The necessity of having employees or how you can control your business.

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Alex Valassidis
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Let’s face reality!

  1. No one is going to run your business the way you run it.

Period! No employee, no matter how honest, how capable, how intelligent is going to run your business like you do.

  1. You are the one that takes responsibility if shit hits the fan and you are the one whose reputation is going to be damaged due to the mistakes that your employees do.
  1. By showing your employee how this business works, you create a potential competitor for the future.
  1. The things that an employee learns in your business make you a potential subject of blackmail.

However, employees are necessary to take the heavy burden from your shoulders and give you the time necessary to work on other things that are more important for you.

Follow-up these recommendations and defend your business from within.

  •  Write a manual about how your work works and create procedures. Your employee is going to work on the procedures you created and stay on them.
  • Create a control mechanism. When I used to run my Internet Café business, I had a control mechanism that controlled my business – an Internet café software which controlled the use of the shop and showed me how many computers have been used for how long time. I also included other control mechanisms, as an SMS that I was receiving automatically when the store opened in the morning or closed in the afternoon, lists from the items bought and sold, web cameras and occasionally spies that controlled the shop while I was absent. Its SUPER IMPORTANT to create a control mechanism, that SHOWS YOU EXACTLY how your business works. There are several software options on the market that can track any activity on your PC. Many of them can even been checked remotely.
  • Ask your clients to give you feedback – there are several ways to do that. Put posters on the wall of your business asking them to email you or call you if they were not happy with the service provided.  If you are able to know your clients telephone nr or email contact them and ask them about your services and feedback to make it better. Depending on the business, put your employee to do the biggest part of the work while you do the closing. In that way, you are going to know where you stand.
  •  Be aware of how much Information you share with your employee. Your employee does not need to know everything about your business. He must work on a need to know basis. Do not share, or do not give access to information that is vital for your business and could compromise you in the future.
  •  Give partly wrong information to your employee… let him know things work differently as he thinks.
  •  Revise the criteria you are using for hiring someone. What are his motivations? What is his background? What is his knowledge?

Example: When I used to run the internet café business in Greece, when I was putting an ad for an internet café employee, the majority of the potential candidates praised to me their computer skills… This had the exact opposite result for me.

First, their computer skills were not the most important aspect to hire them, obviously you had to be computer literate, but that was enough. Additionally, a super computer freak was a big NO for me, and the number one reason was that he could find ways to steal me.

  •  Make a List of the things where someone that works for you can steal you or disrupt your business. Know how someone can steal you, and test your employee occasionally.

That brings to my head the story with the 5€ note left unnoticed in the house as a bait to check the cleaning lady’s honesty.

My advice: Do use baits and check where you stand with the people working with you, better safe than sorry.

  •  When you see that an employee is unsatisfied and shows that to your business or starts to talk to other employees about the reasons why he is unsatisfied, fire him immediately because he is going to destroy your entire business.
  •  Make a contract that covers you up. Be exact within the contract and explain to your employee what the exact consequences are for certain actions.
  •  Finally: Trust in people. When you hire someone that is a nice guy, it’s quite impossible that he is going to be transformed to a devil within a night – he is going to be a nice guy during his work with you. Understand that you have other human beings working with you, so do not be too tough with them, excuse mistakes, and handle them as you would like to be handled if you were in their shoes. Stand for your employees, they are your biggest assets. A happy employee is going to grow your business and make your customers also happy and satisfied and returning customers. Give a second and a third chance to mistakes your employees do.

Do you agree with those recommendations? Do you want to add some more?

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