The wrong way round…

A less catchy title than Arse About Face, but clearly more appropriate!

The subject of this week’s blog has been niggling away at me for some time and came to head yesterday when I was talking with a group of small business people in Manchester. It concerns growth, recruitment and restructuring a business.

The problem is, in EB, we’re all so darned busy that we forget the need to plan for growth and recruitment and, as a result, our businesses grow organically.

One lady in the group was restructuring her business for the seventh time this year, which is a lot.

When I asked her why then answer became plain. She hadn’t thought through what she wanted her new people to do, other than in a vague sort of way (I need someone to do ‘Admin’, for example) and as a result no-one, or rather, everyone was suitable for the job that was on offer.

The upshot of this was that when she saw someone who was good at… something… she recruited them and then restructured the business so there was a role to suit the person.

Okay, there’s a certain logic to this, but it’s wonky logic.

The result of this sort of growth is a strange, misshapen type business in which staff are unsure of what’s needed or expected of them and doesn’t deliver against goals and targets.

That’s because the way this lady (and so many of us) recruit is arse about face… or to put it in a slightly more appropriate way, the wrong way round.

Michael Gerber, he who wrote The E-Myth, says that a business owner should design a business structure that will deliver the results they want, with roles and responsibilities to match. The structure should be drawn or written out… it doesn’t matter that there are no employees at the very start – the roles already exist; it’s just that they’re all filled by one person: YOU.

Then as cash flow, business plan and busyness (see what I did there?) allow, you recruit people into the roles that are already defined. This means you can recruit the best person for the role and, therefore, your business, rather than recruiting someone because they seem to be good and then changing the business to fit them.

The problem is, of course, that it takes some time and planning effort to do this… and we’re all very busy.

But as the boss of the business, that’s your job.

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