Let me ask you an honest question. Do you have the skills and talent within your business to take it forward in strength?

We often talk about a company’s ability to grow in terms of capacity – do they have enough staff in key roles, do they need to grow their team? But what sometimes gets forgotten is whether your company needs to increase its skill and knowledge base to cope with growth (see our previous blog for more about how having the right team is crucial to making growth sustainable).

Most companies are started by someone with a skill or knowledge that can be sold – whether that takes the form of a product or service – the entrepreneur enters a very steep learning curve trying to acquire all the additional skills he or she needs to build a business. But they will always remain specialists in the thing they started the business to do.

Soon it becomes apparent they need support from others with experience, skills and knowledge in other areas of running a business. Usually this begins with finance, with sales and admin following on shortly after. Eventually you get to a point where the business has all the functions it needs and operates quite happily. Or does it?

As a small business, it is likely that you will have employed people with experience and expertise in working in and with small businesses. As a company grows, things start to change. Dealing with bigger clients, increased regulation, logistics on a bigger scale, new markets… all requires new skills and experience that may be beyond your current staff. So this is a question you need to take seriously.

Great people achieve great things

When it comes to recruiting the right people for your business, particularly in an SME, personality is a massive factor. There is no point in bringing someone in who thinks they are bigger than the team, no matter how skilled they are. You need people who will pull together and complement your existing team.

This is always a difficult thing to judge when recruiting as it often only shows itself once they have been in the business for a few weeks. However, you can often tell a lot by how they interact with the rest of the team initially. Pre-restrictions we would get everyone together for a meeting or social interaction and observe how they get on with their potential teammates. In the modern way of doing things that may have to be over Zoom or Teams or whatever platform you use, but it’s worth doing.

Sell the opportunity

The final piece of advice for this blog is a very important one. Just because you are a small company, don’t sell yourself short or underestimate the attraction you hold as an employer. You may be attempting to attract someone with big company experience but there are plenty of people like that looking for an opportunity and employer just like you.

The lure of an opportunity with a business where they can make a real impact and/or be closer to home is just what some are looking for. The reason you are looking to recruit them is because you are a growing business and there is a certain amount of attraction in being an instrumental part of that for some.

Need help?

At Entrepreneurs Hub we work with SMEs who are growing or wanting to achieve or accelerate growth. Part of this work is helping those companies ensure they have the right skills and abilities within the business to achieve and sustain this. Having the right team around you is crucial, and that goes for your advisers too. We’d love to talk to you, free and in complete confidence, so why not get in touch.

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