Leaving the One Man Show

Business Partner Wanted.  It’s a sign that doesn’t hang in windows.  But it’s a very real situation…

At some point or another, almost every business owner will be saying “I have too much work to handle”.  Others will say the solution is to “hire employees” or “delegate it”.  The small business owner comes back with the most common answer “I don’t make enough money”.  If they hire someone, they don’t have enough money to pay themselves.

Leaving the One Man Show

My best way to explain why a business partner is wanted so badly…it shares in the load.  But sharing in the load means sharing in the profits as well.  You have to be willing to give up a certain amount of control.

If you are serious about “not doing everything in your business”, and making that move to employees..here is a simple 5 step process we call: Business Partner Wanted.  This “Business Partner Wanted” steps are designed to help you move out of being a single person business, to having an employee or two.  The thing I like most about this strategy, is you can grow it: with very little resources, and lack of capital.

Business Partner Wanted

1.  Decide between a business partner wanted or a strategic alliance wanted

Many small business owners say they want a business partner, yet they need a strategic alliance first.  What’s the difference?

A small business may not have the ability to expand.  You may never be able to grow large enough to reach the income needed to maintain 2 business partners sharing in the profit.  For examples: a hair salon, a hardware store.  Businesses like these need to add more value, more reasons for customers to come to their stores.  To many times, small business owners attribute lack of scale to “not enough marketing”.  Add value.

2.  Substitute a business partner wanted for a strategic alliance wanted

Customers love value add, convinence, and “all in one” solutions.  Save them money?  Great.  Save them time?  Even better.  Small business owners should be considering adding value and one stop solutions by aligning themselves with businesses that have complimentary products.  The benefit to you: lets say more customers, less costs, shared resources..just to name a few.

3.  Now you can address the business partner wanted situation

If you’ve chosen a good strategic alliance partner, you should now reasonably expect enough growth to sustain a business partner and employees.  Before you start with employees , start with the “business partner wanted”. Find yourself a good partner who will leverage their own skills, resources, and expertise to help you achieve that growth.

It’s important to know most business partners will be other Entrepreneurs, so they’ll likely need to “control” their own side of things.  Try splitting your business into two key functions: maybe external vs. internal management.

4.  Hire vendors

With the business partner wanted issue now solved, you should be seeing more growth.  Start by delegating or outsourcing tasks to vendors prior to using employees.  I always think it’s important to “test” your waters before hiring employees.  Many times we’ll get frustrated with something, and automatically want to hire an employee to take it over.  Only to realize, it wasn’t enough of a task to hire an employee for.  Start with the vendors.

5.  Hire employees

I had a business owner write me saying “If I hire an employee, I don’t have enough to pay myself”.  You shouldn’t be looking at employees that way.  Employees are an investment, and like any other investment…they have a return.

Do you buy retirement stock and say “but if  I buy retirement stock, I won’t have the money to retire”?  Of course you don’t.  Because it’s an investment.  Investments are risks.  You have to do your best to minimize your risk, and ensure return on that employee.  Steps 1-4 were designed to give you additional stability and growth before taking on employees.  The rest would be up to you and your business partner to pick the best employees.

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