Making tough decisions

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Business Leader Columnist Feature - Rob PerksRob Perks is the CEO of Inspire, a company dedicated to helping businesses in the South West maximise their success through business strategy, making the right connections and knowledge sharing.

Leading a team in business is tough in many ways.

Making financial decisions, looking at whether to launch into a new market or develop a new product or service, spending scarce resources well and deciding how best to use our time are just some of the many things we need to think of.

But perhaps the toughest decisions, and, in some cases, the most important for a business leader, are getting the best possible team in place to ensure optimum performance in the business.

Most businesses start with a small team drawn often from the owner’s network of contacts, relatives and friends. These people are not necessarily the very best or most qualified for the job, but they catch the vision and are prepared to get stuck in for less than the full market rate which is out of reach for the average start-up.

The business takes off and starts to grow. Resources get a bit easier but at the same time, we realise that Aunty Charlotte’s marketing skills are about 20 years out of date and she’s struggling with digital marketing.

Our Friend Pete who’s semi-retired from the accounts department in a local firm hasn’t really got the skills to deliver the weekly financial information you need to run the larger business efficiently.

The old school friend who was out of work and offered to take on the sales role is just not really delivering the results you need. And, so it goes on.

You really need to recruit a top sales person because you can afford it now but having that conversation with Pete when he really needs the job and helped you out at a critical time is just something you do not want to do. The same applies to marketing and finance.

So, we soldier on doing the best we can with a sub-optimal team, knowing all the time that we could be doing so much more and feeling a bit resentful.

Or maybe you hired someone from the market and thought they would be excellent, but it hasn’t worked out. Sound familiar?

If it does, you’re in good company with many other business leaders experiencing the same thing.

But just think how different your business would be if you had someone really on top of their game in each of those roles. How would that impact on your life too?

Yes, it’s tough, but the benefits could be transformative. And you never know, they may all be feeling a bit overwhelmed but don’t want to let you down. They may even be relieved when you talk to them.

No one said running a business is easy, but these are some of the most important business decisions you’ll ever make.

If you would like some support working through how best to go about it and how to find good replacement people, or if you are considering outsourcing, talk to us on 01172 034288 or email us via our website as we are always pleased to help. Or attend one of our free business growth forums, details at

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