Employee to Employer

So, you’ve come up with your unique business idea, started marketing, formulating procedures and are making progress.

At some point you are likely to reach the milestone of wanting to increase bodies. Depending upon the type and nature of business, this may come relatively quickly or take some time. Whenever the need arises, it will undoubtedly be a daunting prospect. You may feel you are still getting used to being your own boss, developing your style, work ethic and client base. Procedures, accounting and legal requirements, along with other necessities will be taking up your time. Then along comes the need to expand.

One of the key concerns may be ‘will they work in the same way as me?’ ‘Will someone else understand fully the product, the business, the way in which we work with our clients?’ The short answer is no. No-one will have the passion you have for your product, your business. That is the point. It is yours, your unique idea and your fully invested time. However, if you can invest the time in them, you will get as close to it as you can. It is unrealistic to expect anyone else to have the same level of dedication, to them it may well be ‘just a job’. Yet you can put things in place that will allow you to get the very best out of every person you employ and allow them to happily and willingly give the best to your business.

Inform them. Tell them about your aims, your ethos, what makes your product or service different. What you expect clients to get from you as a business. What matters to you. Do not assume they understand and will work in the same way as you from the outset. Everyone and every business is different. You will need to equip your staff. Train them. Invest that time and money to enable them to do the very best job they can.

Value your staff. I say staff but I always refer to our team as my colleagues. In terms of the business we run, our reputation is not solely built up on what the Directors and senior team members do in managing it. In fact the majority of the excellent reputation we have built up is from what our team does when they are working in people’s homes. They are our business and if we do not equip them properly, in terms of training and knowledge, we set them up to fail. We set our business up to fail.

We have adopted a full induction process for all new team members, including online training, discussions on what is expected from them, what we can do for them and what we aim to achieve with our business. They are employed, receiving a contract, holiday pay and regular meetings and socials. They receive several weeks of one to one training on the job, meeting clients they will have as their own. By the time they go it alone they are equipped. Yes, this is an investment of time and money that some may consider the role does not warrant. However, we want our team to feel proud to be part of our business, an important part of it and know they are ready and capable to help our business grow. Without our team, we have no business.

There is no need to feel the apprehension of moving from recently being an employee, to finding yourself the employer. There are many ways in which you can equip yourself with the knowledge and skills you will need to manage more than your own time. But do it right, do it with the same passion you put into your product or business idea. Let your team look after your clients whilst you look after your team.

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