As a leader of a UK SME, what would you say has the most impact on your profit?
Employees come first. If you take care of the employees, they will take care of the clients - Richard Branson
So, Richard says, your team. Customers no longer come first. As you know, taking care of your employees is tough.
What makes it easier is getting the right guys on board in the first place. The ones that see things in the same way you do. They’ve got the same values as you and they buy into your reason for doing what you’re doing, what Simon Sinek calls your why.
So how do you get the right people on your team?
Employ a great recruiter or headhunter?
No, however good a recruiter or headhunter may be, this is too important to outsource to them. It's too important to hand over to someone who’s targeted on the conversion rate of CVs to interview. And someone who is paid commission on you employing one of their candidates as long as they stay for a certain number of months.
No. You have to have great strategic marketing. Marketing that gets and keeps your customers by getting and keeping an engaged team. And the way to do this is to build a marketing strategy that means your right people want work for you.
Why the right people, not the best people?
Imagine you’re after a Chief Marketing Officer and you can pick the best in the world. Those that have worked for Nike, Unilever or Coca Cola. You pick one and ask them to produce your new strategic marketing plan.
When they present it to you, you see it involves you spending the type of money that you just don’t have. Their achievements for Nike, Unilever and Coca Cola were truly amazing but they don’t have the experience of working under the financial constraints you have. They might well be the best people but they're not your right people.
How much do you focus on attracting the right people?
If this is the thing that has the most impact on your profit, is this level of focus enough?
Think about how much is involved when you say goodbye to someone and bring in a new member of the team:
Based on the average UK salary, it costs you £50,000 every time you replace a member of your team.
£50,000 every time you get it wrong
How many employees have you replaced this year?
According to Gallup 87% of employees worldwide aren’t engaged at work and companies with engaged workforces out perform others by 147%.
So, can you afford to ignore strategic marketing?
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