This month, l want to share with you some of my latest struggles as a small business owner and talk through how I am overcoming them.
With the excitement of a team, comes the need for HR
These past few months have aged me about 20 years! Most of the time, running my own business is fantastic. I am always learning, I get to do what I love every day, and I get a real sense of achievement. Sometimes, however, it can feel like the hardest thing in the world: a frustrating and unrelenting task.
When starting a business, you dream about expanding.
You hope that one day your company will be big enough to take on a team. When I got there, I quickly realised I had to take on the role of HR manager and, wow, that is tough!
In the last three months, two of my team have handed in their notices, having found roles elsewhere. I didn’t understand. Neither of them had mentioned they were unhappy, we had regular meetings to discuss their workloads and nothing had been hinted. It took me by complete surprise.
Everything about my business feels incredibly personal.
I understand that I am the ‘boss’ but I realise now that l also saw us as friends, therefore in some way, it felt like they didn’t want to be friends anymore. Sounds silly I know, but that’s how it is running a small business.
Add to that, recruiting is incredibly costly and difficult. You also have to manage the change with your clients so as not to unsettle them. I felt very low throughout this and questioned whether I could do this anymore.
But guess what! I did cope. I did what needed to be done. The roles have been filled, and stress levels are slowly returning to normal. So if you are in a similar situation, I want to share my top tips.
My four top tips for keeping it together.
1. Never forget what you love about running a business
As I said at the beginning, running my own business is fantastic most of the time. I am always learning and I do get to do what l love every day.
But when times are bad and feel like you are not good enough, it’s essential to keep improving as a boss, mentor and business owner. You have to be strong, turn every situation around and learn from it. Be prepared for change, in fact, welcome it.
2. Get your ‘mojo’ back
Don’t wallow in difficult times. Your business was built by you and therefore needs you. In tough times, go out and actively seek people that motivate you, listen to their stories of how they overcame tough times. That may mean networking, increasing your time on social media or reading about someone who inspires you.
However, you go about it, feed off their motivation and success, breathe it in and get tough again. I can highly recommend reading ‘Finding Ultra‘ by Rich Roll, which is working for me!
3. Don’t take things personally
Quite simply, life isn’t all about you. If you take things too personally, you risk making emotional decisions rather than informed, considered decisions.
You have to remember that people will follow their own paths. It may not be the path you want for them, or hoped they would take, but it’s their choice to make.
4. Get advice from an HR expert
Over the years, I have looked at using an HR company but always ended up concluding that it is an unnecessary cost that I couldn’t justify but, shock horror, I think I may have been wrong!
I am very lucky to have a sister who is an HR Director, and on Friday I asked her advice which was amazing. By following her tips and listening to her recommendations, I turned a situation around, so that all involved left feeling happy and positive.
It was this experience that made me realise just how vital HR is. If I had been left to deal with the situation on my own without professional advice, then I guarantee it would not have been resolved so quickly and smoothly.
I would love your feedback on outsourcing HR. Is this something that you do or have been thinking of doing? If you do outsource, can you shout out a good company?
Please do get involved with this post by:
- sharing your experiences as a business owner,
- offering helpful tips on becoming a better Manager,
- recommending great HR companies or
- just sharing your thoughts on the subject.
Please do comment below or head over to our FB page and start a conversation.