I’m looking to take on my first member of staff, and there are a few areas I need help with – namely sales and operations. Which area should my first hire be in? A lot of people have told me you need a salesperson on board first – is that right?
Both roles have very different purposes so it is really up to you to decide what is more important initially.
To help you make this decision, you need to consider what expertise you have and where you can have additional expertise to grow the business.
If you are more experienced in the sales area, I would proceed with an operations person as you can fulfil the sales role.
Remember though, the operations person only has something to “operate” if you have orders to process and stock to buy.
If you are not fulfilling the sales area, then I would proceed with a sales role first.
This also gives you comfort that the operations person will be required as you can demonstrate that the business has orders.
If you went with operations first and then found you were not able to generate sales, it would be a waste of a resource.
Irrespective of who you chose, ensure you have a probationary period of three months with pre-agreed KPI’s that have to be met before the probationary period is complete.