Dear Small Business Owner: Good Help Can Be Hard To Find
It was obvious she had been through a laundry list of graphic designers for her client’s project. She was very careful to explain exactly what she was looking for. She sent pictures. Lots of pictures. She asked for references. Still, she wasn’t sure if we’d be able to pull off the concept her client wanted. Afterall, there wasn’t anything in our portfolio that reflected what she was looking for. Her project was intricately complex and one of those online design services wasn’t going to get the job done.
A lot of people told her they could but couldn’t. So after going back-and-forth through a series of emails and phone calls, I told her I would design the concept she was looking for. If she was pleased with the work, we would move forward; she would sign the work agreement and send in her deposit. This suggestion won her over. However, even after viewing and loving the work sample, she was still a bit uneasy and wanted a parachute clause. So if she’s not happy with the final product, we can both walk away from the project. And neither is any worse off for the experience.
I get it and I wasn’t the least bit offended.
I understand that good help can be hard to find.
A small business owner recently posted on Facebook of her struggle to find a new employee. Her stories were hilarious yet sad at the same time. The time she’s invested in locating a new hire; she can’t get that back. She understands you hire talent and train for everything else but finding the talent has been difficult.
As small business owners finding the right consultant, agency, vendor, or new hire is critical to the daily operation and success of your business.
Navigating Your Way To Good Help
- Check your network for referrals – Ask your friends, colleagues, fellow business owners, even suppliers if they have a lead or referral. You never know who knows who.
- Search organizations and chambers – If you’re a member of a networking organization or chamber of commerce, these organizations can be an invaluable resource in helping you find what you need.
- Online search – My newest client had exhausted her personal and professional network and was left to conduct an internet search. Feel free to ask questions, ask for referrals and even samples if applicable. A business worth its salt won’t mind providing these things for you.
- Read the Reviews – Yelp, Facebook, even LinkedIn have business/product reviews and recommendations. My business partner always starts with the lowest/worst ratings and then evaluates the company or product from there.
- Ask for Proof – My newest client didn’t ask for it but I offered proof of our capabilities. You can absolutely ask for proof of legitimacy. Call references, ask for product samples, schedule demonstrations.
- Let Technology Assist You – When you’re a small business owner, weeding through potential job candidates can be exhaustive. Indeed.com has a service that will prescreen candidates for you through an automated phone system. Candidates that pass your initial screening, vocally respond to a series of questions you compile on their personal computer. You listen to the responses and contact the candidates of your choosing. For the small business owner, this automated service can save you precious time and help you finally find the good help you’ve been looking for.