You have created the foundation for your small business, having made sales in the first few rounds, successively improving upon your product and/or service in each one to make it closely aligned to customer expectations. The numbers look good, and it is quite expected that the product and/or service will sell.
You now need to expand the production, the operations, and the customer base. Starting out, you relied on yourself mostly, or if you were lucky, you had a partner in the business. Now you need a team that will help you in the next phase of your small business. Here, we will discuss the first necessary key hires.
A Savvy Marketer/Salesperson
Depending on the type of business, a marketer and/or salesperson will be required. For a business-to-business setting especially, someone who can search for potential leads, send out proposals, and pitch and close deals will be needed. For a business-to-consumer setting, more often a pull marketing approach is preferable, so the emphasis will be on creating material for various media that attracts customers. While a small business does not always have the budget to hire people with excellent work histories filled with achievements, often the ones with a burning drive and passion and the necessary skillset to work in an entrepreneurial environment are the second-best bet.
An Operations Guru
Another important hire for a small business is a person who can look after running the day-to-day operations of the business. The tasks under that person would be maintaining inventory, setting up appointments, ordering supplies, and maintaining records of the daily expenses, as well as other accounting records, and—for a service-intensive business especially—supervising the work of customer-facing service attendants. While hiring for this role, the requirement is for the candidate to be a successful multi-tasker who can don various caps easily.
A Product/Service Specialist or Tech Specialist
For tech start-ups, a chief technology officer is a necessary hire. This role develops the foundational technology for conducting business. Not only do they create the requisite software platform, but they look after its lifelong maintenance. For non-tech start-ups, a product specialist is someone who conceives of various new products and/or services that can be added to the portfolio. The tasks usually performed in this role are in research, prototype development, and testing that is done in a loop—the significance of this process in a loop is that the results from the last stage of testing informs research and prototyping in a continuous circular fashion until a product desirable to customers has been developed.
These three roles will be the key ones in the phase of reaching out to markets at large for a small business. Of course, there will be other personnel needed too, based on the type of business. A restaurant, for example, will need kitchen and serving staff from day one; a software company will need a team of coders from the start. The three roles discussed are without which no business can think of venturing into markets.
Arslan Ahmed | Staff Writer