As the owner of a small business, you no doubt receive a lot of advice on how to run your brand from friends, business associates, management books and leadership TED Talks, and blogs, but a lot of that ‘conventional wisdom’ is not worth taking. Here are 7 pieces of small business advice that you should NOT listen to.
1.) “There’s No Additional Room for Your Product (or Service) in This Market.”
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, nor do you always have to go to a completely empty area to start or enhance your small business. Starbucks wasn’t the first company to sell coffee at retail, but they were able to win the market by not just selling coffee. They sold an “experience” along with a wide array of coffee products as well as pastries. And despite the dominance of Starbucks, there are many other boutique coffee retailers across the country, even though there may be a Starbucks on the next corner.
You don’t have to come up with a completely novel idea. Just look to fill a niche that has a large potential market.
Inevitably as a business owner, you will make one mistake that you’ll look back on and wonder how you ever thought it was a good idea. We all have our own stories of doing this –it seems to be an unspoken rite of passage in the world of owning a business!
But what is that one thing? That one thing is you’re going to hire someone and then come to regret it. Some of you reading this are probably already laughing because you know exactly what I mean. Others could be in the midst of this right now, so you might not think it’s so funny. No matter how established you are, remember that this happens to all of us, but matters even more are the actions you take next.
1) Don’t Take It Personally
Anytime you hire someone, whether an employee or a service provider, you’re rolling the dice. Regardless of how well someone interviews or the bank of credentials and references they bring with them, sometimes the fit just isn’t right between the two parties. What makes this so difficult for most small business owners is they take it personally.
Hiring is an exhausting process, especially when you’re a small business owner. You don’t have a Human Resources department to do the legwork for you; instead all you’ve got is a small team that has to wear many hats while trying to expand.
You’ve got to write out a job posting, get it up on the right job boards and career sites, and then wait for the applicants to trickle in. Now more than ever, thanks to the internet, even small businesses can get hundreds of applicants for one role. So your life just got harder.
You already don’t have enough manpower to look through all of the applications, but just to hire someone new you need to spend hours reviewing resumes and conducting interviews to figure out who that “someone” is. That’s why you need to approach the hiring process like a recruiter looking for the right candidate.
Startups are powered by their people more than any claim to a reputation, an established corporate structure, or any other resource readily available to big corporation budgets. As such, they have to be very careful when it comes to their hiring guidelines. Below are four essential rules that startups should keep in mind when it comes to hiring if they want to avoid superfluous employees.
1. Identify from the start the positions that require people with more experience.
As a startup working on a budget, you won’t be able to hire dozens of people across the board, but you should have one or two team members with stellar credentials to bring to the table. Just assigning them whatever role is open isn’t wise though – you have to put them in roles that deserve their expertise.
Intelligent business owners recognize that their most important asset is their team. Your team is the face of your company to the customer and the ambassadors of your brand.
Here are four important things to consider when hiring your staff:
- Hire, train and fire based on your values. Once you establish the values of your organization, it’s important that those hired actually live and demonstrate those values. If they can’t, won’t or don’t—move ‘em on out. They could be an amazing fit for another business and won’t undermine the type of culture you want. Continue reading
As much as you might try to run your business singlehandedly, eventually you’re probably going to need a little bit of help to take your company to the next level. Choosing the right employees for your company is always a challenge, but it can be expensive to rush a decision and select the wrong employee. If you’re looking to expand your team, here are a few ways to ensure you make the perfect hire. Continue reading
Consider this week’s post the MyCorp crystal ball to seeing the future of small business! Now that January is in full swing, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at what small business trends are currently developing. As we move full speed ahead into the rest of 2012, take a look at the trends below. Don’t let your small business fall behind!
Internet Search Boom
We all know how important it is to have an online presence. In 2012 your presence is more important than ever. According to physorg.com, the number of internet users worldwide in 2011 jumped to over 2 billion- wow! Take away two lessons from this number in hopping on the social bandwagon. Continue reading