It’s a cliché to say that running a small business is a full time job. It’s also not true. Running a business is at least three full time jobs and you’re only one person. As well as being the CEO, and taking the broad strategy as your responsibility – dealing with investors, outlooks and the overall running of the company – you’re also the head salesperson, chief of HR and quite possibly in charge of IT and customer service as well.
If you scale up to the point where your revenue allows and justifies your hiring executives to take on these roles, you can relax a little bit and focus on steering the ship as your main responsibility, but in the early days you’re not just the captain, you’re the helmsman, quartermaster and chief cook and bottle washer as well.
This is one of the reasons that running a small business is so stressful, but there are ways to mitigate that stress and let you focus on pushing your business forward, rather than getting swamped by mundane issues. Lots of professional support is available to help you and it would be a false economy not to use it when you need it.
Lawyers can review your contracts and make sure you’re getting the most out of them, help you set up your business to be not just legally compliant but optimised for the future. They can help you ‘pitch proof’ your business plan and even connect you with people who can fund you.
They’re also even easier for small businesses to access than ever. Online lawyers like Lawbite mean you can access contract review services, for example, and pay only for the task that needs doing, without attending additional appointments or even leaving your desk.
Interim Management is a new employment field that specialises in parachuting experts into a situation for a limited time. While they’re often used by big companies in crisis, they’re equally useful to new companies seeking some institutional experience. One great example is HR: when you have a new company with enough employees to count on one hand who work closely together, it’s probably not necessary to recruit an HR manager.
It might be worth your time to hire an Interim HR specialist for a month to set up the processes that will you let grow smoothly: systems to track illness and holiday, and review employee performance. This lays the foundations for your future growth and success.