Sunday, May 4, 2014

Don't Hire Anybody!

   If you have a new business, it's pretty common to start thinking about hiring someone to help with the seemingly endless tasks you are presented with. Don't. Do NOT do it. 

   Eventually, you will have to hire people, but try to put it off as long as possible. While you might think there is an element of sadism involved on my part there are reasons...

   First, you need to be able to present someone with a clearly delineated job. That's very hard to do in the beginning. In a start-up, many days end in a blur. But patterns eventually emerge in your work wherein you could explain a list of items to another person, you have the beginning of a job for someone. It takes some time.

   Second, by doing things yourself in the beginning you gain a massive amount of knowledge. That helps in the operation of any business and it also gives you valuable empathy for the person you'll eventually have doing those tasks for the business.

   Third, hiring is: easy in, hard out. Searching for your first "employee" is kind of exhilarating. You meet lot's of eager people ready to make a difference. Then you pick someone. But sometimes you blow it. You pick the wrong person. If hiring is fun, firing is the opposite. Firing people is a major buzz killer. The longer you wait, the better delineated the job will be, and the greater the chance for success in hiring.

   Fourth, hiring people costs money. Unless you have been massively funded or were born into big money, you'll find cash has a quick evaporation rate. Employees are helpful, but they are also expensive. Be sure you are absolutely clear on how you're going to specifically benefit from having this person. Have enough clarity to explain the hiring to an investor, even if you have none. 

   With some luck, you'll grow and clear these hurdles. You'll hire lot's and lot's of people and live happily ever after. But applying this logic to each position will keep you lean and focused. That's a very strong quality for any business to possess.


  1. Funny I should read this right off the bat this morning. And just when I was thinking . . .
    Thanks, Tim.

  2. The 2nd point resonated with me. I'm currently creating an authority and got burned hiring cheap help. I'll just bootstrap the hell out of this business until I can afford quality employees.