When Growth Hurts
Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.
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Several years ago, after a fiasco with a couple of new hires, I made a conscious decision to be a “solo-preneur” and grow my practice without adding to staff. I used an outsourced service for admin for a few years, and when growth got to be crazy I hired one full-time person (“Sally”) who is solely focused on administrative details. At the beginning of this year (2020), I took stock and found I had grown significantly over the last three years and was piling too much on Sally, so I took the difficult step of hiring another admin person to help her. I let Sally interview people, had her participate in discussions about who might be the best fit and how we could reallocate duties and generally included her in the process. We brought “Gina” onboard and I left it up to Sally to handle the integration.
We have been working together for four weeks. Sally and Gina barely speak to one another. They spend much time in my office complaining about the other person’s work style and approach. They are nitpicking on the smallest things. I don’t want to deal with it. Part of the reason I made the conscious decision years ago to be solo was to avoid all of this!! To top it off, our growth is off the charts. I have a very unique niche and have worked it for many years. New clients come without putting in much effort.
But the biggest issue is the back-office administrative piece. There is endless paperwork, follow-ups and address changes. I need the infrastructure support. I want to talk to clients and ease their concerns during this market volatility, I don’t want to be fielding internal staff fights. Why does growth hurt so badly?