[This is part of the series: 7 Tips To Make You Better At Business]
Another mistake that businesses should avoid like the plague is hiring the wrong person.
They say the hardest part of business is hiring – and keeping good people.
Whoever said that first was right-on.
A strategic mistake that so many people make in this is to hire a friend or family member.
I can, however, understand the rationale behind it.
“Why hire a stranger when cousin/brother-in-law Joe / Betty is looking for a new job or is going through a “transition”? I mean, Joe was always a good guy. He used to run his own company before he moved on to something else. At least Betty is family – I know I can trust her.”
I submit – business and family (or business and friends) do not mix. Priorities in one relationship are simply, more times than not, priorities in the other.
The tragic example I have seen play-out is the hiring of a close family member.
The family member – let’s call her Jane – lost her small business to bankruptcy and got into a bit of financial trouble. Jane was then asked to come work for the company that her brother did business at and invested in as a large passive owner.
In no time at all, Jane was named President of the company.
Then, competition got tighter, margins got smaller, and the company began to bleed red.
In this, Jane thought the answer was that the company needed to grow its way out of financial trouble.
On dwindling profits, Jane opened a new branch office, hired additional staff, spent more on advertising a non-retail business, and used the company credit card liberally to entice customers (in an extremely sticky business).
In short, she did everything wrong.
You don’t hire family or close friends because in the midst of this train wreck – Jane’s brother is not letting business be business.
He is weighing his monetary investment by how much letting Jane go would hurt his relationship with his sister, or his wife, or his nieces and nephews, or his parents, or maybe even his potential inheritance.
You don’t hire family or close friends because if who you hire is incompetent, lazy, or stupid, you want the ability to easily fire them.
Try firing a family member. Life at home will never be the same again.
You don’t hire family or close friends because the whole thing is not worth it.
Let business be business – and let family and friends be family and friends.