A People's Business - The Next Level
February 23, 2013
Not every business needs 'employees' - dedicated workers who carry out the day-to-day tasks. Solo-preneurs do most of their own work, outsourcing those tasks they are not able to handle themselves.
But, small businesses do need employees. We require extra hands and brains to bring the company to a level of achievement that enhances our success and takes us to that 'next level'. And, for small businesses, the hiring of excellence, the choosing of talent, the addition of voices and brains who will help innovate and execute new ideas, is harder than it is for big businesses that have whole departments assigned to that task.
Where are the people you need, if you're a small business? What are the distinct challenges you face, as a small business? How necessary is it to add talent - why not just add people?
Talent is important because that's how you differentiate yourself. It helps, therefore, to think "diversity" when you plan to hire. If you approach the hiring process from the "who do I need" angle - not, "what do I need"... you're many steps ahead of the game. In this century, we've moved beyond the "who" question and should be focused on the "what" question - hire talent, not tactics. Talent is hard won. Tactics can be taught.
Who are these people? Can you open career builder online and find them? Not likely.
At no other time in the history of this country has it been more important for businesses to employ diversity in hiring, to make it to that next level.
We are and will ever be a global community, a global commerce, and global people. There is no room in business today for a company that is one gender, one race, one ethnicity. Unless you are a solopreneur.
Diversity brings more than a variety of voices to your business. It opens the door to new challenges - how do we look at this from a different viewpoint? How do we think our European customers will see this?
Understanding that diversity insists on being noticed - the 'differences' between people are often visual, at the start, and command attention - helps. Language becomes more than a communication tool - it becomes a connector or a divider. Diverse can mean different, but it can also mean the same. In the end, diversity embraces the world view of a people's business - by being flexible and forward thinking.
How do you find these diverse people?
- You make a point of visiting local business groups. Meet the members - talk to them, listen to them.
- You tap into LinkedIn in unusual ways - ask questions, be aware, comment on posts. You'll learn a lot and find people you want to meet, while weeding out people you don't want to meet.
- You visit Facebook and ask your contacts, yes, even family, if they know anyone with the talents you need: and then list the talents. (you can assign who sees that request, by the way)
- You visit blogs. Any search in Google or Bing on the top 3 talents you need to fill in your company will return a multitude or resources, but the blogs focused on that topic will demonstrate the quality of talent and commitment the blogger brings to his or her writing. For instance, I searched Google for "good writing" and immediately found Greg Mankiw whose post on writing well serves my purposes.
- A truly talented team of diverse employees gives voice to a multitude of opportunities. Bring that talent to a place of comfort where your team can go beyond the mundane or ordinary, into the extraordinary.
P.S. Diversity is NOT hiring one woman, one man, one African American, one Indian, one Italian... or whathaveyou. It's knowing that each person you add to your team must feel welcomed, inspired, and empowered - because they can do the job, not because someone said to you, "You don't have a *** on your team. You should get one."
I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa's. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner's success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa's small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.
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Posted by: Oxford University | February 24, 2013 at 01:48 PM