Wouldn’t it be great if as black entrepreneurs and black-owned businesses if we could be auto black entrepreneurs and everything that we hate doing is done for us? Without question, team management is one of the most challenging aspects for all types of entrepreneurs. Finding great hired help is the number one challenge of every black entrepreneur that I know of but one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made myself, in the past, is using my own business as a way to help others who are between gigs or offering my company up as a sidegig for them when we have big projects. The effort of killing two birds with one stone has often come back to bite the business AND us in the a#@.
If I can be as blunt as possible, the bigger idea is to grow your business not stifle your growth. Your levels of strategy for running the business should not include being the mother, father, friend, aunt uncle, caregiver, bank or counselor to the people that you hire and when you hire friends you may end up playing all those roles and it’s difficult to have the mental toughness to separate work from friendship. Especially if you want to maintain that friendship.
This twice about hiring friends to help you with your business. The biggest reason is that you need to be able to have a guilt-free approach when it comes to disciplining someone who is not doing the tasks assigned to them and it’s very difficult to do that with people you have previously befriended.
I have learned in the 25 years that I have been in business that there is an expectation, a level of disrespect and an extremely uncomfortable price to pay when neglect to remember the “bigger idea” which is to GROW the business. Here are the reasons that you should always reconsider before making the mistake of hiring friends. Click NEXT to go to the next segment
1. Emotions Lead to Poor Management
You are trying to help them but are they trying to help themselves? If your reason for hiring a friend is to help them financially instead of loaning them money you may never get back, you are making a mistake. you should be helping YOURSELF first THEN helping them not the other way around. (click “Next” below to see next segment)
2. Compassion and Sympathy are often Characteristics of Entrepreneurship that can lead to Poor Management
Friends know you and your weaknesses. Your options are very limited when it comes to being your friends’ boss AND their friend at the same time. We rarely can have it both ways. We’ve all had the friend who is down on their luck or between jobs or sidegigs and in need of some extra cash but is your business a black owned bank or a black owned brand? Your friend has let you know they need money NOT a job. Which one do you think will be their first priority?
Before you offer up your business to help out a friend know not to use your black-owned business to kill two birds with one stone. Your job as a black entrepreneur is not also Superman or Superwoman and you can’t save the world. Your friends know your triggers, your strengths and your weaknesses and the other people that work for you don’t need to be in on that as it will affect your performance management down the road.
3. Friends Make you Feel Obligated
You put yourself in a poor position when you hire a friend MOSTLY because of this… They will use the friendship as a bargaining chip because it’s all they have but YOU have a lot more to lose including their friendship so you will tolerate things out of the ordinary. This will take your attention away from the bigger idea of growing your business and having control over team management. While they may need money to pay the rent, hiring friends can be a greater costly investment for your black owned business.
4. YOU make you feel Obligated
As I said earlier the characteristics of entrepreneurship often involve finding a way to help solve a problem but there are times when we take that too far and it should never affect your small business management ability or your levels of strategy to grow your black owned business.
Your intentions are good but you soon realize you’ve made a mistake and now you have to pay more either in money or time to fix it. Their problem may now become a BIGGER problem for you.
My suggestion is that before you make a mistake like this, change your hire strategy to bring in people who can do the job instead of just collecting the check. Know that the the BUSINESS is the FIRST PRIORITY and you need people on board who can complete the tasks assigned with no drama. You may end up having to pay them to GO. Either way, you will be the bad guy but your peace of mind and health are worth a HELLUVA lot more than a stroke or a heart attack because of stress.
5. You Hesitate to Express Dismay
You may have a lot ot say about what your friend is doing wrong but in an effort to spare the friendship you may remain silent. This will absolutely lead to stress and poor performance management. This will affect you in every way including your creativity and innovation strategy. You put yourself in this position and now you have to find a way out of it.
6. You Sacrifice the Time and Money for your Black Owned Business Because You Don’t want to lose the Friendship
You have bitten off more than you can chew but at this point, it’s too late. You have to find a way to get out of the mess that you put yourself in.
7. Your Inability to Control Your the Friend that you hire will affect your Performance Management.
If your employees see this, it will certainly cause dissension and strife which could end up being a much bigger problem for you.
8. Friends Will Overlook the Tasks Assigned to Them
They are only concerned about their own situation and it makes sense, it is paramount to them at this time and you are secondary.
9. Other Employees Will Witness Your Poor Management
After all, you knew they were having financial problems so what’s YOUR problem?