Last month we discussed the options that a PDR tech has when entering the industry. Click here if you missed it. This month we will focus on the other side of the coin. Our seasoned techs and business owners. The natural progression in any career or industry is to build and expand. So what options are there for growing your PDR business. When is the right time to take the leap into expansion? How do I ensure that my business is protected? These are just some of the things you need to ask yourself as you grow your PDR Business.
PDR Business Owner
You are perennially running behind and your books are filled weeks in advance as well. There needs to be more of you, otherwise, you risk a bad reputation. These are great indications that it is time to take the leap and expand your PDR business. Now it’s time to determine which will be the right path to expansion for you. Consider the following options:
PDR Sub Contractor
This is the easiest but potentially the riskiest of your options. On the good side, no additional taxes, or insurances need to be paid by you. There is no need to guarantee a specific amount of work which takes the pressure off during down times. On the flip side of the coin though, you have no guarantee they will be available when you need them. There are less “write-offs” with a subcontractor. Perhaps the most dangerous is that this person will have access to your customer base. You can try to execute a non compete contract but again these are difficult and expensive to enforce. So really do your homework on this person. Since this person is a sub-contractor he or she should have no problem with you speaking to the other people they work for.
Again, you are faced with both pros and cons. Having an employee gives you a modicum of control. It also provides you with access to specific business tax deductions. Having employees will give you the manpower you need to grow. But only if you find the right people. I have heard so many horror stories of good people putting themselves out there and being taken advantage of. Needless to say, that SUCKS! Here are a few tips to remember during your search.
- Does this individual have roots in the community? Family? Responsibilities? The answer to these questions will give you a great baseline as to whether this person will be with you long-term or will take off as soon as another opportunity comes along. (cough, cough, hail anyone!!)
- Do they have the same work ethic as you? Are they a 2-hour lunch kind of person or a hustler?
- What are their ideas of quality work and customer service? Just enough or above and beyond?
- Why are they leaving their current position? The answer to this will speak volumes. Do they take responsibility for any part they may have for it not working out? Or is it everyone else’s fault.
- Is this purely a financial move? While this is isn’t necessarily a bad thing, people that are purely numbers driven tend to not have the greatest staying power or loyalty.
- Now we come to experience. This is a double-edged sword. No training means no bad habits but it also means a considerable investment and risk on your part. Again you can execute a contract but this is only as good as the person who is signing it. Someone with experience may seem like the easiest way to go but you will definitely be wise to put this person through the paces to ensure their abilities are what they say they are.
These are just a few points but they will provide you with at least a basic picture of who this person is. At the very least there should always be a 90 day probation period to feel each other out.
Now that you have figured out which and who is the best fit for your business, it’s time to make sure you have what it takes to be the BOSS. Yes, the pipe dream is to sit with your feet up while your handy little helpers scurry around and make you money. Reality check. If you are a good boss you are right beside them working just as hard or even harder. Do you want to keep quality employees? Hustle hard for them. Pay them well. Respect and help them grow. Be tough, but be fair. Remeber their accomplishments will benefit you so you need to ensure they have what they need to do just this. There are two quotes from Richard Branson that have always resonated with me and when put into practice you have the building blocks of a successful business.
“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.”
…..Looking To The Future
Looking to your future is always a little scary. Big decisions and choices to be made. Do your due diligence, trust your gut and jump in. You have made it this far, keep challenging, keep growing. Invest in the right people and watch your business grow!