Editor’s note: Sandra Tedford (@WeTalkToday) offers an excellent post today on the value of hiring an entrepreneur. She is the CEO of WeTalkToday.com and is a regular contributor here.
Every employer wants an employee who’s a motivated self-starter. However, most employers spend way too much time looking for bodies to fill positions instead of assets that will add to the growth of their organization. Innovative leaders are needed to lead companies forward; yet few employers are willing to hire people that know more about their business than they do.
Why are employers reluctant to hire entrepreneurs? Because there’s an assumption that it’s difficult for entrepreneurs to relinquish control and allow another individual to take ownership. Most entrepreneurs are comfortable in taking the lead and being the boss. However, one virtue employers often overlook is an entrepreneur’s ability to know when to lead and when to follow. In order to be a good leader you must know when it’s appropriate to listen and when to give input.
Below are a few additional skills entrepreneurs hold that make them invaluable to employers
- Understands the Big Picture: Entrepreneurs understand every aspect of a business including raising capital, managing budgets, creating benchmarks and measurements, and marketing and promotions. They understand the difference between revenue and profit. They understand how their decisions regarding investments, capital expenditures, and cash flow affect the business short term and long term. Why? Because they’re accustomed to wearing many hats. Every role within the organization is often filled by the business owner themselves. If they fail to produce results, they don’t have to look very far to figure out what needs to change.
- Understands Victories Are Short Lived: Entrepreneurs are constantly looking for ways to improve or top a previous success. Celebrating successes or milestones are important. Most entrepreneurs have a long term vision of where they want to go. Getting comfortable is really not an option.
- Takes Bold Risks: Employers want to hire someone who’s not afraid to take risks within reason to grow the business. More importantly, an entrepreneur that’s familiar with failure is typically more intuitive in their decision making concerning the business. Of course this doesn’t apply to every entrepreneur. I know there’s some who never grasp what it takes to run a successful business. Yet those who’ve learned from their mistakes and are constantly learning how to improve, are in a better position when opportunities come along.
- Passionate about Their Business: Most entrepreneurs typically start businesses in an industry in which they’re passionate. This sets entrepreneurs apart from the average job seeker because they’re more likely to acquire knowledge that will add value to the company. Employees with an entrepreneurial mindset enjoy learning about various aspects of the business on their own time.
- Understands the Value of Relationships: Entrepreneurs are more likely to engage in activities related to their industry outside of normal work hours including networking online and offline. Those that excel at networking typically have a valuable network and connections to other business owners in their industry. This is an added bonus for employers especially if the entrepreneur has access to decision makers at companies they want to do business with in the future. Cultivating healthy business relationships is an asset and skill every employee should be required to develop.
Every employer desires a team of professionals that are resilient and armed with a strong entrepreneurial drive. If you look at hiring entrepreneurs as an investment rather than a challenge, the returns will pay off for your organization.
We’d love to get your input. If you’re an employer whose hired entrepreneurs in the past, what was your experience? Let us know?