Get Unstuck – Hire a Manager or Executive!

by Shaun R Smith on October 26, 2010

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As a small and growing business, you will come to the point (if you haven’t already) where you need to hire management.  This juncture can be daunting for a number of reasons.  However, the longer you delay crossing this bridge, the longer you delay your company’s growth.

When am I Ready?

As Michael Gerber talks about in the E-Myth Revisited, growing a business organically means that, at the beginning, you as the owner are wearing most, if not all, the hats of the business.  At first, you might begin to delegate lower-level functions.  And hopefully you’ll become more proficient at delegating versus abdicating.  As you and your company grow, you learn to delegate not just tasks but areas of responsibility.

Hiring senior management means you are hiring someone to take over the problems, challenges, and responsibilities of an entire area of your business.  Most business owners I know, even the ones who say they want the business to work without them, are control freaks to some degree.  That quality makes this step especially challenging.  Bringing this level of employee into your company has more similarities with creating a partnership than just hiring another team member.  Remember Jim Collins’s notion that all great people work for your company are volunteers – they have many options and opportunities, why join you?

You will know that your company is ready to make this hire when your company is stuck at a certain level of growth.  When you are repeating the same year over again instead of moving forward to tackle new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities, you probably need something that has been missing from your company and is now stunting its growth.  You need someone who can solve a whole different type and level of problems than you or your team have tackled in the past.

Why is It So Scary?

With this level of hire, you aren’t hiring just another employee.  You are hiring someone to shoulder the burden and share in the rewards of your business’s success.  If you have been doing it alone, or it has been you and a partner (possibly a family member), opening the door to an “outsider” will stir up a lot of expectations, excitement, and fear.

But your only alternative than is to keep your business stunted at adolescence.

How Much Will It Cost?

Adding a layer of management will definitely add to your overhead.  So, like almost all business decisions, it needs to make sense strategically AND financially.  This addition must create more value and potential growth for your business than she is costing you.

The exact cost will depend on the level of the person you hire, the size of the area he or she is taking over, and the market.  Creating an incentive based portion to this person’s compensation is even more critical than doing it for the rest of your team.  As with everyone you bring into your company, you want to create a win-win.  Setting clear criteria for success and sharing the growth and value that this new team member creates will be vital.

Need Some Help Deciding?

If you want to pick someone’s brain on this, please call my office — 646-862-1710 and ask for Shaun.  I’d be happy to help you think through your situation and circumstances and give you a friendly push, if the time is right.

Photo by: Tiare Scott
The links to the E-Myth Revisited and Jim Collins’s Good to Great are Amazon Affiliate links.

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