- Do you need a leader?
- Do you need someone who is customer-facing?
- Do you need a worker?
When you are starting a business, that startup person (possibly you?!) ends up being the Unicorn, who can do everything. The worker, the leader, and the customer-facing person.
That person is the rare breed who understands technically what you want to do in your industry, the leader in the field. That person also has a vision of how to move forward. That’s why they were are able to start a business or lead a project team.
That unicorn is also the customer-facing person who’s trying to sell the wares. They are answering the questions “Why do you have something worth purchasing?”, “Why should somebody trust you?”, “Why should they sign that contract and start giving you money?”
As businesses grow, you end up finding it is not supportable for the startup person to do everything or just have one person for each of the roles.
If you are going to scale a team, you need to have that customer-facing person pretty early in the game. You have to have leads, you have to have clients, you have to have people who can talk to your client.
The more technical you are in your industry or your business model, the more customer-facing people you are going to need to be that interface, to be that translator, so that the customers understand the value that you bring.
Oftentimes people start talking technical jargon and clients miss out on what is actually being sold.
A very common example a client might ask us is “Why do I need a website?”
The Answer from a leader?: “You need a website because it will bring visitors to your brand and we will make sure it is responsive, and fast, and search engine optimized, and that you can target people, and we can do micro segments, and local SEO……
BUT where is the person who is going to tell the client that the reason you need a website is because in your area a lot of your competitors have websites and on average they perform a lot better than you do? We looked online and saw they are getting thousands of leads through their website. How many leads do you usually get a month? 100? That means there is a significant increase in lead generation you could get if we got your website up to par. More leads coming in, means more sales, which means more profits. SO, this isn’t so much about making you a sexy website because websites are cool, but about making you a great website so you can make more money.
Where is that super important customer-facing person? Do you have one in your business? If the answer is no, you need to find one ASAP!
The Worker Bees
The next thing to scale is definitely your workers. The leader can’t do everything, the core start up team can’t do everything. You have to go and get workers.
So now you are getting all of these leads; whether through your website or your sales people; and now you need people who can get the work DONE….and allow you (the unicorn, the start up person) to have some type of work-life balance and be sustainable, and grow your business.
The business already has a leader, it already has vision. Before you worry about bringing on more team leaders, more project leaders, you really need people who are going to come in and make an impact and share the load of the work. Bring in a Search Engine Optimist. Bring in someone who knows Java Script. Bring in a full stack developer. Bring in a backend or a front end developer. BUT make sure they can contribute and do the work and not just talk about what you should do next, talk about the problem, provide more vision…because that is not important right away.
AFTER you have work teams, and are having a hard time managing all the work. THEN bring in more managers, bring in those leaders. Bring in people that as you scale your business and provide more capabilities you can trust them to help lead you into the future.
When you can say “Awesome. We started as a web design company, but we are going to now branch out. We have now brought in work of generating video content and inbound marketing, and website development and search engine optimization. But we have so much work now we need to split that off a little bit between people for responsibility.” You can now bring in more leaders.
As you bring in more leaders, you can now say “Web design is going to fall under person A, Search Engine Optimization is going to person B, Inbound Marketing to person C.” You can continue to grow your company this way, so that it is scalable and sustainable.
As you have more revenue you can also bring in people for segments you want to get into. Say you haven’t done anything with Cloud Engineering, and you want to bring in an Amazon Certified Solutions Architect who can help you take a holistic approach on how you can drive cloud adoption with your customers. It is probably the right thing to do by them if you have customers in your portfolio to provide them with more and more services and capability to grown your business.
You have an IN by providing web design work, but how can you continue to provide value to them (which is also good for your business) and you can bring on more leaders and as you bring on those leaders you have them be the holistic problem solver (you are probably going to pay a little more) and then as you grow their team, you add those sales people to sell that service they are helping you to create. As you get clients, you start bringing on the workers.
Hope this helps with the holistic approach when hiring, what is your hiring strategy.
We will go deeper in future segments on how you can address how to select those workers, how to select those client-facing sales people, do you find that leader or visionary.