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The Case for Hiring Unskilled Workers

Did you create your business with the intent of gaining freedom and financial security? Here's how to get what you want without creating just another job for yourself.

It's likely that you didn't create your business so that you would have a job to go to everyday. I'm guessing you--like so many other entrepreneurs--were looking for freedom. You were attempting to create something that could run without you. It would give you the lifestyle you desired, and provide the finances to maintain it.

In pursuit of that goal, you must begin to work ON your business, instead of IN it. As you do, it becomes necessary to hire others to perform the tasks that you once performed yourself.

And as you look for these people to bring onboard, to work IN your business for you, I want you to keep this very simple rule in mind:

Hire people of the lowest possible level of skill.

What?! How can you do that? You want your business to succeed, and so don't you need the most skilled, most highly qualified people around? I say no. Because if you have set up your business correctly--if you have created systems that run the business, then you are simply looking for someone to run the systems.

A strong system is what makes a company successful, not the people who work there. Want to know quickly if you have created the right systems for your business? Step away and let someone else manage it.

In order to grow your business, you must treat it as if it is the prototype for a franchise. Every little function inside it must be detailed and systematized, so that it can be replicated. You want to create a model for your business that can be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill. If your model depends on highly skilled workers, it's going to be impossible to replicate. Such people are at a premium in the marketplace.

The system is the glue that holds your business together. It is the tool needed to run your company. It's your job to develop that tool and to teach your people how to use it. It's their job to use the tool you've developed and to recommend improvements based on their experience with it.

In the end, a well-run system leverages ordinary people, so they can produce extraordinary results. So create the system first. Fine-tune it. Then hire the least skilled workers possible to implement the system. And step away. Once you have created that franchise prototype, you are not tied to your business. Just as the system serves the business, the business now serves your life.

Last updated: Oct 31, 2012

MICHAEL E. GERBER | Columnist | Author of The E-Myth

Michael E. Gerber is a true legend in entrepreneurship, helping transform 70,000+ businesses in 145 countries over the past 25 years. Michael?s New York Times best-selling book, The E-Myth Revisited, has sold over 5,000,000 copies.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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