Saturday, January 21, 2012
Want to hunt? Go ahead -head hunt.
I was my own sole employee for a few years.
I had even launched two new product lines to the market. No jokes. Seriously-I just like the line...launched two product lines to the market-eggs and packed chicken. Then Faith happened. Not Faith the virtue. No. Faith, the person. She was my first employee and as a result she introduced me to the world of head hunting.
You see when you start a business unless you are the genius type, which I am not, you will get to a point when the business outgrows you. At that point, you will constantly you struggle to learn new skills and you will constantly fire fight to get things right-on time.
That is what happened to me the first day my new product line was launched. I told you I love that line. It was that bright day when the receiving clerk at the supermarket asked me to differentiate between a thigh and a breast-of a chicken. I know I needed someone better than me in this area.
When you realize you need better skills the urge is normally to go back to school do a course or something. You will rarely find that useful. By the time you complete the course your business will be far back than you left it, especially if it is the type where you play a key role and your presence is needed daily. There are people out there who have done what you want done for a while. This is how Faith came into the picture. She came highly recommended and she had the experience from a multinational company to boot.
Problem was, I didn't think I could afford her. Business skills coming to the fore, I negotiated not her salary-I didn't know how much she was worth and my deeper fear was whether I would be able to accommodate her skills fully-whether my small business would generate enough challenging work for her.so when we spoke, I negotiated for time. Half her time in a day. I let her be the boss. Come in here early morning and you can go do something else. Come back in the evening and finish up for this fee. She accepted. With time I would ask her to train someone else to work in her absence so skill transfer can take place. When you have an arrangement such as this with lee-way either side you can’t go wrong.
With time Faith agreed to work more time and even gave me insights never thought needed. Don't die under the load. Ask someone with experience to help. Give them the convenience of choosing the terms-at first it will guide you well on how to proceed. Use them well and build a team. You will be surprised just how beneficial such a deal can be in the long run. They tend to look at this young outfit as their baby and well-steered you will achieve much more than if you had engaged another rookie so you can still be the most knowledgeable on the team.
Being smart is measured by how well you manage people who are smarter than you. Learn the skill and if you are in the service industry, outsourcing pretty manners and some faces goes along way.