Expanding a business can seem like mysticism to some. Some are great at it, some aren’t. But why? Let’s get the obvious factors out of the way: Do a good job, have good customer service and value your customers, work hard, market and advertise a lot, be a professional. If you’re not even there yet, get that done first. Most of us know this instinctively, amazingly some don’t – they may catch on one day.
But what is the fastest way to grow a company? The answer to that question happens to also be the answer to this question: Why does my company not grow even though I’m working really hard? and also this question: Why is my company shrinking even though I’m working my tail off?
The answer is: People. But only certain types of people…a very small number of people. Those certain types of people I like to call “Poison“. Why? Because they are poison to your company as they slowly kill it from the inside out. Sometimes from the outside in, but that’s more rare.
There are really only two types of people you can hire: People who make things go right and people who make things go wrong. Sometimes it’s not that obvious either.
Some of the best business consultants and start-up company executives I know have come to realize this and use this as their #1 factor in turning a company around or continuing its rapid expansion. Answers as to the shrinkage of a company or it’s lack of growth such as “The economy”, “China” and “Obama” will never solve anything. Now certainly they aren’t helping anything, but any company or person can survive despite those things if they really want to. And those are the people you want working for you. The “I’ll make it go right type”.
How do you know if you’ve got a “poison” person in your company? I can’t obviously tell all in an article but here are some indicators: You’re stressed out, even though you and a handful of others are working your tails off, everything still keep getting worse no matter what you do, things keep getting messed up, you’re getting nothing but bad news, the staff of your company is bickering and there are rumors flying around, your best employees stop being as productive as they used to be, yours and your staff’s morale drops like a brick in water, you’re not expanding despite hard work, you’re contracting despite hard work, but mostly – things just go wrong.
Here are some pointers for you to find this person so you can eject them from your company (in no particular order):
– Look for the one who is constantly the one to give you bad news first
– Look for the source of the most rumors, and not the passers of rumors, the source of them.
– Look for the areas of your company where things are always “going wrong” – that will get you to look in the right area. Make sure you locate the ones that actually make things “go right” and not the ones who just say they do.
– Observe the person who professes to you constantly how valuable they are to you. Are they really? Really valuable people in your company are very obviously valuable. There is no obscurity with them. There is a big difference between a sales guy who actually gets sales in the door and the one who “works very hard” but you never see any sales.
– Who is the person in your company who “seems nice enough” but in your head you are always second guessing yourself about them? Why would you second guess yourself? Trust your instincts. Something is wrong and you know it. Good people are obvious. You know it right away. If you’re thinking “there’s just something about this person I can’t put my finger on”…well, you’re right.
– The person generalizes everything. “They say” and “everyone knows” and “its always”. Set your sights on that person. Ask them to be specific, if they can’t – you may have your boy
– Lots of illnesses floating around the area of the “poison”
– Frequent Accidents and mistakes around the area of the “poison”. Funny enough, the mistakes and accidents are not “directly caused” by this person, only the people connected to him. Look behind the obvious mistake makers and accident prone and you’ll see something.
These small numbers of people make things hard for all of us that are trying to do good and make things good. Stop listening to them, LOOK. It’s all right before you. It’s very funny, almost magical to some that when you get rid of this “poison” person, things just start to go better. Money gets better, stress reduces, people in the company get along better. It’s not magic though, just smart human resources.
If you want to become a master at this type of thing, let me know. I’ll tell you where and how to do that. I’m easy enough to get a hold of.
Dan York, Founder