Running a business on a shoestring is one of the greatest struggles of being an entrepreneur. Unless you have nailed down millions (or thousands if you are even more lucky), you probably are self-funding your ideas and pouring the proceeds back into “your baby” to make sure the thing survives and ultimately thrives. In doing so, it is sometimes very hard to keep good employees with your business as you are in the growth stages.
Find the Right Employees
One way to ensure you keep good employees is by finding the right employees. If you find the right people, then their commitment to the company, the idea and the future of the business will help you retain them when high-profile recruiters come calling or when the business has a rough month. If the employee is the right employee, then you will probably not have to worry about losing him or her when times get rough.
Just what are the characteristics of the “right” employee? That usually depends on what type of business you are in and what working for your start-up would require. This subject could alone occupy the length of an entire book.
Get Employee Retirement Benefits
If you can, getting employee benefits like a small business 401k plan or something similar can be a big help and retaining employees who may otherwise leave.
Sometimes it is the add-on incentives that give people reason to stay. For instance, when I worked for a marketing company a few years back, it was always the seemingly cheap incentives – a $20 gift card or three hours of paid time off – that motivated the employees. And, if you look around, you should be able to even possibly find a free 401k for your company. Recent legislation has made this all possible.
Perform and Execute
Nothing hurts employee (and employer morale, for that matter) like a company limping along without much success. If you own a business and do not have the gumption to continue forward with ideas and putting yourself out there, then perhaps the best thing to do is find another leader who can. Winning the hearts of your employees often first means you need to win the hearts of your customers and winning the hearts of customers means putting yourself in uncomfortable positions, it means doing hard things, taking leaps and risks.
In short, it means you have to be a salesman at the very core. If you can perform, make sales and grow your business quarter-on-quarter than it is easier to attract and retain customers and ultimately your staff.
Unlike the previous generation, ours is one of finicky employees who often jump at the chance to move onto “the next big” thing. As a result, employers have had to work and try various tactics in order to keep employees on board and motivated. In some cases, the previously mentioned ideas can certainly help, but in many cases there is nothing an entrepreneur can do to keep people in and motivated. And, in many cases, the entrepreneur must need to learn when to jump the ship himself. That’s why it is important to always have an objective third party involved.