Starting a business is a huge undertaking and one that requires a lot of courage and powering past the fear. Most small businesses start out as an owner-only affair in which the entrepreneur is responsible for everything from marketing to operations, accounting, and product development. This can and usually does take its toll on the person. A small business owner is then forced to hire help or lose their mind altogether. Here are the three most critical hires for your small business when you start making enough to afford external help.
There is no way to overestimate the importance of people knowing about your product. You need a great marketer who knows how to target customers, how to promote your product, and how to convince them that the product or service matters to them. This is especially important in the currently crowded marketplace. A great marketer will cut through the noise and build buzz and awareness about your product or service. The marketer should be able to handle multiple platforms and roles including website management, social media as well as branding, and PR. For a small business with limited capital, it would be beneficial to hire a marketer with great sales skills. Salaries can cripple a small business so if you can get a two-in-one deal, that would be ideal. However, sometimes this is not possible.
Sales are how the business grows. Most businesses collapse early on from lack of sales making sales hires among the most critical. The salesperson needs to be a great prospector who is able to hunt for deals, get some solid leads and close them. Aside from selling products and services, a salesperson is also tasked with maintaining positive business relationships to ensure future sales.
You need someone to handle the finance and accounting of the business. They do not have to work full-time and in fact, rarely do for small businesses. The proliferation of accounting applications that are super intuitive can lead you to believe that you can handle the accounting but it’s not true. A great accountant is essential because apart from generating key accounting documents and insights, they understand the laws of the land and can help you save money when it comes to paying taxes and even take advantage of certain tax breaks you may not be aware you are eligible for as a small business. They can also save you a lot of money when it comes to payments and fines that may accrue if you are not aware your small business should be remitting them. A great accountant can also help with strategic advice about growth strategies like hiring and purchasing equipment or opening a new store because they understand your cash flow and can put together reasonable forecasts.
Other key hires are a writer and a content strategist just because of the sheer amount of communication that a company has to put out from general product messaging to constant communication with clients both on and offline. It’s a good idea to get a lawyer, a part-time one will do just to protect yourself and save yourself hefty fees, penalties and potential litigation. An operations or a project manager to streamline all the processes and day-to-day operations from employee operations and business relationships to finance, communication and product development.
As you grow your business, here’s a great piece on how to create a sustainable competitive advantage in business.