Lesson 9 - 4 Questions you need very good answers to, before you hire an employee, service provider, or business coach.

The Lesson: Know what you need to get what you want.

In a magical world, filled with business fairies who can grant you your dream job, the only thing you have to do is wish.

But in the real world, you are the one pulling the strings and making your own visions come to life.  Which is better, I think.  But maybe that’s just because I like to be in control.

In this realm there are lots of people who can help you do amazing things, but many small business owners don’t understand how to get the most out of their support teams.  And that’s a damn shame, because nothing is sadder to me than lost potential.

Here’s my story:

For a long time I have worked with small business owners in various capacities.

Early in my working life I was an employee.  The ultimate schlep, ahem, assistant.  I happened to be a great assistant because I could see the big picture, think on my feet and manage the details to get shit done.  But I very rarely stayed at a job long.  I loved small businesses even then, and wanted to see them succeed.  The problem was (partly me, of course, but also) that these companies I chose to work for were lacking something that keeps good people motivated.

Later in my career I became a service professional, providing small businesses with something tangible based on my expertise.  From marketing services to graphic and web design, I’ve worked with dozens of companies in this way.  The outcome is usually successful, but the process has been painful more times than I care to remember.  Now that I’m “seasoned,” I know why.  I’ll get to that in a moment.

The final component is advising small businesses as a consultant/coach. This relationship is one where I listen, guide and share resources to help people make the best decisions for their business.  In order for this to be beneficial, a few things need to happen.

I should probably also mention that I’ve been on the flip side too; having an employee, hiring service professionals and coaches.  And, of course, I have done things the hard way (duh).

Growing businesses, like yours, will need all three of these support roles at some point.  But, as I mentioned, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.  The wrong way can set your business back and might make you gun shy about hiring someone in the future.

So let’s do it right.  If you are thinking about hiring an employee (or intern), service professional or a coach to help take your business to the next level, here are 4 questions you need to have very good answers to: A nifty SlideShare presentation.

The moral of the story:  Set clear expectations, for yourself and whoever you hire, to make sure you get the results you want.

If you liked this presentation, I hope you’ll share it and let me know in the comments below.

Have you had a good or a bad experience hiring one of these 3 people?  What do you think contributed to that experience?