The right time to bring people into my business

Property is a business just like any other but, in my experience, property people tend not to act like business owners. It’s strange. It’s a phenomenon I’ve only witnessed in property; maybe because many of them aren’t business owners first – not that that is a problem, but it helps immeasurably when they are, and those are typically the people who fly.

People often think about bridging the gap between a business that generates £100,000 and one that generates £1,000,000 per year. Let’s imagine a scenario where you have been grafting on your property business for a couple of years and you’re now turning over £150,000 per year and that’s great. Well done. But what’s next? You say to me, well, nothing is next. To make that money each year, you’re having to burn the candle at both ends, there couldn’t possibly be a “next”! The logical answer might be to try and expand by organic growth through simply doing more, but you’ve just told me that you can’t do anymore because you’re maxed out maintaining what you’ve achieved so far. So again, what’s next?

The mental block

I meet many entrepreneurs doing my job – that’s essentially what my job is all about – and every time I speak to them I find that they are perfectionists, hard workers, micro-managers. These people are the very best at what they do, but they are meticulous. And, in being this way, it’s hard to see how anyone else could do as good of a job as they do for themselves. So when I suggest to them that they should start employing people, I might get excuses like, “they won’t do it like I want it”, or, “they don’t care like I care” or even the dreaded “I just can’t afford it”.

I’d counter these with answers like, “so find people who will do it better”, “find passionate people in your field” and “you can’t afford not to employ people”.

What if you fell unwell or crushed your leg in a dodgy Travelodge trouser press and it left you out of commission for a month? Your business would be dead. Not only that, some of the things you think you do well, you might just find you don’t when compared to someone who specialises in it, a professional. Don’t forget that being an entrepreneur isn’t really so much about business, it’s a lifestyle. And part of that is wearing many hats and undertaking many roles. But you were never meant to be great at everything – that is such an important point to make. It was one of the biggest realisations I had when I started employing people: build a team that is stronger, faster and smarter. You can’t lose.

Knowing what is right

You can’t possibly get everything right all the time. The same can be said when employing people. More often than not, you don’t really get the gist of a person until you’ve been working with them for six months. This, in my experience, is about the right amount of time for anything to work its way out of the woodwork.

Sometimes you’ll come across absolute gems during your working life. My job in my business has evolved to scouting for talent. For example, this year I picked up a fantastic, well-seasoned and experienced operations director who effectively runs our business and has allowed me more time to do things like writing this article, knowing my business is in good hands. Last year I also employed a media manager, now all my social media, marketing and outward-facing collateral all happen as if by magic (and they do a better job than I ever did).

Even if it is getting help with your bookkeeping or accounts – simple things – it can make a big difference. We often spend the majority of our time on tasks that don’t make money, meaning we stand still. So actually, you’re losing money by not employing someone. Generally, if you’re good at what you do, employing someone is cheaper than not employing someone. The reason? You go out and generate more money with your free time, which will more than pay for that person. Don’t be a glorified bookkeeper. Can you afford £10 a day to get someone to help out? Of course you can. What extra money could you generate in that day if you spent all your time focused? £100? Of course you can. That’s a £90 “profit” that didn’t exist before you got someone to help with your accounts. It’s as simple as that.

I’d love to delve into this topic more, but I’m swiftly reaching my word count. Let me know if you’d like me to discuss this topic or others like it in more detail by getting in touch with us on social media. I wish you all the very best in growing your business, whether you are new or established. And remember: you have to make that first step to let go, bring people in. Because trust me, when you do, your life will transform and your business will sky rocket.

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Nathan Winch Private Investor

About The Author Nathan Winch

British entrepreneur and private equity investor with over 12 years experience. Having started, scaled and sold companies in medtech, SaaS and FMCG, Nathan’s specialities include concept commercialisation, supply chain mobilisation, acquisitions and horizontal integration.