Fighting the Curse of the Stepping Stone Business

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Always be recruiting!

Smaller businesses should expect their employees to move along and advance to the next steps within a two, three, or four-year period. The best people in your organization will eventually grow into new responsibilities. If your business doesn’t support their personal growth goals, they will move on. On the other hand, if the business owners foster that evolution and plan for their best individual’s needs, the business will offer opportunities that allow for personal development.

You should always strive to keep valuable people on your payroll. It is very tough to plan for those seasons when you may need new staff. To make matters worse, it can be difficult to time your hiring well enough that the business doesn’t suffer trying to backfill roles with new talent. By doing your best to satisfy your current team and help them reach their own development goals, you won’t have to scramble for hires in the future. In turn, your team will be loyal, cohesive, and motivated.

It’s essential that you publish your current org chart. If you don’t yet have one put pen to paper, and start crafting one. Once you finish it, I suspect you will gain some new awareness of how your company functions. You need a chart for today, a chart for three years from now, a chart five years from now, and the biggest it could possibly get. Don’t put any names on these, but do consider what positions, assets and revenue streams need to be in place for those future charts.


Discuss those charts with your management team and create a strategy that will work in the future. Sharing plans with your team is a great start. An even better method is to let them come up with their own strategies together. This will let them see future opportunities, take ownership of the growth process, and maybe even do some of the heavy lifting.

By showing your team that you value their input, they are more likely to be engaged and excited for the future.  When your team feels valued, you will have established a more concrete understanding of individual and company-wide goals. Once goals have been recognized, they’re much easier to plan for.

The bottom line: follow these simple steps, and you and your company will be ready to withstand whatever the future may hold.