To the non-entrepreneur, this may seem like an impossibility. But to the DIY business person, this may seem like the only way to do things! I’m a big advocate for working hard and saving money wherever you can. In the early days of a new business, this means being a jack of all trades, and being highly competent at each one. In your standard business, one that has lasted for a few years and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, there are different departments which focus on representing different company interests. In the first days of your business, it’s likely that you have few or even no one to cover these bases. This means that you’ve got to be all things to all people, and you’ve got to do it right. Here are some ways to make sure this happens.
- Human Resources is an important part of any business. It’s how management communicates with employees, and how employees communicate back. Human resources fixes interpersonal problems, negotiates pay, hire and fires, and organizes benefits packages, among many other tasks. Because you have few (or no) employees, it’s all the more important that you think about how human resources is going to grow your business, especially if you are human resources. Since HR’s focus is inherently communicative, you’ve got to establish good standards of communication in your small company. This means that new hires need to understand their place in the company, and for the first few weeks need to be ushered into a healthy company culture of which they feel a certain personal ownership. This is called Training and Onboarding, and they are two different things. One is focused on the daily operations of a business, the other is focused more on company mission and issues of camaraderie. You need to see that your employees have a sense of both.
- Administration and Bookkeeping. SkyChildCare is a great example of cloud-based software focused on a specific industry. Some childcare businesses operate out of private homes without any administrative staff. If you own a home-based daycare, or any similar industry, it’s important to remember that there is probably a cloud-based solution used to simplify your work. With SkyChildCare, for example, home daycares can manage enrollment and collect tuition electronically. All businesses have a lot of administrative duties, paperwork, and financial record keeping. Any one of these can hamstring your business’s growth if it isn’t organized well. So you’ve got to make sure that you set excellent precedents from the beginning of your business.
There are other facets to healthy companies that you will need to eventually create if your sole proprietorship or small business is to achieve scale. But in the early days, you can probably improve the state of your business by shoring up your performance in these areas. Remember, you can never recreate these first days of a new startup. The decisions you make today will ripple out for months and years to come, so make these early decisions good ones. You’ll be glad you did. One day, you’ll be able to hire someone else to do it. But you may have achieved such a good system with automated cloud based solutions, that you don’t need to.