When you begin your journey of starting your own business, you’re concerned with the plausibility of your idea, your capital, and your ability to market and sell it. Typically, you’re worried about things that you are handling on your own – at least initially. However, as your business catches on and demand increases your product/service, growth is inevitable…which means more people.
More people means a potential disruption to how you’ve been doing things, which is both difficult and necessary. So, if you were to understand what the top mistakes were regarding employees of entrepreneurs before you, would you want to know? Sure, you would! And here they are…the top regrets/mistakes/coulda/shouldas from entrepreneurs like you:
- “Not investing in top talent.”
- “When we were trying to get out of my company, we decided to hire a person to run the business so that we could move onto our other businesses. Ultimately, we chose to hire someone who didn’t have all of the qualifications we wanted because they weren’t that expensive. Horrible decision. The experts always say to hire someone that you think is better or smarter than you are. Unfortunately, we didn’t listen to that advice. The business went sideways for a year, and we ultimately had to sell it.”
- “Not being quicker to let folks go who were not a good fit for their position.”
- “Hoping the ‘C’ player will get better. They don’t. We just hope, teach, and tolerate them. Hope, by definition, is not a strategy that implies that we have any control. By ‘tolerating,’ we send a strong message about ourselves and our organization to all employees, customers, and vendors. Th ink of it this way: in an athletic event, we look to take advantage of an opponent’s weak spot. There is no good reason to allow our ‘weak spots’ to make our businesses vulnerable to defeat.”
- “Not making decisions based on what’s best for the business instead of [what’s best for] the employee.”
- “Employ smart, experienced advisers and team [members] and then ask them for help. Stop thinking it’s heroic to do it all [by yourself ].”
- “I should have hired a #2 person sooner. Once I hired him, my business boomed.”
- “If I had it to do over, I would have spent more time doing due diligence on key hires. We made several mistakes. When you’re growing fast you want to make quick decisions, but some decisions you should take time with, and be very mindful of the importance of the decision.”
- “Select a great team and then get them focused on something specific.”
- “Create a culture where your employees are valued and their feedback is encouraged. Attracting and retaining top talent will create success, regardless of what business you are in.”
- “Act quickly once you have made a hiring mistake. There were many times that I knew I should let someone go for performance or because it just wasn’t working out, but almost always I took too long to act.”
Learn from those who have experienced it – you’ll be much more successful because of it!
Author and Serial Entrepreneur at The Decision Center
Randy H. Nelson has a long history of entrepreneurial leadership, stemming from his educational, military, and business backgrounds. He has co-founded two successful businesses and served as CEO to both. He has written books on entrepreneurship and now seeks to help entrepreneurs and CEOs everywhere through coaching, consulting, workshops and public speaking.
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