Starting or growing your own business and making mistakes go hand in hand.
Some business owners call the price you pay for the important lessons you learn from the decisions you make school fees. Some of the hardest lessons to learn are around hiring staff. It’s difficult enough to find great people, let alone hire them, manage them and hold on to them, especially as a small business. If you didn’t hire good people to start off with, it can cause you a great deal of stress and impact your business. Mistakes carry a cost, but there’s also a great deal to be gained from them.
10 THINGS BUSINESS OWNERS SHOULD DO AND KNOW BEFORE BECOMING EMPLOYERS
1. Be honest about what you are bad at, and then hire people who are good at those things.
2. Spend more time getting to know people in great roles before starting your business.
3. Spend time with your staff and build good relationships with them. It’s all about people at the end of the day.
4. Know that going through an employment agency has pros and cons. It can be expensive for small-business owners. Referrals from people I know well, and whose opinion I trust, has been the best strategy.
5. Always interview multiple candidates and always check references.
6. Learn how to become a ‘boss’. Don’t focus only on the kind of people you want – spend time on learning how to become a better leader and delegator.
7. Don’t neglect the paperwork that goes with hiring someone. As well as an employment contract there’s also statutory paperwork such as UIF registration.
8. Follow the procedure! Especially when emotions run high. There are online short courses and even one-day workshops on South African labor law. Do at least one before you become an employer.
9. You need to have rules. More importantly, make sure your staff knows them and then make sure you actually follow through with them.
10. Communication really is everything. Make a point of sitting down regularly with your staff, in groups and one-on-one, so you can get issues out into the open.