Business

Pick your staff carefully, SMEs told

By Tameka Gordon Business reporter

Friday, August 03, 2012    

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Selecting the right team members is crucial for business success, owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) learnt at the Scotiabank Jamaica action clinic on Tuesday.

Business owners were urged to recognise the value of an efficient staff that "can operate without you."

Some of the elements to having an efficient team include finding the person who is the right fit for the job and ensuring that the staff understand each other, action coach Marcia Woon Choy told the participants.

Employers should avoid hiring hastily and instead select individuals who "add value" to the business, Woon Choy said. "The right team means every member is a walking, talking advertisement for the business."

Business operators must recognise the difference between the roles of a leader and a manager, she said. "While a manager ensures that the business has what it needs to achieve, leadership means inspiring your team to perform," she said.

The free, four-hour clinics, held fortnightly over the past three months, were praised by many of their 17 participants, who benefitted from one-to-one sessions with Woon Choy.

Yvonne Frederick, operator of HoneyKist Apiaries, said the support and knowledge she has gained was applicable to her business. "I couldn't pay for this kind of assistance," she said, noting that the sales and marketing component of the programme had helped her to improve her business.

Rohan Scott, operator of Kestrel Industries, an importer ad exporter of groceries, said the course had helped him to expand his customer base. "I have learnt over 50 different ways to transform leads into new customers who are able and willing to purchase.

And Andrea Cowan, the operator of Lillan Limited, a meat importer and distributor, said: "The coaching structure emphasised building your business chassis to provide a solid base for your business. I don't see why your business shouldn't succeed if you apply the knowledge taught."

The next series of action clinics is scheduled to begin in September. Participants are chosen from the bank's small business customers.

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