I’m in my fifth year of business, which I’ve heard is a milestone– if we’ve made it this far, we must be doing something right. One recurring instance that I’ve found –in my humble experience– to be a deal shaper is the skill involved in hiring the right person to do the specific job. Do not hire a plumber to do electrical repair. Do not hire a photographer to do web development. Do not hire a short-order cook to be a waiter. The list is endless.
The more you specify what you specifically do within your company, the easier it will be to find people to partner with and people who will hire you based on your specific abilities. This bears repeating, especially for those women who have a very general idea of what they are doing: specify what you do. Specify, specify, specify.
My first year in business we did work for anyone who asked, and it almost drove us into the ground. Now we pass, decline, or find a more appropriate referral if the work that comes to us is not exactly a good fit.
Again: specify what you do and it will make it easier for people to find you. The process of specifying might take you some time, but the more time you focus, with laser-like precision, on your specific and unique skill set, the easier it will be to be in the “flow.”
As an example, which statement means more to you:
“I’m looking for coffee in San Francisco. Any recommendations?”
“I’m looking for a fair-trade, organic, shade-grown gourmet coffee, a little place, maybe outdoors, good for little kids, 5 minutes walking distance from Union Square. Any recommendations?”
Extrapolate that out to the job search or the marketing campaign and you’ll get similar results.
“I’m looking for something in computers.”
“I’m looking for a job doing Task A, Task B, and Task C in Chicago with with Company X. I’m looking for a connection to Jane Doe in their sales department.”
(This is where targeted LinkedIn.com networking makes a big difference, as you actually find the person in that role!)
For another example, for any woman business owner, I encourage you to compose a targeted, 7-second response to the question, “What do you do?”
Something memorable will “stick” when it comes to conversations with others in your community. Something vague will almost certainly not stick.
What happens with many business owners is they start out as an expert at the specific trade they’re involved with, but as the business grows, they take on all the different roles involved with the business. So, for example, you have someone who starts out as a graphic designer turning into a Quickbooks expert, a sales representative, a printer, a human resources manager, etc. as new needs evolve from the company. My advice to you? Stick with what you’re good at, and hire someone better than you to do the rest. This sometimes means hiring a better executive officer than you!
When you hold fast to the one thing that you excel at, that only you can do, that is your unique skill and talent in the world, you attract other people into your life who are good at what they do, and all of us end up in a mutually beneficial situation.
It’s the truth!
Without an excellent tax advisor, my own company would be struggling.
Without our superb insurance representative, my own business would be flailing.
Without my talented team, my business would be out of business.
It goes to say that if you are good at what you do, strive to excellence in that role, and encourage others to take on different aspects of the job that need doing. Hire the best you can afford, as it makes a difference in your final product or service. Also hire the person or company or firm that best “resonates” with you — you’ll either jive with them or not — but make a decision based on your mutual feelings with that person. Follow your gut instinct… you will feel bad or worse when you are in a situation with a client, customer, or provider that doesn’t fulfill your needs or expectations.
In the meantime, what is your 7 second description? I want to know.