In the past, I've been as guilty as others in saying that a company's greatest asset is its customer base. I was wrong.
Small businesses have no greater asset than their employees. Whether you're a 1 person shop or a 100 person enterprise, there is nothing more important than the people that answer your phones, handle orders, interact with customers, oversee operations, manage the books, etc. A bad hire is devastating to a small company, far more so than in a large or super large corporation. If you hire the wrong person in a small business, you may doom your chances for success – the team just isn't big enough to absorb underperforming or controversial staff.
I'll stop short in this post and not go into hiring practices or how to deal with underperforming or distracting employees�…I'll save that fun for another post :-) For now, just be aware of the impact your staff has on your business. There are far more chores around the company than one person can handle; it takes quality, loyal, and intelligent personnel to make a small business grow. People are truly your greatest asset.
Have you ever worked with or witnessed a small business with extraordinary people? If so, what impact did each person have on the ability of the company to thrive? If not, have you ever experienced the opposite – a business with terrible staffing? How did underperforming personnel reflect the image of the company and its offering?