “what the heck was I thinking?” starts making a permanent home in your head. But as most people who have ever gone down this path will tell you, by the time you ask that question, it is too late to turn back. Much like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in the infamous scene where they jumped off the cliff into a raging river, you can’t worry about whether you don’t know how to swim or whether the jump will kill you. The point is, you already took the jump. So if you can make it to the surface, you then have to start paddling hard and go with the flow, not against it.
Butch and the Kid were a team. What kind of team of a team do you want to build for your business? We’ll assume you have no inclination to rob banks and move to South America. Rather than cover the obvious, let’s venture down the road less traveled which would be a few of the mental challenges of building the team.
1. The core people
First of all, any successful team starts with 3 core people: me, myself and I. Without those three, you are going nowhere. They are the very core of your business. No one will care as much, work as hard, or invest so much of their own blood, sweat and tears as you will. So the business starts with you. Reminding yourself that not everyone will do things the same way you would, doesn’t mean it won’t get done. But it is up to you to paint that picture for those you lead. You not only must believe in your business but it is imperative that you believe in yourself.
2. Get the best people
Secondly, surround yourself with the best people you can afford. Find people who are efficient at the things that you don’t do well or don’t like to do. That is not to say that you shouldn’t have a working knowledge of all matters in your business. However, you don’t have to be an expert in all things.
3. Hire an HR person
Most small business owners I talk to say one of the biggest time consuming issues they deal with in their business personnel. If you aren’t very good at managing other people, then interview and hire someone who is really good at working and motivating others towards success. Make sure they are familiar with all the state and federal regulations for hiring and firing people. And that they know – really know — all the proper Employment Development regulations and laws. Hire the best person you can find and afford. I cannot emphasize this enough. Labor is your biggest investment. Even if the human resources person costs a little bit more money, you will not believe how much headache he or she will save you. They will also save you money in the long-run. You cannot become distracted or overwhelmed by every employee issue. You want to make sure the company is run efficiently and effectively. So, if you aren’t good at doing administrative work such as payroll (even if you are), hire it out. The time you save will more than make up the cost.
4. Look for common sense
If you aren’t hiring someone to fill a positions that is a profession that would require a degree for proficiency (architecture, law, medicine, etc.) don’t be afraid to hire anyone who has not graduated from a four year university. There is much to be said for someone who has common sense and works hard over someone with no ambition with a fancy degree. Having a 4 year degree or an MBA doesn’t necessarily qualify a person to actually do the job.
5. Look to the experience of others