Archives for posts with tag: Small business

Working in, or for, a small business is fun. How much fun, I never knew until I was much older.

With a small business, if you’re involved in a non-technical role – in other words you’re on the business side, including sales and marketing – you get to do lots of different things. The variety is great, at least it is for me. You also get to do these lots of things relatively well, rather than spectacularly well in one niche area. You can be part-finder, part-minder and part-grinder if you want.

As your small business becomes more successful and grows, you find yourself doing fewer things, and you need to do those fewer things better. It becomes a medium-sized business.

When I did my Master’s degree in Business Administration a hundred years ago, there were courses on offer in running a small business. I had never worked in a small business, nor had anyone in my immediately family. We weren’t particularly entrepreneurial, we had worked for large organisations. Consequently I had little or no interest in finding out about how a small business worked.

It’s ironic how over time I’ve migrated from working for large companies to working for, with and running small companies.

I heard a great phrase the other day, and it’s a very useful reminder of how to cover all the key bases in a business. In any business, especially a small business, you need 3 types of role: the finder, the minder and the grinder.

The finder is the prospector. The finder finds customers, partners and even investors. They are the public face of the company, the chief evangelist.

The minder minds the company. The minder looks after the cash. Their responsibility is finance, legals, compliance, looking after the company and making sure it’s meeting its various obligations.

The grinder is the one who delivers. They are operational, with their shoulder to the wheel and on the factory floor – literally or metaphorically. They execute what has been promised by the finder and charged for by the minder.

All of these roles are important, and you need each role working in synergy, recognising each other’s strengths and skills, rather than complaining that they do all the work while the others sit around.

In a sole tradership, of course, one person needs to fulfil all 3 roles, or else contract out some of the other roles profitably or productively. In a partnership you see the 3 roles being divided across the two people. Sometimes they take one role each and share the other. As any business scales it really needs one person dedicated to each role, eventually building to a team for each function.