August 18, 2023

Broken to Better: Pivotal Moments in Organizational Growth

As you’re building your business, you live the start-up life. Your early hires are all part of one big team; everyone gets together to ensure everything gets done. It’s fun, and it works for a while. But it’s not sustainable.

That’s why every business needs a Jon Thomas.

My business partner Kiira Belonzi was the training expert, I handled sales and marketing, and then we brought Jon Thomas on as our president for all things operations. And boy, did we need it.

As we grew our business (and likely, as you grow yours), we hit some growing pains. We hired more people, and without defined teams, people stepped on each other’s toes. Work was duplicated. It wasn’t very efficient. So we tasked Jon with restructuring our team for success. 

Here are some things we did to navigate organizational growth and some tips to help your organization be bigger.

1. Hire the best you can afford

It’s tempting to try to save costs as you’re growing your small business. Maybe you hire people with less experience because you think it’ll save you money, but that’s a mistake. Always hire the best people for the job that you can afford.

After around six months of hustle, Kiira and I knew we needed to start hiring. We did what most early entrepreneurs do; we used a variety of employment sites, sifted through many resumes, and hired people with some experience within our budget.

While we trained and invested in these first few hires, it became clear that we needed people with more industry expertise. We spent time hiring the right people at the time, so we didn’t need to spend more to hire people later to fix mistakes.

2. Prioritize fairness and generosity 

Beyond expertise, our company’s success lies in our commitment to fairness and generosity. The world of sales can be cutthroat, but ensuring fair commission payouts and recognizing each individual’s contribution fosters an environment of unity. We ensured everything we did nurture a culture where the team’s collective success overshadows individual accolades.

Your employees are the backbone of your endeavor. By prioritizing fair hiring and cultivating a culture of generosity, you’ll not only build a more robust business but also one that’s deeply rooted in trust and collaboration.

3. Find shared values 

Growing your enterprise means more than just expanding numbers; it’s about honing the core of what makes your business unique. As Branded Group matured, we recognized that hiring was not solely about expertise. It was about aligning with our Be Better culture.

Without a local network to pull from, Kiira and I had to hire based on our own resume search and interview skills. We already had a hiring process in place that focused on shared values over skills. So we started looking for employees who met our desired values and sought to reflect them throughout the company.

Remember that every hire you make should reflect your mission and vision. For ambitious entrepreneurs, let this be your mantra: while skills can be taught, values are intrinsic. As you scale, ensure that your team not only possesses the expertise but also mirrors the soul of your brand. 

Growing your business takes a lot of hard work upfront, but it’ll also help you take your foot off the gas a little in the future. When I go on vacation or when I shift my focus to other important projects, I know our business will run smoothly.

Sure, there will be hiccups no matter how carefully you hire and train. But balancing your team with the strength of skills and commitment to your values will ensure your business grows.

Need some guidance to start and grow your business? Check out my consulting services and learn how to Be Better.

This piece is based on a chapter of Broken to Better: 13 Ways Not to Fail at Life and Leadership. The book is dedicated to business leaders who are seeking to Be Better in their company for their employees, clients and communities. Download/purchase the full book, here.

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