In many small businesses there needs to be more of a recognition that some people do well in specific environments or situations, and others don’t. So when planning to grow your small business you need to make sure you get the right person, or people, for the right job.
When I was running Abussi on my own I was the accounts guy, the salesman, the account manager and any other job that needed doing at that time. Ironically the workload left little time for being what I ‘actually’ was – which was the IT guy. So, when I was looking to grow Abussi I needed to make sure that I did what I was best at and found other people to take over the roles I was, shall we say, less-able at completing.
The best explanation of this approach was by M.Gerber in his book ‘The e-Myth’ in which he outlines how small companies, run by entrepreneurs and who are brilliant at their skill or trade are often thrust into business roles as their efforts produce results and they find themselves doing jobs they have no skill or enthusiasm to complete. He goes on to explain that these roles within the business – finance, sales, marketing etc – should all be a) identified and b) filled by the right people, leaving you to do what it is you are good at and have the key skills to complete.
I know that in my own business this approach has proved invaluable in getting the business to grow initially and then to maintain our advantage in the long term. Within the business there are functions which are carried out by staff who were born to do them. Telephone support, for example, is a job done by Paul and his attitude, approach and overwhelming sense of calm really makes people feel at ease. I on the other hand am really best suited to face-to-face meetings with business owners to chat about how things are going, what they need looking at in the coming months and offering advice or support on new plans. I’m best as the outward facing account manager, not chained to a desk.
Another member of the Abussi team, Gavin, is exactly the man we need for the detail jobs. For IT that needs to be setup right and be done correctly, repeatedly and regularly then Gavin is the man – his attention to detail and standardised approach to the work is perfect for getting PC’s ready to deploy, software installed, backups checked and users configured.
So in any business there needs to be a good mix of people who can fulfil a role that they have skills for and which they enjoy. This latter point is another important factor in finding the right person for the job. Enjoyment at work is important as it helps to drive motivation and quality – something you need when in a small business and especially one that you’re looking to grow.
So, maybe it’s time to assess yourself and your staff as to their strengths and weaknesses and perhaps look to move some responsibilities to those who have better skills and greater motivation in those areas – if you do then you may find you have less and less reason to blame your tools.