For entrepreneurs (especially solopreneurs), the thought of increasing the labor power of your business during its growth is to hire or staff with your spouse, family or friends. If you are contemplating this in the short term because it is the easy and “obvious” thing to do, perhaps you had better contemplate if the role is the right fit for the individual.
A word of caution (speaking from my own and others’ experience)…
Just because it is the simple and easy road to take, it may not be the least costly. In fact, in choosing the wrong individual with the staff role in your business — especially with the customer service and/or tech support responsibilities and duties — it may be a detriment to the business that may cost you immediate income and money, as well as customers, and even a damaged business relationship.
As you will hear in this audio episode of The Struggling Entrepreneur podcast series, the results can be significant and can impact your business. This episode goes into several cases-in-point (a couple of which are my own “lessons learned” from my experience — and one of them when I myself was the customer).
How can you tell if the individual’s personality and behavior may not fit the role you need in your staff position for your business?
There are detailed explanations of several tests (which are really “instruments” for measuring) which you can easily have the individual(s) complete.
(2) The other is the CUSTOMER (R) PROGRAM’s personality traits and behavior profiles from Integrity Systems, Inc. You should know how to communicate and manage these types of individuals in the role which they will have. They are the:
- Controller, and the
Once you have the personality and behavior profiles measured, you can then see if there could be potential problems in fitting the individual with the duties and responsibilities of the staff role.
Also, you should have an idea of the TYPE of relationship you will want with the individual. This could be that of an EMPLOYEE, or CONTRACTOR, or INTERN or PARTNER.
With a good, solid and “airtight” contract or agreement (which we recommend should be drawn up by your legal counsel who specializes in small business and entrepreneurship), you will then have the proper “exit strategy and commitment” if the individual wishes to leave your business environment of your firm–either because it is “not fun any more” or if it ends up being the wrong fit, or if there is a probability of conflict and problems up ahead. Also, be advised that you yourself should be able to terminate the relationship if the fit is not good for your firm.
In this audio episode, you will hear about our recommendation to hire outside via personal or solid references, where the individual can show and prove the abilities needed for the position and responsibilities from past, outstanding performance. Even a virtual assistant with specialized skills can avoid the problem of the “wrong fit.”
As Paul Colligan (of www.paulcolligan.com) stated when he was searching for talented individuals to hire: “I don’t want you learning on my time and on my dime. I want to see what you have done. Show me which outstanding service you have provided in the past to others in the role that you would provide for me.” (quoted from a public, live Paul Colligan webinar, 2010)
It is up to you whether or not you should hire your spouse or family members or close friends when your business is growing. In some cases, this works out wonderfully (if the individual and role are a good fit).
However, a word of caution resulting from our experience…
Hiring or Staffing the individual just because of the relationship may set your business back and damage personal and business relationships.
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