Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
As a business owner, you know your business better than anyone else. If you’re lucky enough to grow from a solopreneur to an entrepreneur with a staff, there are few attributes that will help you find employees and partners who will help the business continue to grow.
Employee attribute: good customer service
No matter what size you are, you can never leave the level of customer service you provide solely in the hands of your staff. It is a crucial part of maintaining the brand you’ve built and contributes greatly to your word of mouth advertising. Make sure you personally review interaction between your staff and your customers. Find ways to systemize service. Make sure your staff can at minimum answer questions promptly and correctly. Make sure everyone your organization does business with is treated fairly and with respect. If the service a staff member provides isn’t up to your expectations, try being very clear in what you expect from them. If they can’t reach your expectations, consider finding another use for them.
Employee attribute: good match
As the owner, making sure the people are right for the job, or the job is right for the people, is entirely your call. Your staff should be an extension of what helped you grow to the point of needing new staff and should have many of the same attributes. People who would be happy to be on your side if you could make them feel that way. This means providing opportunities for development and scaling their role to suit them. Not just demanding more of them.
Employee attribute: explained and easy to follow processes
It’s up to your staff to do their jobs, but it’s up to you to help them find the best way to do it. The longer your business goes on, the more you’re going to identify the processes of it. Then, hopefully, the more you can see ways to shorten that process and reduce the amount of time it takes. The more convoluted any task in the office, the more chance of suffering loss during that task. That’s why methods like Lean Six Sigma exist. To identify and eliminate complexity and risk.
Partner attribute: financial knowhow
If you’ve been neglecting your finances, now is the time to stop. Taking your eye off of this ball in particular is an easy to sink your business. You need to lay out and regularly audit the financial standing of your business. This means at least using accounting software to better help you lay out your current situation. Using that software will help you with income statements, balance sheets and cash flow projections. You should also consider partnering and working with and accountant. Tips for choosing a good one are:
- does the accountant understand your business?
- can they help keep you organized?
- are they available to answer questions?
Growing and being able to share your responsibilities is a good thing for any business owner. Particularly early on and with the first few employees, you must take an involved and proactive approach.