By Evan Carmichael on March 10th, 2013
Susan Baroncini-Moe is a Bronze author on EvanCarmichael.com – to view her articles click here. We asked her for What’s the biggest business mistake you’ve ever made? here is what she said:
The biggest business mistake I ever made happened years ago, when I was working with my first assistant. My mistake was that I waited way too long to fire her.
I take great care in hiring—more so now than I did back then—and my team and I do a lot to make sure that new hires are good fits for the job they’re given. That said, there’s still a certain amount of unpredictability when you hire someone new, and it’s almost impossible to know for sure if they’re going to work out.
That assistant was pleasant to work with but she made a lot of mistakes, and mistakes by an employee or contractor can be costly in more ways than you might imagine. Sure, you’re spending money on a contractor or employee who isn’t doing a good job, and that can feel like a waste, but more importantly, this assistant was actually damaging my brand.
The “hire slow, fire fast” mentality has become pretty popular in entrepreneurial circles. I do hire slow these days, but I never have “fired fast” and I don’t think I ever will. Unless the person makes a lot of mistakes and has a generally poor quality of work, I have a talk with them to see if there isn’t an available position that’s a better fit. If we can’t find a job that suits them better, then I let them go.
What’s important about this, though, is that I don’t wait so long before making a decision about what I’m going to do. Years and experience have taught me that it doesn’t take very long to see if a person isn’t going to be right for a position, and instead of waiting for a couple of months to see if things will improve, it’s better to make a decision and take action as soon as you see there’s a problem. Had I acted more quickly back then, I could’ve saved myself a few headaches and a lot of time spent in fixing the mistakes that assistant made. I am glad I had that experience, though…sometimes it takes making a big mistake yourself to learn the most important and valuable lessons in business.
Susan Baroncini-Moe, author of the upcoming book “Business in Blue Jeans,” due out Spring 2013, is the founder and president of Business in Blue Jeans, a business and marketing coaching/consulting firm focused on the needs of entrepreneurs and small business owners. Susan is also the CEO of American Business Partners, an Indianapolis-based business and marketing consulting firm focused on assisting service-based professionals and companies with startup and logistics, team-building, branding, marketing and social media, corporate culture-building, product and service development, and overall business fundamentals and strategy. A veteran of the web industry, Susan leverages her unique fusion of business and technological knowledge, her experience in the personal growth industry, and her incredible brainstorming capabilities to transform businesses around the globe. She is a sought-after strategist and public speaker and holds a Guinness World Records title.