Ready to scale your business? It’s all about the people.

So you’re the founder of a small business, you’ve got yourself up to one or two million dollars in revenue and now you’re ready to scale. 

When you’re ready to scale, there’s one thing that’s going to make the biggest difference between success and failure, and that is hiring the right people. 

Talent is important, but employers often forget to consider that it’s also about motivation. In a nutshell, you need to find the right people at the right time in their career. 

When you’re at a scale up turning over one or two million dollars in revenue, your role as a leader in that business is going to be very different than at an established company.

Let’s talk about a revenue leader for instance.

If you’re looking for someone to help grow your sales and marketing team, help hire the right people, and grow that side of the business, you’re not going to hire them from Microsoft or Cisco or another big enterprise. What you should do is look for someone that’s taken a business from one level bigger than yours and been successful at that. In this example of a scale up with one to two million in revenue, you’d find someone who has taken a business from five million in revenue up to ten million or ten million in revenue up to twenty million.

These are the people that will come in, get their hands dirty, get out in the field themselves and get really deep into your business. You don’t want someone who will just observe and direct from their ivory tower (which, let’s be honest, is something that happens too much).

This is the hiring practice you should always follow, not just for revenue or sales. All your other leaders should come from similar environments, whether it’s your HR leader, operations leader, or product lead, you’re going to have to find someone that’s willing to get up close and personal and knows and understands a startup environment.

That’s why it’s critical you find someone at the right time in their career.

The second key criteria to consider when hiring is ‘cultural fit’.

The people that you want, the best, will be the people everyone wants and they are going to be in high demand. In fact, the reality is they’re probably going to be able to earn more money somewhere else.

So what you need to do is find people that share the same values as you, but not only that, it is absolutely vital they believe in the purpose of your business and share your vision.

They’re out there, though it might be a rarity, not everyone is driven just by money and with the right kind of incentive structure around equity you can absolutely attract the right talent.

The third factor, and the most important thing to remember when you’re looking at scaling any type of business, is having an in-depth understanding of your budget.

Don’t just go out and hire a bunch of C-level executives in your business before you can afford it. Understand that first and foremost you need people on the ground doing the work, not managing the people that are doing the work.

Being a business owner of a start up or scale up, you’ll need to keep getting your own hands dirty.

You still need to put in those massive hours and personally lead multiple teams. Only then will you know the areas that you’re weakest in and where you need to hire key leaders to help you grow your business.

Follow those three tips and grow your business both sustainably and profitably.

Levels Growth Consultants

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