Doing More With Less: How to Grow Your Business With the Staff You Already Have

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As a leader, you’re a visionary. You may use terms like “cat-herder,” “jack-of-all-trades,” and “superstar” to describe yourself. However, just because you can accomplish practically any and every function necessary for the continued operation of your emerging enterprise, that doesn’t mean you should.

Ideally, leaders should spend the bulk of their time and energy doing that which only they can do: encouraging and supporting the growth of their business. All too often, however, the brunt of everyday administrative responsibilities like bookkeeping, scheduling, social media, and website maintenance falls squarely on the leader’s shoulders. That’s especially true in a startup or rapidly growing business.

What you need is help, a righthand (wo)man who can help you scale. But what can you do if hiring someone to fill that role just isn’t feasible yet?

Internal Hires Are a Better Bet Than External Ones

This is a common catch-22 that most small business leaders find themselves facing. Growth means you have to hire help to get everything done, but you haven’t grown enough to afford to make any additional hires just yet. What’s a leader to do?

The answer: Focus on developing the talent you already have in house. This strategy can be a saving grace for many small businesses.

In fact, a workplace study by Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell found that external hires are often the least effective choice for companies. According to Bidwell’s research, external hires, on average, receive significantly lower performance evaluations during their first two years on the job than their internal counterparts do. Additionally, external hires are more likely. . .

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