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Solving Some Of The Mysteries Of Owning A Business. Part IV: Human Resources

We have talked before in this space about the “four box diagram” of a business. The four boxes are marketing/sales, operations/production, finance/administration and human resources. We all have various strengths and weaknesses relative to the four boxes. We cannot know and be good at all four. There is a tendency to view the areas we are weak in as “mysteries.” We just want someone to take care of them while we work in the areas in which we are strong. But, as an owner, to regard the other areas as mysteries can be perilous. Every owner needs to know some basics about each area in order to successfully hire outside resources to help or fill that area with the right employees. This week’s box is Human Resources.

Of all the disciplines involved in business ownership, Human Resources seem to generate the most issues and also have the most sub-specialties. There is hiring and recruiting, organization development and training, payroll and compensation strategy design, regulatory compliance, benefits design and administration to name a few. The larger your company gets, the more complex the issues become. Ignorance is never bliss and it is particularly true when it comes to legal and regulatory compliance. Do not try to wing it. Get help. There are outsourced H/R managers and management services out there than can help you navigate what seem to be an endless series of mine fields. Remember there are two kinds of things you don’t know-the things you know you don’t know and the things you don’t know you don’t know. Better to ask and keep asking. Not all the answers will make you happy but they can keep you safe and in business.