This feature is part of a regular series”Getting frank with Joe” giving you a brutally frank, yet realistic look at the business world.
When you run your own business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing no one has the same passion and drive that you have. You’ll think other people’s way of doing everything isn’t how you would do it, the quality and attention to detail isn’t at the level you have, and the drive and passion behind it simply isn’t there.
The ironic thing is that you are correct. Your business is your baby and you cannot expect people to have the same investment in it without the emotional and financial input you have had.
But it also doesn’t matter. Seriously, stop complaining and be a solutions person.
Having worked with dozens of startups, this is one factor I regularly see that impacts the long term viability of a company – no matter its market potential.
Focus on growing your business
In a small business it’s easy to oversee all activity and influence everything. That’s cool if you want to stay a small business, but I’m guessing you don’t. If you are spending all your time overseeing everything, you need to ask yourself how effective you can be actually growing your business.
You know what you are good at, so why not focus on that? Get other people to do the other work to free you up.
Different doesn’t mean worse
When you hire someone else to do a job, I guarantee that 95% of the time they won’t do it exactly how you would. You need to get over that. I don’t mean throw quality to the wind, I mean get used to people doing things differently.
It’s better to get something happening, than to kill time and slow your growth doing everything yourself.
If quality drops when you step away, or your staff aren’t performing, then invest your time into training rather than instantly taking over every function. If things don’t improve, fire them, and hire someone better.
Interns are not a growth solution
I’ve seen this a lot and I think it’s worth slotting in here as a standalone point. If you are trying to resource your company by stacking it full of interns, you are going down a dangerous path. Yes they are cheap and enthusiastic, but they are also inexperienced and short-term.
By all means, have your interns to help lighten the load, but don’t treat them as a replacement to hiring experienced, capable professionals.
Experience is sometimes worth the spend
When you hire for any specialist role, make sure you’re getting someone who knows what they are doing and are experienced in the field. It’s worth the extra money.
If you are tight on finances the argument is the same. It’s better to have someone who is experienced and great working for three days a week, rather than paying the same for a full-time junior who needs constant support and checking.
Specialists are specialists for a reason
If you are using an agency or have a senior hire, listen to what they say. This doesn’t mean you can’t have input – it means that you don’t ignore their warnings without an extremely good reason.
I’ve seen so many CEOs of all-sized businesses decide they know better and interfere in a process they, quite frankly, have no business getting involved in.
You might have read the newspaper every day for your entire adult life or even been interviewed a couple of times, but it doesn’t mean you know more about the media than the trained specialists you are paying, who have dedicated their working lives to getting results for clients.
I know all of this is easier said than done, but if you invest your time and resources towards making sure the people around you are capable and awesome, the payoff is massive.
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