Bigger isn’t always better

There’s a café in QLD that I love and have always made a special trip to visit when I’ve been in that part of the world. The reason I liked it so much was because it had character, was small with personal service, innovative and different to anywhere else. I remember having a conversation with them about the fact they were doing so well that they were going to move premises and become bigger and better.

A few months later I decided to take a trip and check out their new venue. Whilst it was great to hear that they had been doing so well, it just wasn’t the same place. From an atmosphere perspective it had lost all it’s charm and character. There was a new menu and the focus they used to have on speciality teas was non-existent. The couple of staff that I knew and usually chatted with weren’t there and the new staff they had on were impersonal and didn’t have the same care factor that I had loved so much about this place. It was just another café.

I probably won’t go back, not because they have done anything wrong or that it’s not a great café, but because there’s nothing unique about them anymore. Nothing to draw me back and make me want to make a special trip or get excited when I am in the area and have an excuse to go in. I can get the same product and service from somewhere closer – there’s no reason for me to be a customer anymore.

This could ring true for some business owners who are thinking of growing their business and taking people on. A bigger team doesn’t always mean that you will grow, win more customers, or generate more revenue. Sometimes taking on more staff can be detrimental. It can alter the culture, create more costs in the business and eat up time. You could lose customers.

If you want to grow but are worried about the effect of taking on more staff what are your options?

  1. Make better quality hires

Do you know exactly who you want in your business both from a skills perspective and a culture perspective? Do you have full job descriptions for your new roles? Do you have an effective recruitment process in place?

  1. Upskill and train existing staff

Do you have people in your team who are ready for a step up or aren’t engaged because they are not being challenged or developed? Are you utilising your existing people to their full capabilities?

  1. Have solid processes in place

Do you properly onboard your new starters? Do you have clear performance management systems in place? Do you have clear career development paths for your staff?

Considering the above can help to ensure the right hiring decisions are made and ensure you have the right people in your team. It will let you maximise the return on investment in your people without compromising on the things that make you stand out to your customers.