Almost all businesses start as one-man or one-woman bands. Then, one day you’re taking care of the finance, cold-calling for sales, managing your schedule, checking your orders, going through your brand social media… and suddenly you realise you’re spread too thin.
You’ve hit a ceiling – and if you don’t start hiring people soon, you’ll become so overwhelmed that your productivity will grind to a halt and your market timing will vanish like condensation on a cold Monday morning. The best advice we can give you is: don’t be slow to grow. But how do you balance the cost of new hires with the right return on your investment? The answer is simple – make hires that will facilitate growth.
Once you’re off the starting blocks, all small businesses should begin by hiring the following core roles that are critical for initial growth, and later, scaling up:
1. Sales Representative
Obviously, you’re not going to have a business for long if you don’t have someone selling it, and hiring a sales rep or two will be essential for generating new business (once the CEO stops trying to do it all themselves!). Note that sales people are a very particular breed: you want someone who is committed to their mission to hit the phone and make meetings all day long, and determined to hit their quota. A sales rep is a revenue generating role, and therefore is usually incentivised with a bonus structure.
2. Marketing Manager/Director
Most entrepreneurs are perfectly in tune with the value their business brings, but when it comes to articulating it through images, words and a concise, promotable message, they usually fall flat. That’s where a marketer comes in – someone who can take your vision, articulate it in a way that creates excitement and genuine interest, and get that message out there to the right people. In the beginning you want someone who is a bit of a jack-of-all trades, and has a grasp of all the different channels, from TV to Pinterest.
3. Customer Support Manager
Whether you have clients or customers, products or accounts, you’re going to want to hire someone who can field enquiries, complaints and problems as they increase in number. Good customer support is not just about fielding complaints though – it’s a core part of establishing a solid brand reputation, especially with the ever increasing number of online review sites. Too many companies ignore this early on, and prospects end up taking their money elsewhere.
Worrying about accounting is something you shouldn’t be focusing on as a business owner. Hire an accountant or outsource one. Thankfully, most people know they have to jump on this early. If not, it is highly likely their business will be losing money (in taxes), or running into cash flow problems very early on. But here’s a big tip: the right accountant can do much more than simply safeguard your numbers – they can bring vital insight into the company by preparing data and reports that can be used by everyone to help evolve their respective strategies (for growth).
5. Human Resources
Needless to say, if you’re going to start hiring, you need to do it properly. Someone who knows the ins and outs of HR thoroughly. And when it comes to getting the right people, remember, it’s not just about filling the role – you’ve got to be able to identify talent that is going to be committed to the business and fully invested in growing it alongside you. Partnering with an agency gives you access to a network of contacts and a wealth of experience in recruiting that will take a huge amount of stress off your plate and give you an edge on your competition.
With these key roles in place, your business can start growing and you can expand your teams as your revenue increases. But if you find you’re still not ready to recruit for full-time permanent roles yet, then consider virtual roles. Many companies who use virtual assistants in the UK find it much more cost efficient in the early stages. At PABS we specialise in a wide variety of these kinds of roles, from Virtual PAs to Copy Writers, Web Developers and more. And when you’re ready to go permanent we can help with that too. We take the time to properly get to know your business and identify the most promising talent, making sure you’re getting the best value for your money, so that your business is able to scale-up in a way that’s both cost-efficient and manageable.