Do People Really Make a Difference?

Rick Stephens

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I was having a discussion with a banker friend of mine who suggested that businesses that were successful were good at identifying and hiring high quality people. I disagreed. Ouch! That is totally against the grain of conventional wisdom, right? Not really.

More important than hiring high quality people is establishing solid and proven processes that make your business work. Take a look at McDonalds. This business is successful, not because of the quality of the people, but because of the quality of the processes that the people follow. This is why over 75% of franchise businesses succeed while 90% of start-ups fail.

So what is the lesson here? As a small business owner, you should focus your attention on defining what works and what doesn't in your business. Measure your activities to a point, so when asked, you will know exactly how long it takes for the fries to cook, when to flip the burger and exactly how much secret sauce to put on the bun. If you have defined your business processes to this level, all you need are employees willing to follow your rules. The rest will be automatic.

That's not to say that you should hire just anybody. On the contrary, as you grow you will want to hire people that are loyal, trustworthy, innovative, and talented. These people will become the backbone of your company. In the beginning, however, what you need are technicians, workers who can free up your time so you can work on growing the business.

In the early days, the secret is loyalty. Employees that are willing to follow your rules are more valuable than experts that think their experiences will contribute to your success. If you have done your homework, you already know what works and what doesn't. Hire those who are willing to follow and your profits will be better than those who pay a premium for the experts.

To Your Success -

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Rick Stephens is a recognized business advisor and consultant. He specializes in working with small to mid-sized business owners to strengthen their business processes and ultimately grow their business. Rick has been accredited by the Institute for Independent Business, an International accrediting body for senior executives.

Rick holds an MBA from the LeTourneau University located in Longview, Texas.

Rick Stephens is the Principle Advisor of the Consulting firm RG Stephens & Associates located in Plano, Texas. Rick offers business owners the opportunity to meet confidentially to discuss any business issue they may be experiencing. His initial meeting is always free and without obligation.


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