Growing Pains

Hire the right employees to take your firm to the next level

notes that it’s important not to hire someone before you’ve determined what duties you need them to perform. What’s helpful in this area is to make a list of job duties that only you can complete, then delegate other responsibilities to employees. Create job descriptions that contain the education and work experience you desire, the duties and responsibilities of the position and the person to whom the candidate reports.

Greene admits that in the early stages of her business, she hired employees who didn’t fit into her company’s culture and who didn’t have the skills they needed. “But soon after,” she says, “I started hiring the best in the industry. What you have to do is look at where you want to be in five years and say I want those types of clients. I want that type of staff.”

To minimize the cost of employees, consider contacting your local college or university to hire students as interns for credit and/or an hourly wage. It is also possible that if given the option of obtaining stock in your company, some employees may be willing to work for a lower salary.

Sharing Your Soul
A sentiment among many entrepreneurs is that no one is as dedicated to the growth of their company as they are. Cwiklinski insists that entrepreneurs shouldn’t expect their employees to have the same vision, maintain the same work ethic or put in the same kinds of hours.

“Of course you are sharing your vision,” she says, “but one must understand that a person is either an entrepreneur or an employee. Entrepreneurs take the risks and employees are looking for security.”

Diamond notes that being open to the ideas of others will help your company grow more and can make for a happier work environment. She believes that this kind of openness is an employee motivator that can help make employees feel they’re playing a bigger role in the overall success of the business. She advises talking to employees about the role they see themselves playing in the growth of the company. “It’s difficult to work well and build your company if someone is chipping away at that,” Diamond says. “Realize that you can’t do everything.”

Greene agrees. “It was tough giving up some of my work in the beginning, but it’s not now,” she says. It’s helpful, she explains, to realize that you can’t do it all and to bring on individuals who are qualified and will give their best efforts to the company. “It’s good to have people who understand the company’s mission, people who I feel are good and even better than me at what I ask them to do.”

Expanding one’s business in an attempt to join the ranks of the thousands of successful small businesses around the country is very tempting. But rushing to succeed can sometimes be a big mistake. Many entrepreneurs believe they can build their businesses by leaps and bounds.

According to Thayer, companies should be built gradually. “Many people make the mistake of doing it too fast

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