Amidst the uncertainty of recent years, one thing is for sure: There has been a significant boom in startups. In July 2020, the U.S. hit a milestone – 551,657 applications to start a business, a swift 95% increase compared to the same month the previous year.
Following mass worldwide layoffs and job instability, self-employment is becoming a priority for the average American. This, in turn, is adding continuous momentum to the startup world as much of the current generation opt for the idealized and fulfilling self-employment journey.
Global hardship is producing considerable hurdles for newer entrepreneurs, and the added pressure of the current inflation rate inevitably moving into recession isn’t helping. Therefore, someone starting their journey to self-employment must put structures in place early to avoid burnout.
Between all the excitement that comes with new endeavors, burnout through the acceleration of growth is rarely discussed in the early days, and the solution is simpler than you may think — it involves building sound support around you from Day 1.
What culture would you like to cultivate?
To respond to constant change and growth within the industry, entrepreneurs must have a reliable and robust set of capabilities tied to the culture they’re creating internally.
This ensures in-house values align with new hires and current employees. Having a clear and structured idea of what environment you’d like to cultivate within the workplace will allow breathing room for clarity when hunting talent to join your team, and to maintain those you find within your search. Recent data show that Americans spend, on average, 1,764 hours per year working. That’s 73.5 consecutive days without stopping or 10.5 weeks with no break; therefore, to maintain employee retention and not lose valuable time or money to high turnover rates, it is paramount to create an environment in which employees thrive.
If you’re feeling a little lost creating your company’s cultural business model, ask yourself the following:
What is the differentiator, and what is your advantage?
Conduct research and gather statistics within your industry on what competing companies are offering. Then, flip it back to you. What are you offering in your company to stand out in your hiring process in today’s competitive employment market? Remove your ego and look from every angle possible at what advantage you bring to the table to convince potential employees that your company is the right choice for them.
Do you have a strong value proposition?
Put yourself in the shoes of the workforce, think of what environment you’d like to come to work in each day, and cultivate strong company values that you can offer to make your proposal sound more attractive. Establishing precisely what environment your business offers and why it’s better than competitors is the beginning of a strong value proposition.
Ensuring that those coming on board not only align with your values but work well within your team and, most importantly, alongside you will create a core support network within your office that you can fall back on or delegate work to in times of overwhelm.
How can I hire the best talent?
One of the most underrated challenges entrepreneurs face in the early days of business is hiring the right talent to set themselves and their businesses up for a successful future. This can prove even more of a hurdle if one hasn’t been in the job market and has always maintained self-employment.
The truth is, hiring your first core staff can be a significant roadblock to growth more than one may think, and most entrepreneurs may find themselves surprised by feeling like they’re standing in the dark with no torch to guide them in the direction they need to go.
However, one thing is for sure: Most new hires applying to startups want to be a part of the growth process. Not everyone has what it takes to start a business, but most of the new age workforce like to find opportunities within companies that are moving up, so if you can offer that you already stand out from the big guys.
It is also vital to understand that your first 10 employees are not your employees. They should be treated as your cofounders. This essential core staff will be your backbone in the early days and will become just as much a part of your business as those who found it.
In today’s age, finding and targeting quality talent is comparable to focusing on a specific client base. Targeting a wide range of potential new hires won’t allow your business to hone in on those who can truly serve your company through its growth.
Ensure you are not hyper-focused on finding “big talent” for your team when starting your search. Of course, those you consider bringing on board must have a skill set that aligns with your business needs and resonates with what you can work with personally. All in all, hiring those you can trust to do the job and to do it well with passion is an utmost priority. Bring yourself back to the company’s core beliefs and ensure that whoever you’re bringing on board resonates with your cultivating mindset and environment.
Within the first few months of a new-hire’s employment, ask yourself, “If I went to the hospital tomorrow, could I leave my company in their hands?” Collaboration is critical, and you need to be able to work and trust those you bring on board.
Distance yourself from an employer-employee mentality. Today’s generation wants purpose. They want direction and endless opportunities to learn, grow and impact today’s world. Implementing this mindset internally opens up complete freedom to those joining the team to feel they are achieving these goals.
Finally, to have a successful team that works together without conflict, each person must fit the company culture to create a harmonious work environment so you can build a solid backbone to receive the best results.
When was the last time you took a vacation?
This is the question most entrepreneurs seem to ponder and can’t quite find the answer to. Personal mental health within the process of growing your business is something that today’s hustle culture lacks in prioritizing.
Hiring the correct core staff and handing over control to those you trust allows you room to breathe. By allowing yourself room to breathe, you ultimately bring more productivity to your startup’s growth, the key to the kingdom of success.
This can be achieved by creating a reliable workplace cultural model and hiring those that complement it, taking some of the weight off your shoulders and bringing more productivity to your business to let it truly thrive.