Cold Start: Planning for Growth with Your Staff - E12
In this week's column I want to talk about something you probably are not planning for: Growth! You are going to grow and the way you run your office will have to adjust. One of the main things you are going to need is great staff. I kind of overlooked that initially and it made growing harder than it needed to be. Here are 3 quick tips to keep in mind as your office gets busier.
Do not over staff with part time help.
Sure it is great when you are slow and just starting out, but as you get busier, it is difficult to work around a part-timers schedule. You will have to try to find another part time employee to fill the gaps. Invariably one part-timer will leave and the cycle continues on and on. Full-time staff is worth the investment. It may be harder early on, but bite the bullet and make them happy, give them hours and pay them what they are worth to you. In 5 years, you will be grateful you did.
Make sure to hire your first or second staff member with the possibility that they can lead/manage.
At some point, you need to become the CEO and you need someone to give guidance and structure. If your legacy employee does not have these qualities, it is going to create conflict in the future.
Make sure the exceptions you make early on with staff (leaving early to get kids, certain days or events off, etc.) are things you are willing to do as you get busier and grow.
I usually say no time off during the first quarter as we are busiest during that time of year. Well, I had a part-timer that always took a vacation in March. When she was the only one that was allowed that perk, it created conflict with the other staff members.
The moral of the story is you need to have foresight for the practice you are going to be, not just for the practice that you are.
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