By: Julie Brennan

Congrats, you are a business owner. You had the idea, you got the funding, you had the courage to take the plunge, you’ve got the game figured out, you have the world by the . . . well, you know.

Everyone tells you to outsource what you aren’t good at, right? Spend your time on what you know, and pay someone to do what you don’t (or trade for it), be it accounting, legal, marketing. How about talent? Are you good at talent? If so, no need to read on. You got this. Live long and prosper. Go look something else up on google.

If talent is an abyss to you, and you plan to be successful with this new business of yours, take the 5 minutes and read on. Then either take care of this stuff, make a plan to, or find someone to help you.

1.  Recruiting – How do I find the right talent?Assuming you, as the leader of your own business are clear on your mission, and clear on who your company is, and who it is not (example – it is hard working, accountable, team based, and open), the next challenge is finding talented people who both can meet the requirements of the roles you need to fill, and can also blend well with your culture.

There are many approaches to finding the right talent, and the right mix depends on what you are trying to do. Ultimately, you want the best talent, as fast as possible, and at the lowest cost to you. Right?

2.  When I am successful (not if), when I am successful, how will I meet the demand?
So you and your business partner are just trucking along at your Starbucks-based office, and all of a sudden, people want what you’ve got. What are you going to do? Aside from the supply chain issues, quality issues, and the countless other things you need to consider, have you thought about the people you will need to make all this happen? Where are you going to find them? Will you have the time to dedicate to this WHEN you are successful?

3.  Retention – How do I keep the right talent? Regardless of when in your company’s story you started hiring people, you want to make sure the ones that are adding value stay. What are you doing to ensure that? Are they motivated by you? Do you even know how to motivate them? Are they getting calls from headhunters?

4.  Firing – How do I know when to cut the cord with the wrong talent. Hire fast, fire faster. Period. You may know Sally Sue’s mom from like 10 years back, but if she is creating drag, not consistently meeting her expectations, or is pissed off every day and rubbing off on others, destroying your culture, why are you going to waste 10 more minutes to convince yourself that the “right thing” is to keep Sally. Make sure to be aware of any legal implications before pulling the trigger (see #5), treat her well on the way out, and move on. YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME FOR SALLY.

5.  Don’t do anything illegal. You probably have general council. Make sure they are ready to help you navigate the world of employment law. Have someone do an audit of where you stand against federal and state expectations. Have someone keep up on it for you. Have someone you can call and access quickly if you don’t know how to handle something. If you have 50 or more employees and you haven’t done this yet, pick up the phone TODAY.

This stuff isn’t rocket science, but let it go, and it will lead to all sorts of messes for in your business both above and beneath the surface. If you were smart enough to start your own business and survive, then be smart enough to get good at this stuff, or get help.

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