One of the things I like about being an entrepreneur and small business owner is the opportunities I have to invest in people at the beginning of something. I’m currently in the middle of starting up a company and find that I enjoy working with those early into their careers. But this isn’t novel to this particular start-up. There’s something about embarking on a new business endeavor that draws me to others in similar positions—fellow small businesses, entrepreneurs, career beginners.
During the process of setting up this business, I’ve networked with like-minded entrepreneurs, hired someone fresh out of college, and worked with a couple of free-lancers who were new to the field. And while it’s been a little more chaotic than if I’d just put forth a ton of money into getting things done, it’s been rewarding to have people on my team to brainstorm with.
- Network with small businesses. Something great about networking with other small businesses is that you’re all in the same boat. There is a subculture in the US that is highly supportive of small, local businesses. Capitalize on this by joining fellow entrepreneurs! Depending on your type of business, try to meet others working on compatible models. Maybe you can advertise for each other or plan events together. Share in the cost of renting a booth and get out to events to spread your brand.
- Hire or contract with the young. As a small business owner, you might not have the funds to hire the most experienced or contract with the well-known. But what you can do is look to those wrapping up or just finished with their degrees. As young people fresh on the job scene, they are about to encounter a lot of “1-2 years of experience preferred.” Hiring or contracting with them is a mutually beneficial relationship. Because they are just coming from their degrees they will have an insight into current trends. And because they are inexperienced, they will be looking to work hard and prove themselves (and at a wage you can pay!). While they get experience and real-world experience, you get a hard-working individual who comes at a price you can afford.
- Most importantly, work with people you trust. Beyond the specifics of who you work with, remember that at some point in this business game someone had faith in you and your venture—financial backers, the spouse, your parents, the bank. Someone somewhere encouraged you to jump into the entrepreneur game. And now you have a chance to invest in someone new. And while that’s true, make sure that you aren’t hiring a liability. If your brand is going to be in somebody’s hands, let it be someone you trust. I’ve made the mistake before of signing a contract while not feeling fully sure of those handing me the contract. And it turned out that my internal sense of trust was right. Trust your gut and any close advisers before signing a contract or hiring a new employee. In some sense trust has to be gained, but if there is something initially off, then take some time to mull it over before moving ahead.
What undervalued group do you love working with? I will be posting a new blog every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Come back tomorrow to discuss Real Estate topics!