Have you ever wondered “what if” in your business? Have you ever regretted not taking an opportunity that was right in front of you? As business owners, you are not alone.
There is a famous story about a record label named Decca, at the time one of the largest names in the recording industry. Four aspiring musicians from Liverpool tried out for them, but executives from Decca weren’t impressed. They thought that their style of music was a thing of the present, however, Decca wanted to be looking toward the music of the future, and this bunch of misfits wasn’t getting that done. John, Paul, George and Ringo, of course, went on to conquer the world of music and Decca’s loss was great news for the much smaller record label EMI. They gave the soon-to-be Fab Four a chance, and sat back and watched the money roll in.
So, when is the right time to make a change? Are you holding back your own business? Consider the following areas of change to see if your business could use a push towards growth.
Hiring a New Employee
We tell our clients that a good rule of thumb is when you are about a half of a person in to needing someone, meaning if you think you need a full time employee and you have about 20 hours a week to fill with work, it’s time to hire someone.
Why 20 hours? By the time you post a job, screen resumes, do multiple interviews, put together a job offer and offer a job to the perfect person (who likely has to give at least 2 weeks’ notice to their previous employer), you will have grown to the point where you can fill their day. This process could take a couple of months, and if you wait until they have 40 hours a week of work to do you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage.
We often use clients’ experiences to illustrate our examples, but in this case, we’re going to use our own. Continuing education and learning are a hallmark of ActionCOACH, and we attend conferences and workshops several times a year. At our Global Conference in August, we had the opportunity to step back from working in our business and work on our business. We knew that we needed a Marketing Director, and we knew that one of the key indicators of a successful business is how much they spend on marketing. We already had someone in the pipeline, and while in Scotland, we called her and set up an interview – we even wrote her Job Description on the plane. It’s scary to hire a new person, especially to create a new position, and we had been delaying this for quite some time. A couple months in to having this position filled and we don’t know how we ever did without someone in this role. It has been a complete game changer.
Terminating an Employee
One of the most difficult decisions that we as business owners have to make is whether to terminate an employee. How do you know it’s the right time?
There are a few signs that we can look for to know if the person isn’t a fit for your organization. First, attendance can be a key indicator of whether this person is a great member of the team. An employee who is late, and has an excessive number of absences is likely not performing in other capacities throughout the business.
Second, a chronic inability to get along with others. Teams and team culture, which we have talked about being essential to the success of your business, can be poisoned by one person who is unwilling to work on their relationship skills.
Third, team members who are not open to new ideas can be another early warning sign. When we interview a potential coaching client, we ask three questions of the business owner and the team we are going to coach:
- Are you open to new ideas?
- Are you willing to change?
- Are you going to do what you say you will do? Are you willing to follow through?
If the answer is not yes to all of those as an employee, then that employee can quickly become someone who doesn’t fit with the goals of the organization.
When to Grow the Space of your Business
Sometimes, it’s important to think about if the size of your physical building is holding your business back from growth? Do you have enough space to add more team members? Do you have room to help additional customers?
We have a great client, The Cleary Company, who was smart enough to know that they were outgrowing their building before it was too late. They were able to recognize that as they were hiring new staff due to sales growth, they were not going to have anywhere for them to work. They were not going to have enough places for their employees to even park on site, much less customers. While it was a little bit of growing pains for about 6 months, getting used to moving locations and the new building, it has paid off in the long run, and they have a long term plan for even more growth.
Is your company growing? Is it time to make a change? Let’s get out there and seize the day – it just may mean the difference that helps you become our next business success story!
Want to know more about how to grow your business and the challenges that come along with it? Contact us today to find out more about business coaching and leadership classes from ActionCOACH Columbus!
Peg, Pete & Michelle