I’ve heard this one hundreds of times…
- “We’re so snowed under with work, if only we had more staff it would be fine”
- “We desperately need more staff to help do this”
- “We can’t take on any more clients until we get more staff”
It can be dressed up in many different ways, but the point is that some practice owners think the magic pill to solve their problems, is more staff.
So, what they do is they keep throwing people at problems, and eventually what happens is they end up with too many staff, poor profitability and the same problems still persisting.
Here’s the truth…
Sometimes you do need more staff. I’m not disputing that one.
But quite often, what practices really need are:
- Better people, and
- Better systems
Think about it like this…
If me, you and 9 of our accounting peers formed an 11-a-side football team, and decided to play a 90- minute game against 5 of the world’s best players (I’ll let you decide…), what do you think the final score will be at full-time?
It’s an extreme example but it proves the point.
It’s not always about having more people in your team, it’s about having the best people you can possibly find.
Because often, 1 superstar team member can do the work of 3 average team members.
So, how do you go about recruiting A+ team members?
Here are some ideas which might help:
- Are Your Over-Reliant Team Stopping You From Achieving Your Practice Goals?
- A 3-Step Process For Recruiting Top Performers In A 21st Century Practice
- 9 Top Tips For Increasing Staff Retention & Creating A Desirable Practice To Work In
- Why Embracing Technology In Your Practice Will Help You Recruit Better Talent
If you settle for average team members, then that’s a choice you make.
Better people is only one side of the coin.
Sometimes, what you need is better systems to help you overcome your problems and challenges.
Here’s an example:
Let’s assume one of your biggest challenges is turning work around quick enough for clients, and you decide that you need more people to help get the work done.
Fine, I can see the argument for that.
However, here is a slightly different approach that is going to have a much more positive impact on your profitability than hiring more people…
You look at your entire workflow system, from the moment a client sends in their info, to the moment their accounts or whatever is finished, and you identify the areas that could be improved.
For example, you might be using one piece of software that doesn’t integrate with your other software well, and this means people are spending twice as long doing something as they should.
Or you might have a poorly systemised process for collecting all the info you need from the client before the job starts, which means your team ends up chasing missing info once the jobs in progress, delaying the time it takes to finish it.
This is just one example of a system/process where you can make small changes in your practice to get the outcome you want, instead of hiring more people.
So, what should you do?
If you’re currently facing problems and challenges in your practice, and you think that hiring more people is the solution, then ask yourself these 2 questions first:
- Do I absolutely have A+ players in my team? (This article will help you determine whether you do or not…)
- Are all of my systems completely scalable, and running as smoothly and efficiently as possible?
If you can answer both of those with a big ‘yes’, then by all means go ahead and hire some more staff.
But if one or both of them is a no, then perhaps it’s worth looking at finding better people, or implementing better systems, before you commit to hiring more staff.