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How to start a slow business 6 - 1 plus 1 is not 2

July 05, 2019

This time, I would like to talk about hiring people.

“1 plus 1 is not 2” is something we always feel as our staff grows. This has many implications.

But first, let's take a look back at when amirisu welcomed its first staff.

Ever since we started amirisu, it has been our dream to have an assistant. It seems to us that they want to hire someone even though they don't make much money. In the first place, I was working full time, so Tokuko had to do all the little things, and I wished there was someone else.

Since I started the shop, I was only open 3 days a week at first, so I was able to do other work on the remaining 3 days. When the customers came to visit, it became impossible for the two of us to turn. So I decided to ask a friend to help me with shipping. A few days a week, we were given a little freedom from the shop, as they also took care of the delivery. I was able to go out and have meetings.

But the day when I hired my first employee came unexpectedly quickly. While Tokuko went to Tokyo to teach, the amount of work became too much, and it became impossible to turn around. The amount of office work was also considerable. However, this was a crossroads for amirisu. It took a lot of courage to hire a full-time employee when we couldn't even guarantee our own salary. It's a matter of life for that person. I used to jokingly talk about my “dream assistant” all the time, but when it came to actually hiring people, I couldn’t say such a silly thing. I called out to someone who thought this was the case, and asked them to carefully think about it for about a month. Is it really okay to come to such a company?

A few months later, we welcomed our first employee. Thanks to her, I was able to go on a business trip to Tokyo for a while to open the Tokyo store.

The thing to think about when hiring people is that one person will never double your sales. (I don't think "never" is correct. If it's a place like a nail salon, it will be. But it's difficult to sell.) In that sense, one plus one is not two. However, the cost of salary will be for two people.

But with two people, you can do more than double. The synergistic effect between the two of us can generate new ideas, expand our network of contacts, and create opportunities. In that sense, 1 plus 1 is not 2. Sales will gradually decline if you sell the same product in the same way, so I think this expansion is essential.

When hiring people, some people want to have more people who are the same type of people they get along with, but this is dangerous. That doesn't double the number of things you can do, and it doesn't expand your network. If you are good at the same job, it becomes difficult to divide the work. It's worth it because it's different from you. What they can do, their ideas, and the friends they usually associate with (networks) are all different. Diversity has recently become a keyword in business, and I think diversity is especially necessary for small companies with two or three people. Here's another reason why you shouldn't hire a close friend.

With that in mind, if you are a freelancer or self-employed, I think it would be a good idea to hire staff. We often recommend it to many people. Of course it's a big responsibility, but for my health and the next step.






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