According to Richard Branson, “Customers come second, employees first.” Assembling and then keeping a cohesive team will bring unexpected benefits to both your business and your clients. Management and staffing of a small business is an important aspect of a successful business.

Ideally, in the beginning you identified key management and staff needs when creating your business plan. Now that the business has moved forward, it’s may be time to stand back and review existing roles, looking into any changes needed to your key staff or adjustments to the essential tasks they perform! Understanding your current staff’s workload will help identifying any staffing needs even farther into the future.

If your business does not have job descriptions yet, you can start with a list of each person on your team, which tasks they complete on a daily basis and who they report to. Summarizing the expertise and experience may highlight any gaps, and is especially useful in recognizing current staff that may be underutilized or way over their head.

Sit down and talk to your management team. A discussion around their roles, goals, key functions, their strengths and weaknesses can prove very enlightening for all parties. Don’t assume everyone already knows everything they are supposed to do or are 100% clear around the structure, mission, vision and goals of your business.

Before you go out and hire the kid next door, venture though labour market stats around your geographical location and your industry. Are there qualified candidates in the labour pool with the skills you require? While labour market numbers and stats can seem overwhelming, the information is extremely useful. The stats often predict upcoming trends in your industry and can help you plan ahead to ensure that your workforce continues to meet your needs.

In the end, the best tool in your leadership tool box is communication. Effective communication syncs all parties thinking, especially during times of changes in the workplace and workforce.

Jolynn Green is Executive Director of Community Futures Central Island. Jolynn can be reached at or 250-591-7499.