Lee Kenny: This could be blocking your business growth

Lee Kenny, Managing Director at Snowflake Media
Lee Kenny, Managing Director at Snowflake Media

It can be a proud, but daunting moment for a business owner who decides to take that step of hiring their first employee.

While you now have more manpower to handle all those things on your never-ending to-do list, you also risk lowering your own personal income as well as taking more of your time to train the person to do what you want them to do.

You will go through many emotions and doubt will be one of those demons you need to face, especially when your new recruit takes five times longer than you to do a task. However, you need to have some patience and remember that the largest block to growth is staring back at you in the mirror.

As an entrepreneur, I know at times that I have been responsible for being a bottleneck in moving our business forward.

It can be hard to fully let go of some tasks or operations, but if you can get it right, your business can flourish. Here’s a few of the things I’ve learned (and continue to learn!) over the years to make that journey easier.

Hire people who are smarter than me.

I love strategy, data, making the phone ring and doing the deals. However, I can’t possibly know everything about every topic. The late Steve Jobs once said “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”.

This doesn’t mean you abdicate all responsibility. You need to know enough about a topic to be able to ask intelligent questions.

Eliminate the unnecessary

As you hire someone it’s a wonderful time to evaluate all the things you are doing before handing them over. Just because something was a great idea and process 4 years ago, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do it now. What can be streamlined or eliminated altogether? If you hire smart people, you can ask them to propose a solution and don’t be too precious about changing.


This has always been by hardest challenge in business and not effectively delegating tasks out has probably cost us millions over the years in lost business. Plan in some time to spend with new hires and existing employees if you have them. Often your team will be thrilled to take on new responsibilities. For non revenue producing activities, if they can only ever do it to 95 per cent of your ability, that’s probably fine. Good enough is good enough.

Share the vision. Often

You had a vision when you started. When interviewing someone you probably shared the mission. The story of why you started the business in the first place. You need to keep sharing the vision and your expectations so that it now becomes their mission too. Successful, growing businesses create successful happy staff and customers.

While it can be scary, with preparation, a little extra effort and time in the short term, bringing on a new person can be a great thing for your business. Just remember to get out of the way and let them shine!



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