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The Business Northumberland blog

It's a big step, isn't it if your business hasn't had employees before. Your thoughts run round and round – I'll have to let go of some of the business, and what about the day to day 'people' issues - how do I keep my vision of the business intact? But I need more capacity, I don’t want to go on working all hours, or miss out on new markets and opportunities.

What's the answer?
Here are a few thoughts to help answer some of those big questions and help you to stay in control – because that's what it's all about really isn't it?

The first thing to remember it is your business. You set it up so it runs the way you want it to and in the way it needs to, to be successful.
So get some rules in place before you take someone on. That way you preserve the integrity of your vision and they get a blueprint for how you want them to behave and perform. It gives you the tools to manage, correct or reward their performance against that blueprint.

So, how do you want the business to run? Think about the simple things, such as what will the working hours be, do you have a dress code – and if not would having one be a sensible move? It's these simple things that shape the way the business operates – and keeps you in control. So what else should you be thinking about….

Customers
The most important people whether they are on line or face to face – how do you want your staff to treat them? Think about the rules you already have – do you always reply to enquiries in a set time, e.g. 48 hours max? How do you address them – first names, formally, or..? However you do it you'll want your staff to do the same – they need to know that.

The Boss
Do you know what kind of boss you are? You've probably had experiences of bosses before starting your own business. Have you a role model? Modern management is all about coaching.
Training and personal development came out top of a list of what employees valued most from their employers in a survey of 27,000 global businesses – way ahead of pay and reward as it happens.
How are your management and coaching skills – should you be thinking about a course to refresh them? How you treat your staff will be critical in keeping them or losing them.

You'll need to know the rules of employing staff if you don't already - Make friends with Gov.UK – brilliant for keeping your right on all the basics, like how they prove they are able to work in the UK, holiday allowances etc.

Employees
Your employees like to know what is expected of them – a job description is the easiest way of setting out their duties. It helps with getting the right person if you know what you're looking for. It's more than just what they'll be doing – you have to work with them, so think about what about the type of person you need.

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