6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
In today’s day and age, this is one of the most important questions to answer if one is an entrepreneur.
While being an ‘entrepreneur’ appears to be a ‘cool’ and glamorous stint, the reality is far from it. Factors such as lack of time, lack of money or even worse, huge debts incurred, are not something one accounts for at the time of kick-starting a venture.
Bearing all of this in mind, following are three mistakes one needs to be aware of as an entrepreneur to ensure a debt-free journey so that it doesn’t end up as ‘Chosen Slavery’.
Mistake #3 – Hiring is an expense, so one should hire a team when enough money is generated.
While it is true that one requires a deep pocket to afford salaries, it is still relatively viable instead of trying to accomplish everything independently. An employee always feels accountable to the business or employer, because that’s what hand him his paycheque every month. Even if someone is hired on a project basis, there is a heightened sense of responsibility he feels, ensuring the success of the project.
Consider the scenario of trying to run the show all alone: a number of areas need to be looked after, and that could be potentially challenging. These include Marketing, Sales, Operations, Accounts, and Administration related work among others. More often than not, the consequences of the same are not easy to cope with. Today especially, teamwork is everything, and therefore, it is essential to recruit an efficient team to handle certain aspects of the business so that one can focus on the bigger picture. “You don’t hire when you make the money, you hire to make the money” is the tenet of success.
Thus, if business owners look at hiring as an expense, they cease to see that ‘not hiring’ can become a bigger expense, more so a loss, since trying to taking care of everything personally is making way for a large number of unwanted liabilities.
Mistake #2 – Now that the team has been formed, the job must be done!
It often happens, that when an entrepreneur hires a reliable and diligent candidate, especially in a notable role, it is assumed that he/she will now ensure the smooth functioning of all operations and processes, and thus facilitate an accelerated growth of the business. Unfortunately, there have been several ‘expectations versus reality’ cases, resulting in the downfall of the business.
The truth is, hiring people and merely delegating duties is not the end of the entrepreneur’s job. It is in fact, the beginning. The key is to make them one’s shadow, and not a sidekick. One needs to invest a great deal of time into training them with relevant demonstrations, observe them following the training period, and also provide them with constructive feedback when need be. This also ensures that monotony doesn’t set in and they don’t feel demotivated or overworked. Most importantly, they feel hesitant to express it if they do feel the same. If someone is demotivated there is a huge possibility of this adversely affecting the overall productivity of the business.
Most entrepreneurs are often of the view that if they have to invest their time to personally manage their team members, then why should they be recruited and monetarily awarded? However, it is an unacceptable school of thought. If you are to become a respected, reliable and revered mentor, but expect the team to manage the show without any due guidance, bear in mind that if these members could achieve the same, they would not require a job and would have been entrepreneurs themselves. Hence, mentoring and managing one’s team is a crucial and almost mandatory responsibility for an entrepreneur, in order to be successful.
Mistake #1 – Looking to hire “Cheap Talent”
It is imperative for an entrepreneur to know that ‘cheap talent’ is a myth; no such miraculous concept exists. If a person is willing to join one’s enterprise with a salary that is below industry standards, their competency to generate desired results is in most cases, questionable; unless the person is a fresher and seeks to gain experience and hence is willing to work at a low cost.
While it is not necessary that those who are paid well will also always be great performers, but when someone is hired on a low payroll with the intention of ‘cheap talent’, in all likelihood, it is assumed subconsciously that this person will not be competent enough. The business can thus, land in a bigger soup if someone incompetent is hired with a low salary with the underlying belief that the entrepreneur will have to do that person’s job due to their inability to produce desired results.
It is important for an entrepreneur to be aware of the fact that real talent comes at a certain price, and thus, pay that price to avoid the stress of managing incompetent recruits. Conversely, when talented people are hired and are paid as per the market’s demand, but fail to deliver as per one’s expectations, one will not sit in the status quo. The leader can challenge them, hold them accountable, even handhold them if need be, and make certain harsh decisions when push comes to shove. But with ‘cheap talent’, one will tend to go with the flow, not allowing that person to take onus for several things, which may result in a massive loss of time and money for the business.
In conclusion, awareness of these three classic mistakes with the ability to avoid them is of great benefit for an entrepreneur aspiring to be successful. It will lead to better quality of decisions and thus, better traction towards growth, and the fulfilment of business goals.