The Grapevine

Wine Shop Management: Hats vs. Hiring

May 3rd, 2016

When you start a business, you are forced to wear a lot of hats. It can be tempting to try to wear every hat you think of, but your business will be better off – and you’ll be happier – if you strike a balance between wearing all hats and hiring experts. [level-members]

Your goal should be to sort the roles into three different categories:

  • Hats you have to wear
  • Hats you have to wear, but should get some expert advice on
  • Hats you should place squarely on an expert’s head

Some of these roles are pretty easy to define. Hire a lawyer. Hire an insurance broker. The broker will save you time, both will save you from potentially ruinous mistakes in the future.

Other areas can be tougher. Chances are, you’ll train your staff as you begin to hire them. As you grow, though, you may want to bring in a consultant to help you not only hire new employees, but to train you to create hiring and on-boarding policies that yield consistently great results.

Marketing is another area where you might be tempted to forego the expense of a consultant. That can be a smart call if you’re sufficiently marketing oriented. Or it can be an opportunity lost. Businesses don’t generally spend money on things that don’t produce a return. So if you aren’t marketing because you aren’t seeing a return, perhaps your marketing needs an expert’s input.

One of the great advantages to today’s “gig economy,” where really talented people are doing freelance consulting work rather than seticking with a single company for years and years, is that those really talented people are available to you for a fraction of what they might really be worth.

I hope you’re not doing your company’s taxes each March, and I hope you’re giving consideration to the roles you are choosing to play. There are only so many hours in the day. Use yours wisely by maximizing your strengths and letting others handle areas where you’re not as well equipped.