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Growing Your Small Business Team

One of the most important components of small business growth is the team. As much as you might want to expand your customer base, open new locations and enter new markets, at some point, you and your existing staff simply won’t have enough hours in the week to keep the ball moving.

Every business needs to ask themselves several questions as they expand, and of them inevitably ends up being, “Do we have the personnel?”

Growth presents some unique challenges and benefits for small businesses, especially when it comes to expanding their teams. If you hire too many people too quickly, you may see a dip in revenue. If you don’t hire them fast enough, you might overwork your existing staff. Adding the right people at the right time is key, so the following are a few tips on how to successfully grow your small business team.

What’s Your Need?

Don’t put the cart before the horse. Many small business owners enjoy the idea of hiring additional employees because it’s aspirational in a way – more employees can be a sign that your business is growing. But they’re also “mouths to feed,” so to speak, and if additional personnel can’t actually drive additional value for your business, new workers can become costly responsibilities.

So ask yourself: What do you need? If it’s a matter of a couple extra hours per week for a new task or expanded operation times for your brick-and-mortar location, you may want to see if you can cover that with your existing personnel. If it’s many hours, but to tackle a specific one-time project, you might want to look for freelance help rather than bring in a full-time worker. However, if your expansion will require an able worker for a full work week for the foreseeable future … start looking.

How to Make the Right Hire

There are two important things to cement when trying to bring in the right worker: what someone has to offer, and what you have to offer.

Before you start the search, you need to determine not just how much you’ll be able to pay a new hire, but also what kinds of benefits – health, retirement plan, etc. – you can deliver. It’s a delicate dance that requires you to balance what you can afford, what kind of value you think the position can create, and the knowledge that the quality of the candidates your lure will largely be tied to how attractive the post is.

Use everything available in your employee search, from sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to employee referrals if you already have a few people on staff. Also think about people you worked with at previous jobs – a trusted familiar face can be a valuable asset.

And when screening candidates, remember that you’re not a major multinational with thousands of roles where a few mistakes won’t make or break the company. You have very few shots on goal, so you need to make them count. Thus, don’t settle for a candidate you’re simply OK with. Take your time and find someone who isn’t just capable of performing the tasks at hand, but passionate about doing so. Also look for flexibility, as small-business workers often must wear more than one hat.

Keep Your Employees Happy

If you spend time and resources to hire a new employee, only to lose them after six months because they saw no room for advancement or hated the culture, you’ve wasted a lot of time and money.

As your staff grows, it will be increasingly difficult to dedicate personal time to all employees and easier for the company’s culture to deviate away from what you’re trying to accomplish. Don’t let your vision be lost as the years roll by. Build a workplace that’s fair, engender communications between coworkers, reward employees where you can, and make sure their voices are heard. Check in with your employees on a regular basis to get their feedback about your workplace to see if you should be doing anything different.

Hiring is a crucial process in any small business’ growth ramp, and it’s a step you can’t afford to flub. Before seeking out the next great hire, consult with the professionals at McManamon & Co., which offers business consulting services covering a wide range of topics, including strategic planning, corporate banking and expansion.

Build your small business dream team. Call McManamon & Co. at 440.892.9088 or contact us online today for a helping hand in hiring.


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