As a small business, one of the scariest moments is when you decide to bring onboard additional skills and capacity. The immediate concern is that you are adding to your expense line and that you won’t see a return on investment.
The reality is that most small businesses need an injection of human capital to help them plug their gaps and get to market as quickly as possible. In a small business, the only real equation to worry about is “time versus money”.
To highlight this, we recently made an offer to inject R100 000 of human capital into an SME for an investment of R11750. This would include a skilled market researcher, a Chartered Accountant and myself with the goal of identifying market opportunities and facilitating introductions to new clients.
One of the clients we piloted the concept with is a young specialist recruitment business. In the space of 10 days we achieved:
– Secured meeting with head of HR for JSE-listed financial services group
– Secured meeting with CEO of international technology group with the brief that we wanted to pilot the solution inside of their business
– Facilitated direct introductions to senior managers of 7 high-growth businesses with 1 business placing a recruitment brief
– Introduction to a Not-For-Profit with an influential CEO who went on Twitter and gave an endorsement that he would be working with our partner to fill 2 positions
– Market intelligence activities with a minimum of 3 leads per day identified through social media channels allowing them warm entry to potential clients
The time versus money equation
As an entrepreneur, the goal is to reach strategic objectives quickly. The natural instinct is to see human capital as an expense rather than a potential source of income.
We are effectively 1/3rd of the way through our brief on this project and a single placement fee will cover the cost of the human capital injected for a month. While closing the various deals does
Entrepreneurs who try and go it alone are going to find the journey long and lonely. Small businesses should never lump themselves with high fixed [people] costs but the strategic injection of the right human capital for the right project can make all the difference.